Can you Embroider With a Sewing Machine?


Did you ever wish you could make something similar to beautifully embroidered designs using a normal sewing machine? I am excited to let you know that you don’t need to invest in an expensive embroidery machine to bring your visions to life. With a few additional tools you can Embroider With a Sewing Machine right at home.

In this article, we will explore the techniques and tips that will allow you to discover your inner artist and create beautifully detailed embroidery pieces without spending too much money.

In case you are new to embroidery and want to learn more about its history, I recommend you to read – When was Embroidery Invented?

What is embroidery?

Embroidery is a magical art form that takes fabric and transforms it into a stunning masterpiece. It is like painting with thread, creating beautiful designs and patterns that add beauty and personality to any piece of cloth. Whether it is a delicate flower on a dress or a detailed scene on a wall hanging, embroidery adds an extra touch of elegance and creativity.

Embroider With a Sewing Machine

You can turn a plain white shirt into a work of art by stitching colourful threads onto it. That is the power of embroidery. It allows you to express your style and make an impression through your clothing or home decor. Embroidery is not just limited to fabric – it can be done on leather, canvas, and even paper, too.

If you are looking for a creative outlet where you can express your imagination and create something truly unique, embroidery is the perfect choice for you.

Master the Art of Applique with an Embroidery Machine: A Step-by-Step Guide

Can you Embroider With a Sewing Machine?

You can definitely embroider with a sewing machine, but if you want full usage of embroidery, you should have a dedicated embroidery machine. If you are budget is low and you want to enjoy embroidery, then you can go with the normal sewing machine, which gives you built-in embroidery features. That means you can still create beautiful and detailed designs without spending thousands of dollars.

Using a sewing machine for embroidery gives you the best of both options. You get the versatility of a sewing machine for all your regular sewing needs, plus the bonus of being able to add stunning embroidered details to your projects. It is like having two machines in one.

One machine that I highly recommend is the Brother SE600. This amazing machine offers both sewing and embroidery features, which makes it the perfect choice for anyone who loves both crafts. A Brother SE600 is truly revolutionizing the industry.

Embroider With a Sewing Machine

With its wide range of built-in embroidery designs and fonts, you can easily personalize your projects and add beautiful finishing touches to your creations. Besides being easy to use, it has a user-friendly interface and uses advanced technology.

And the best part? Right now, you can get this incredible machine for just $499 on SewingMachinesPlus. That is like getting two machines for the price of one. No matter what your level of embroidery experience is, the Brother SE600 embroidery machine is certainly worth considering.

While some sewing machines come with a built-in embroidery feature and some do not if your sewing machine doesn’t have a built-in embroidery feature, you can still create stunning embroidery designs with just a few additional supplies. Let’s look at those supplies.

Supplies Needed to do Embroidery on a Sewing Machine

  • Fabric (it can be any fabric)
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Embroidery Hoop
  • Free motion foot
  • Embroidery thread
  • Scissors
  • Stabilizer

Suppose you want to try your hand at embroidery using your normal sewing machine. You will need these additional supplies, which you can buy separately to get started, but don’t worry; they are easily accessible and not too expensive.

Can Embroidery Be Removed And Redone?

How to do embroidery with a sewing machine?

In order to embroider properly with your normal sewing machine without any mistakes or errors, please follow the simple steps below to get started. It is also important to consider these things before proceeding down those steps.

Use Available Stitches

You should always use the available stitches on your machine, such as zigzag or satin stitches. These stitches are specifically designed for decorative purposes and will give your embroidery a professional look.

When using these stitches, make sure to adjust the stitch length and width according to your desired design. You can experiment with different settings to achieve the desired effect. It is also easier to move around curves and tight corners with an embroidery foot or a darning foot.

Free Motion Embroidery

To do free-motion embroidery on a normal sewing machine, you will need to make a few adjustments and get comfortable with the technique. The first step is to remove the presser foot and lower the feed dogs so that the fabric can be moved freely. That will allow you to have complete control over your stitches.

