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How to Hoop a Sweatshirt in Embroidery

Liven up a plain sweatshirt with an embroidered design.
Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Embroidering designs, appliques or monograms can personalize an otherwise plain sweatshirt. Sweatshirts come in a variety of colors, making them a versatile wardrobe choice. Hooping a sweatshirt in an embroidery hoop can be cumbersome because of the bulk of the garment. Strategic placement of the sweatshirt while it is hooped and being embroidered by the machine is important. If you take your time hooping your sweatshirt, you can create a beautiful customized garment for you or someone special.

Things You'll Need:

  • Scissors
  • Embroidery Machine
  • Embroidery Hoop Grid (Optional)
  • Embroidery Hoop
  • Air-Soluble Fabric Marker
  • Medium-Weight Cutaway Stabilizer
  • Fabric Spray Adhesive

Mark the placement of your design on the sweatshirt with the air-soluble fabric marker. Use the embroidery hoop grid for an exact placement.

Turn the sweatshirt inside out. Mark the same spots on the inside of the sweatshirt as you did the front.

Cut a piece of medium-weight cutaway stabilizer to fit your hoop. The stabilizer should be one inch larger than the hoop on all sides.

Spray the stabilizer with the fabric spray adhesive. Place it sticky-side down on the inside-out sweatshirt. Use your markings to line up the placement of the stabilizer. Smooth the stabilizer as it adheres. Once the stabilizer is in place, turn the sweatshirt right-side out.

Twist the screw on the embroidery hoop until it is loose enough to remove the inner hoop. Separate the inner and outer hoops.

Open the bottom of the sweatshirt and slide the outer hoop inside. Line the hoop up with the piece of stabilizer.

Place the inner hoop on top of the sweatshirt. Line it up with the outer hoop and press the inner hoop down into the outer hoop. The fabric can twist or pucker during this step -- work carefully to make sure the fabric remains smooth and does not become stretched or twisted.

Reach inside the sweatshirt and tighten the embroidery hoop screw.

Flip most of the sweatshirt inside out again, leaving the area to embroider right-side out. Attach the hoop to the embroidery machine per the manufacturer’s directions. Gently feed the sweatshirt under the presser foot while you are attaching the hoop.

Pull the top layer of the sweatshirt back so the inner hoop -- and the area to be embroidered -- is exposed. Fold the top layer of sweatshirt back and out of the way so the entire hooped area can be embroidered. Start the embroidery machine.


Use hair or chip clips to hold the sleeves and excess fabric of the sweatshirt out of the way while you are embroidering your design.

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