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Embroidery hoop, orange t-shirt on light orange background

How-to: embroider on a t-shirt with a flatbed embroidery machine

Have you ever tried to embroider on a small t-shirt with a flatbed embroidery machine? Let Anni, from Handmade by Anni, show you how easy it is.



Materials needed

  • Embroidery hoop (in this demo we've used the 200 x 200mm hoop)
  • Positioning template
  • T-shirt (a sweater, hoodie or bodysuit can also be embroidered in this way)
  • Cut away embroidery stabiliser (this is best for clothing, so that the embroidery does not warp during washing)
  • Temporary adhesive spray
  • Embroidery thread
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery protection fabric (to iron onto the back of the embroidery to make it more comfortable against the skin)



Step 1

Hoop the cut-away stabiliser in the hoop of your choice.

Step 2

Using the positioning template, mark the centre on the stabiliser in the hoop with a water-soluble pen.

Step 3

Mark the embroidery placement on the T-shirt.

Step 4

Turn the T-shirt inside out.

Step 5

Fold the T-shirt in half (see image below) iron the folded edge completely smooth. This will be the mark for placing the shirt on the hoop.
Ironing a folded T-shirt
Hand showing kink on T-shirt

Step 6

Spray the temporary glue adhesive onto the embroidery backing. Be careful not to spray the frame.

Step 7

With the front of the T-shirt turned inside out, place the shirt exactly at the points on the stabiliser (see image below).
Hand placing T-Shirt on embroidery-frame

Step 8

Unfold the T-shirt, so that it is covering the stabiliser.

T-Shirt lying on embroidery-frame

Step 9

Carefully lift the top layer of the the T-shirt up, and make an opening, as shown below. Be careful not to pull the bottom side of the T-shirt off the stabiliser in the area that you want to stitch out your motif.
Rolled up T-Shirt on embroidery frame

Step 10

Now carefully slide the hoop with the T-shirt into the embroidery machine, taking care not to pull the T-shirt off the hoop. The T-shirt must be pushed along under the embroidery foot.
Rolled up T-Shirt ready to be embroidered

Step 11

Choose your embroidery pattern and add a name if desired.

Step 12

Position your embroidery pattern in the centre of the previously made mark on the T-shirt. You can use the LED embroidery pointer to help you find the correct position.

Step 13

Embroider your pattern, following the steps on your machine's screen and changing thread colour as necessary.

Step 14

Once your embroidery is finished, carefully slide the hoop out of the machine. The T-shirt must also be guided under the embroidery foot again.

Step 15

Carefully pull the T-shirt away from the stabiliser and cut the remaining stabiliser with scissors, approx. 0.5mm from the embroidery edge. Be careful not to cut into the T-shirt material, or you'll make a hole in your garment!
Finished embroidery on T-shirt

Step 16

Finally, iron the embroidery protection fabric onto the wrong side of the embroidery, coated side down. This prevents any remaining stabiliser, or the embroidery from scratching the skin.
Hand irons finished embroidery on T-shirt

Step 17

Wash the T-shirt at 30 degrees celcius to remove all markings.

Step 18

Your embroidered T-shirt is ready!

What will you embroider next?

Come and say hi to me on my Instagram, and remember to tag in Brother on Instagram and Facebook so they can share your makes and inspire others.

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