How to Make Custom Machine Embroidery Designs and Patterns

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A machine embroidery design begins with some form of artwork that is adapted into a digital format, making it capable of communicating with the embroidery machine. When you know how to choose the proper artwork to digitize, you will have the basis of a good custom embroidery design. Read on to learn how to make custom machine embroidery designs and patterns.

Choose artwork to digitize from a high quality print, digital art or a favorite child's drawing. Select a design that is crisp, has clean lines and has as few colors as possible. The best artwork to digitize is a vector file or jpeg if it's high resolution. You can also create a design with your favorite graphics program which can usually convert image files from one format to another.

Load the design into your embroidery program. Scan your artwork or create a graphic design and load it into your computer in a format that your embroidery editing program will recognize.

Edit the design if necessary. Depending on how complicated the artwork is, you may have to clean up the edges and reduce the amount of color combinations before the digitizing program can transform the image into a series of embroidery stitches.

Use your particular embroidery editing software to manually digitize your design or use an auto trace feature if it's available to you. Either way, with some patience, practice and the right program - you will be able to create your own unique embroidery designs.


  • Take advantage of training courses offered with your embroidery machine and editing software. They help acquaint you with your machine and the different digitizing and embroidery techniques available with your particular program. When starting out, you may want to begin with a simple design with few color variations.

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