You will also need an embroidery hoop or stabilizer to keep the fabric taut and prevent puckering. That will make it easier for you to create precise and detailed designs. Make sure to use needles and threads suitable for your fabric when embroidering.

If you are starting, you can simply draw or trace your design onto the fabric. Hold onto the fabric with one hand while using the other hand to guide and control the movement of the machine. Take it slow at first until you get comfortable with the pace and speed.

How can you embroider with a normal sewing machine? Let’s find out.

Steps to follow


The first step is to choose a design that is compatible with your sewing machine and fabric. That is important because not all designs are suitable for machine embroidery. When you are selecting a design, consider the size and complexity.

Small, fragile designs may not work well with a regular sewing machine as they may need more precision. It is also important to choose the embroidery design wisely, as certain fabrics, such as delicate silk or stretchy fabrics, may not handle heavy embroidery.

Prepare Fabric

Once you have chosen your design, the next thing you can do is prepare the fabric with a stabilizer. That is essential because it helps prevent puckering and distortion of the fabric while you are stitching.

When it comes to stabilizers, there are two main options: single-sided and double-sided. While both can get the job done, I recommend using a double-sided stabilizer for better results. It provides extra support and ensures that your stitches come out clean and professional-looking.

To prepare your fabric with a double-sided stabilizer:

  • Start by cutting a piece slightly larger than your embroidery hoop.
  • Place one side of the stabilizer on the wrong side of the fabric and press it down firmly.
  • Once the backing of the stabilizer has been peeled off, attach it to the embroidery hoop by peeling off the backing.

Set up Embroidery Hoop

To embroider with a sewing machine, the next step is to set up the embroidery hoop. That will help keep your fabric taut and prevent any puckering or distortion while you stitch. To set up the hoop, start by loosening the screw at the top of the hoop and separating the two rings.

Place the smaller ring underneath your fabric and then position the larger ring on top. Make sure your fabric is centred and smooth, then tighten the screw to secure everything in place.

Are Embroidery Hoops Reusable?

Prepare Your Sewing Machine

Embroidery with a sewing machine can be tricky, but with the right preparation, you can achieve great results. The first thing you should do is prepare your sewing machine for embroidery. Start by removing the presser foot and adding a darning foot. That will allow you to move the fabric freely in any direction.

The next step is to lower the feed dogs on your machine. These are the little teeth that usually help move the fabric along. By lowering them, you will have more control over the movement of the fabric while embroidering.

You should always use a needle that has enough length to pass through both the fabric and any stabilizer or backing you may be using. That will ensure that your stitches are secure and not likely to be damaged easily.

Start by selecting the design or pattern you want to embroider. Transfer it onto your fabric using a water-soluble pen or by tracing it with carbon paper. Once your fabric is taut, secure it in an embroidery hoop to prevent wrinkles.

As a final step, make sure your sewing machine’s tension and stitch length are set according to the fabric you are working with. Start slowly and practice on scrap fabric before moving into your actual project.

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Start Embroidering Design

To start embroidering, thread your sewing machine with the desired colour of embroidery thread.

You should then thread both the top and bobbin thread on your machine. Adjust the tension settings to ensure smooth stitching. When it comes to controlling both threads, practice is key. If you want to prevent tangling or looping of the fabric, you need to guide the fabric carefully and maintain an even speed.

As for top-stitching and under-stitching, these techniques are used to secure the edges of your design and give it a polished look. Top-stitching involves stitching along the top surface of the fabric while under-stitching is done on the underside. These steps are essential in achieving clean lines and preventing fraying.

Embroider With a Sewing Machine

When it comes to actually embroidering the design, take it slow and steady. Move the fabric under the needle while guiding it along the pattern lines. To increase the durability of each section, backstitch at the start and end.

Starting with simple designs and practising regularly will help you improve your embroidery skills with a sewing machine. To become proficient, it takes patience and practice, just like any other skill.

Finishing Touches

You can follow a few important steps when finishing your stitching. The first thing you should do after finishing your stitching is to pull the thread through the fabric’s bottom side. That will help secure the thread and keep it from losing its shape.

