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How to Embroider with a Regular Sewing Machine

Embroidery is a perfect way to express yourself. Nothing compares to the joy when you create perfect embroidery on your project from very scratch. It provides you great happiness when you complete your embroidery project with efficiency. That is why embroidery is regarded as one of the most beautiful recreational activities in the world.

However, most of us think that embroidery can only be done through a dedicated embroidery machine. It is not true. Embroidery can be done even if you don’t have an embroidery machine. You can either embroider by hand or embroidering can also be done using a regular sewing machine. The latter one is the more convenient and easy way. 

The sewing machine might not be as quick as a regular embroidery machine but rest assured embroidering with the sewing machine provides as good results as a dedicated embroidery machine. 

In this article, we will provide you a tutorial on how to embroider with a sewing machine. After going through this tutorial, you can surely create perfect embroidery patterns on any type of fabric with a regular sewing machine. Let’s dive in without any delay…

Related Article: Best Brother Sewing Machines in 2022

Things You Would Need Before Starting Embroidering on the Sewing Machine

There are some tools that you need prior to starting the embroidery designs on your fabrics with regular sewing machines. All these small tools will help you save time and energy. Here is the list of basic supplies that will be needed during your embroidery work:

Get the Design

embroidery design

You would need to have a design in mind to start kicking in… if you don’t then, you can either download one from the internet or draw/sketch your own design on paper.

Furthermore, you can also draw the design directly on the fabric but it involves a lot of risks as it requires delicate touches.

If you want to know more about pre-existing designs in embroidery machines, check out our article on the best commercial embroidery machines. All the machines in that article include some of the best and modern-day preprogrammed designs.

Embroidery Hoop

Embroidery Hoop

Although it might not be a necessary tool it’ll really help to keep your fabric nice and tight in one place. When the fabric moves the whole design doesn’t go as planned, therefore, it is important to have a tool that keeps the fabric proportional. 



A stabilizer plays a big role in transferring a design and making perfect stitches. It makes your embroidering highly smooth and easy. Although you can show off your skills without a stabilizer, but the results will be quite poor because the fabric always gets stuck between the feed dogs and the foot, therefore, you might have to cope with sudden machine stoppage. So, it’ll be preferable to use a stabilizer.



The scissors make your work smooth and clean as they will be used for cutting the minute threads on a finished product. The scissors should be small and sharp because big scissors are a bit of a nuisance. You would also need a seam ripper for cutting and removing stitches. 

Free motion foot

Free motion foot

You can use any type of foot such as a clear applique foot, a darning foot, or a straight stitch foot. But preferable would be to use a free-motion embroidery foot because it is the most commonly used. It will let you move your garment the way you want it on the machine. Plus, it helps when you work on complicated designs that involve a lot of cuts.

Pick a thread of your choice 

embroidery thread

Make sure to choose an embroidery thread that provides your garment with fantastic looks. As we all know that embroidery threads are used by embroiderers. 

Since you are not embroidering on an embroidery machine, there is a high chance that your machine is not equipped with embroidery. Therefore, if you don’t want to purchase embroidery thread you can use sewing threads such as cotton or polyester. They are also stronger and offer a high coverage of the fabric.

Keep a NoteBook


Make notes of everything you understand. Note down all the settings of the machine. Plus, write down what type of fabrics, threads, and garments you have worked on. Just try to write everything, it will help you in your embroidery process and in the future as well.

Different Types Of Needles.

Types Of Needles

It depends on the fabric you are using on the machine. If the fabric is light and soft, you can use small needles. And, if the fabric is thick and heavy, you would require big sharp needles.

A Marker


It will be used for tracing the design. Make sure to trace perfectly. The little marks here and there could ruin your whole design — be aware of them.

Tips To Embroider on Sewing Machine If You Are An Absolute Beginner

  • Don’t choose a larger project if you are a beginner.
  • Practice, practice, and practice before going on a bigger project.
  • Start with simplicity and then move on to projects that require high skill, dedication, and focus.
  • Don’t sew fast, give time to your work before you achieve mastery.
  • Use small hoops as it gives you more control over the fabric while embroidering.

How to Embroider using Sewing Machine

We have enlisted 10 steps that will enlighten your mind about everything regarding embroidering on a sewing machine. Here you go:

Step 1: Transfer the Template to the Fabric

If you have the template of the design, transfer it to the part of the fabric where you want to design. In order to do that, you need to place your fabric above the template. The template can be on the right, left, or center of the fabric depending on which area you want to transfer the design

But keep in mind that the template should be underneath the fabric and not over it  Now, it’s time to draw the design on the fabric. 

Step 2: Add the Stabilizer 

Once you are done with the design, you’ll have to add the stabilizer to support the fabric during the stitching. Iron the stabilizer on the fabric so that it glues to the fabric. 