In the next step, remove any stabilizer you used during the stitching process. Stabilizers are often used to support the fabric while stitching and can be easily removed by tearing or cutting them away.

After removing the stabilizer, gently iron your stitched piece. Be sure to use a low heat setting and place a thin cloth over the stitching to protect it from direct heat. Ironing will help smooth out any wrinkles and give your work a polished look.

Adding these finishing touches will ensure your stitching project is completed successfully. Your work will look neat and professional if you follow these steps carefully.

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Things need to be considered before Embroidery on a Sewing Machine

Before you start embroidering with your sewing machine, I want you to keep these things in mind:

Embroidery Hoop

An embroidery hoop is an important part of the embroidery process. For example, you want to embroider a design onto fabric, but you need a hoop. When you try to stitch, the fabric keeps shifting around. You have to work hard to get clean and precise stitches, which is frustrating.

That is where the embroidery hoop comes in. It holds the fabric taut and stable, which allows you to easily guide your needle through the fabric without it moving around. That ensures that your stitches are even and neat, resulting in a more professional-looking finished product. It may seem like a small thing, but using an embroidery hoop can make a big difference in the quality of your embroidery.

Must Read – Are Embroidery Hoops Reusable?

Use A Stabilizer

The use of a stabilizer during embroidery helps prevent fabric distortion and puckering. It provides support and stability to the fabric so that the machine can create clean and accurate stitches. With a stabilizer, your design may look more balanced and smooth, which is definitely not what you want after putting in all that effort.

Different kinds of stabilizers are suitable for different fabrics and designs. To choose the right one for your project, you need to know what you are looking for. Whether you are working with delicate fabrics like silk or heavy materials like denim, using a stabilizer will ensure that your embroidery turns out professional-looking and long-lasting. Trust me, investing in a good stabilizer will save you from many problems down the line.

Lower Feed Dogs

Before starting embroidery on your sewing machine, it is important to consider lowering the feed dogs. Why? Well, when you lower the feed dogs, you gain more control over the fabric and can move it freely in any direction. That is especially important for complex embroidery designs that require accurate stitching.

By lowering the feed dogs, you eliminate the risk of them interfering with your embroidery work. The feed dogs are responsible for moving the fabric forward as you sew, but in embroidery, you want to have complete control over the movement of the fabric. Lowering the feed dogs allows you to move the fabric freely under the needle and create perfectly shaped embroidery stitches without any unwanted pulling or stretching.

Use Full Bobbin

Make sure to use a full bobbin when stitching with your sewing machine so that you have enough thread to complete your embroidery design without running out. What would happen if you had to stop your project to refill the bobbin in the middle of it? It not only breaks your flow but also affects the overall quality and consistency of your stitching. Make sure you are using a full bobbin before you begin sewing.

Can Embroidery Be Removed And Redone?

Keeping Tension At the Right Level

If you want your stitches to be even and neat, you need to maintain the right tension. If the tension is tight enough, your stitches will be tight and smooth. A too-tight tension will result in your fabric puckering or even breaking. The key to getting beautiful embroidery results is finding the right tension.

Here is why maintaining the right tension when using your sewing machine for embroidery matters. Think about this: you have spent hours choosing the perfect design, preparing your fabric, and setting up your machine. When it comes to embroidering, you are excited to begin, but your tension needs to be set correctly and could ruin all your efforts.

How to Adjust Tension | Sewing Machine

Use Embroidery Thread

When you are starting embroidery with your sewing machine, use the right embroidery thread to achieve high-quality and professional-looking results. Regular sewing thread may not be able to handle detailed designs and vibrant colours.

Embroidery thread is specifically designed to withstand the demands of machine embroidery. It is stronger and more durable than regular sewing thread, so your stitches hold up well over time. You can also create beautiful and eye-catching designs using embroidery threads in a variety of colours and finishes.

When you are choosing embroidery threads, you can go with the three most popular options: rayon, cotton, and polyester. Rayon threads offer a lustrous shine and smooth finish, which makes them perfect for adding a touch of elegance to your projects. Cotton threads have a natural look and feel, which is perfect for creating a more traditional or natural aesthetic. Polyester threads are known for their strength and colourfastness, which makes them suitable for items that require frequent washing or exposure to sunlight.

You should choose the thread based on your preferences and the project requirements. Try out different types and brands to find what works best for you.

Read Also – What Is The Best Embroidery Thread To Use?

How to do embroidery without a hoop?

Using a hoop is extremely important in most of the embroidery projects. The hoop not only keeps the fabric taut and protects it from wrinkling or puckering, but it also helps maintain the tension of your stitches.

Working without a hoop increases the chances of your fabric slipping and your stitches becoming uneven or distorted. It is like trying to paint on a canvas that’s not stretched properly – it just does not give you the same control and precision.

There are some small embroidery projects or techniques that may not necessarily require a hoop, such as stitching on pre-stretched fabric or working on very stable materials like felt.

Embroider With a Sewing Machine

The following are some things you can keep in mind while working on an embroidery without a hoop:

Double-Sided Embroidery Hoop

If you do not have an embroidery hoop, one alternative option you can try is using a Double Sided Embroidery Hoop made up of thick fabric. That can provide stability and tension to your fabric while you work on your embroidery project. To use this double-sided hoop, place your fabric between the two layers of fabric in the hoop and tighten the screws or clips to secure it in place.

HOW -TO Embroider Without Hooping?

Double-Sided Stitchcard

This method involves using a stiff piece of cardstock or cardboard as a backing for your fabric. Place the card behind your fabric and secure them together with clips or pins. That will provide some stability and tension to your fabric, which will allow you to embroider without a hoop.

Bobbin and Needle Thread

You can also use a combination of bobbin thread and needle thread. Start by threading your needle with both the needle thread and bobbin thread together. Once the needle is inserted through the fabric, leave a small loop at the end. Pass the needle through this loop, creating a knot that will hold the threads in place. You can keep your fabric taut while embroidering that way.

Fusible Fabric

It is a type of fabric that has adhesive on one side, which allows you to stick it onto your base fabric and create your embroidery design. If you want to use fusible fabric, you can start by cutting out the desired shape or design from the fabric. After removing the paper backing from the adhesive side, place your fabric carefully on top of it. You will need to press it tightly in place so it sticks securely.

Once you have the fusible fabric in place, you can begin embroidering directly onto it. Just remember to take extra care when handling the fabric, as a hoop won’t provide any tension. If your work is delicate, consider using a smaller needle and lighter thread.

Embroidery Pattern

The last option is to use an embroidery pattern that is specifically designed for stitching without a hoop. These patterns usually have guidelines or markings on the fabric to help you maintain the proper tension as you stitch. You can find these patterns online or at craft stores.

8 Methods How to Transfer Embroidery Patterns to Fabric

FAQ about Embroider With a Sewing Machine

What do you need to embroider with a sewing machine?

To embroider on a sewing machine, you will need a few essential items. First of all, you will need a stabilizer to provide support and prevent the fabric from puckering during embroidery. It is recommended to have three types of stabilizers: one cut-away, one tear-away, and one wash-away stabilizer. These different types cater to various fabrics and design complexities.

In order to embroider your fabric while it is being held in place, you will need temporary adhesive spray. That guarantees that your design stays aligned and does not shift during the process. Also, make sure you have embroidery needles that are designed specifically for this purpose.

Embroidery thread is another important item. It is thicker than regular sewing thread and comes in various colours to add vibrancy to your designs. To create balanced stitches, remember to add the bobbin thread as well.

You should also keep small scissors on hand for trimming excess threads and making any precise cuts that are necessary. These basic supplies should get you started on your embroidery journey with a sewing machine.

Master the Art of Applique with an Embroidery Machine

Are there any maintenance tips for keeping my sewing machine in good condition for embroidery?