Step 3: Use the Hoops and Place the fabric in Between the Two Hoops

There will be two hoops just like two rings. One is larger and another one is slightly smaller.  Place the fabric on the smaller ring. Now, place the bigger ring over it and adjust the fabric in such a way that it fits inside the hoop. 

Also, the right portion of the garment has to be inside the two hoops. Put the screw so that the two hoops join together. 

Make sure the design is at the center of the hoop so that you will have a decent work area for sewing inside the hoop. However, if the design is bigger and does not fit inside the hoops then you should divide the project into small sections. There is no need for fancy hoops, any size will do it. However, small size offers more control over the fabric. 

Now, place the fabric on the sewing machine just under the needle. Keep in mind that the feed dogs must be placed inside the machine because you need to install the free motion foot as well. If the feed dogs are not lowered then there are chances that the piece of fabric will stuck between the dog feed and the quilting foot.  

Step 4: Ready The Sewing Area

First, You need to get the quilting foot on the machine. If there is an already installed presser foot in the machine, remove it and replace it with the free motion foot. In order to remove the old presser foot, read the manual of the machine and unscrew it. Once you unscrew it, it will come out of the machine. To install the quilting foot, remember that the top of the quitting foot should be over the needle bar and the lower part (the foot) should be just below the tip of the needle. Now tighten the screw on the new foot so that it tightly fits the machine. 

Step 5:  Lower the Feed Dogs

As mentioned before beginning the process of embroidering, you need to lower the feed dogs. Each machine has its own way to lower the feed dogs, Most of the machines have a button that pushes the feed dogs inside the machine. However, if your machine doesn’t have a switch or a button, you can use a darning plate that works like a barrier between the feed dogs and the fabric. In this way, the feed dogs won’t touch the fabric. 

In case you are wondering why the feed dogs should not touch the fabric, it is done so that you can install the quilting foot which allows you smooth sewing on the fabric. And another reason is that the fabric gets stuck when you use free motion foot with the feed dogs popping out of the machine. After the feed dogs are inside the machine, you can start your work. 

Initially use the straight stitch on the fabric and try to get familiar with the length and width of your stitch by adjusting the width and length of the stitch again and again. Once you have the desired settings of the straight stitch then note it down on your notebook. 

There will be one zigzag stitch on your machine. Use that zig-zag stitch with the same settings. The zig-zag stitches are really helpful when working on delicate designs. It will let you sew borders, applique, neckline edges, etc with ease.

 Step 6: Put the Thread in the Needle

Once you have set up the quilting foot in the machine, insert the thread in the needle bar. Continue to push the thread under the free motion foot (quilting foot) by inserting the thread through the square hole in the foot where the needle passes by. The thread should come out from the inside of the quilting foot. 

Related Article: How To Thread a SINGER Sewing Machine

Step 7: Place the hoop on the Sewing Machine 

Insert the hoops attached with fabric under the quilting foot on the machine. If the hoop doesn’t fit under the quilting foot. Push the foot upwards so that the embroidery hoop slips in between the dog feed and the foot. Keep in mind that the right side of the fabric should be right under the tip of the needle and the other side (upside down) should touch the darning plate if is used.

Step 8: Start Slowly

Place the fabric design under the tip of the needle and start really slow by lowering the foot. Now, push the needle up and down on the fabric as the machine starts to sew. Hold the hoop during the first few stitches to secure the thread. Now, you can move the hoop in a circle or push it back and forth as per your needs. 

Increase the sewing speed of the machine as much as you want to. As mentioned, first use a straight stitch, and then you can use the zigzag stitch for complicated designs. Also, start stitching the edges first. Now, continue to stitch until you finish your work.

Step 9: Avoid Any Uneven Filling

Once you are done with sewing, check whether there is any uneven filling. If it is the case then start sewing again and make all the sides of the design even. After finishing that, raise the needle and cut the thread with scissors. 

Step 10: Finish the Work

Once everything is done, remove the stabilizer, use the fine scissors to cut all extra threads. Pull your fabric out from the hoops and check your design. And if there’s something, you can repeat the steps to master the design.

If you want to know more about embroidery machines then check out our article on the best cheap embroidery machines.


If you are reading the last paragraph then you must know that embroidering does not necessarily need a dedicated embroidering machine. It can also be done with your good old sewing machine. 

However, it will require some practice and patience to achieve mastery in this subject. So, my advice is that don’t panic and don’t rush yourself into achieving mastery. You will make a lot of mistakes during the initial stages of your embroidery journey. 

You will have to analyze these mistakes and not repeat them in the future. It will take time and effort to come up with an excellent finished item. So, practice till you get beautiful stitches.

I just hope that you found this article helpful, useful, and easy to follow. I hope that you are now ready to work on your embroidery mission and create beautiful embroidery designs with your regular sewing machine. 

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