Here are a few maintenance tips to keep your sewing machine in good shape:

Clean and Oil Regularly: Your machine can collect dust, lint, and thread over time, so it is important to clean it regularly. Use a small brush or a vacuum attachment to remove any debris. You should also oil your machine’s moving parts according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Change Needles Frequently: Embroidery can put extra strain on needles due to the thicker threads used. To prevent skipped stitches or broken needles, change them regularly. It is important to use the appropriate needle size and type to get the best results from your embroidery project.

Check Tension and Bobbin Thread: Before starting any embroidery project, check the tension settings on your machine. Incorrect tension can lead to uneven stitches or thread breakage. Make sure the thread in the bobbin is wound properly and inserted into the machine.

If you want to keep your embroidery sewing machine in top condition, you need to maintain it properly.

Can Embroidery Thread Get Wet?

Is embroidery hard on a sewing machine?

Embroidery can be challenging on a sewing machine, especially if you are new to it. As you practice and learn the right techniques, it becomes easier. The key is to start with simple designs and gradually work your way up to more complex ones.

Be sure you have the right tools and materials before you start, such as embroidery needles, embroidery thread, stabilizer fabric, and an embroidery hoop. Familiarize yourself with your sewing machine’s embroidery settings and functions. Choosing the right fabric is also important.

Take your time when embroidering. Use a lower speed setting on your sewing machine to ensure accuracy. You should begin by practising basic stitches such as running stitch and back stitch before moving on to more complex patterns. If things don’t turn out perfectly at first, don’t get discouraged. Mistakes are part of learning.

Can Embroidery Be Removed And Redone?

Is embroidery a cheap hobby?

If you approach embroidery correctly, it can be a cheap hobby. While there are affordable embroidery machines available, keep in mind that the cost of materials and designs can add up over time. Make sure you stick to your budget so you spend on supplies wisely.

To make embroidery more affordable, consider starting with a basic embroidery machine that fits your budget. As you gain experience and skill, you can always upgrade to a more advanced machine if you feel the need. Look for discounts on embroidery threads, fabrics, and other products. The best way to save money is to buy in bulk or wait for sales.

9 Best Cheap Embroidery Machines In 2023

What is the best sewing machine for embroidery?

The Brother SE600 and Brother SE1900 are the best sewing machines for embroidery. These machines are both excellent choices that offer a wide range of features to enhance your embroidery projects.

Brother SE600 is a great option for beginners or those on a budget. It offers 103 built-in stitches, including 80 embroidery designs, which gives you plenty of options to choose from. There is also a 4×4 embroidery area and an LCD touchscreen that is easy to use.

If you are planning to spend more on your sewing machine, consider the Brother SE1900. This machine has 240 built-in stitches and 138 embroidery designs, which gives you even more creative options. It also has a larger embroidery area of 5×7 inches and advanced features like automatic needle threading and thread trimming.

Do you need help learning how to do machine embroidery?

The process of learning how to do machine embroidery can be difficult at first, but with patience and practice, it becomes easier. Like any new skill, there is a period of learning involved. You can definitely master machine embroidery if you put in the effort and dedicate some time to learning the basics.

To get started, I recommend you invest in a good quality embroidery machine that suits your needs and budget. Familiarize yourself with the different types of stitches and techniques used in machine embroidery. There are plenty of online tutorials and resources available that can guide you through the process step by step.

Practice is key when it comes to improving your skills. Start with simple designs and gradually move on to more complex ones as you gain confidence. You will learn by making mistakes along the way. Try experimenting with different fabrics, threads, and designs. Once you practice and gain experience, you will be able to create beautiful embroidered pieces.

What to Do with Finished Embroidery Pieces?


This article has provided you with all the information you need to start doing embroidery with your normal sewing machine. I have covered the necessary materials, techniques, and tips to help you get started on this creative journey. By following these steps, you can save money and still achieve beautiful embroidery designs without having to invest in a specialized embroidery machine.

You can now create stunning embroidered pieces with just your sewing machine. Experiment and explore new techniques – the possibilities are endless.

When was Embroidery Invented?

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