How to use embroidery in your sewing

Embrace the embroidery trend!
Here are 3 ways how to use embroidery in your sewing


A hand-embroidered design can really make a garment truly personal to you. There’s lots of websites with free downloadable designs or if you’re creative, you can sketch out your own design. We love the new free embroidery designs from DMC Creative which are downloaded from their website. The Summer Peony Flower & Good Luck Dragonfly is shown on this denim jacket and the Cherry Blossom design shown on this stripy Breton top. The DMC Creative designs are available to buy as kits too, which means you get all the coloured threads you need to stitch the design.

Summer Peony Flower kit, £12.96
Cherry Blossom kit, £6.48


You’ll need an embroidery machine or your sewing machine may also feature a range of embroidery stitches.

Janome’s embroidery only machine
The MC500E is the latest embroidery only machine from Janome, which can offer sewers professional-style embroidery at home. The embroidery machine is capable of producing designs up to 200mm x 280mm, making it easy to embellish garments accessories and furnishings. The full colour display screen tells you everything you need to know. Choose from one of the built-in designs or download your own from the internet – this model has a host of powerful editing features providing extensive creative opportunities such as flip, rotate, resize, edit or combine designs to make your project one-of-a-kind. The machine stops automatically after sewing each thread colour so you can walk away while its embroidering, then just thread up the next and see the design develop before your eyes.


There are some lovely ready-made motifs and patches. Give a garment in your wardrobe a new leash of life. Could something you made ages ago do with a bit of a refashion? Motifs come in iron-on, sew-on and glue-on options and are a great quick and easy option to customise.

We love this large floral cluster design
Design A130, £6.50 from Simplicity

Things you’ll need to create embroidery designs

1. Stabiliser
Use a stabiliser to back your fabric. This will help your embroidery to stand out, retain its shape, and give you a much crisper professional finish.

2. Hoop
A hoop is an essential bit of kit and keeps your fabric taut while stitching. They come in a variety of sizes so choose one that comfortably fits your design.

3. Correct thread & needle
Use embroidery thread that is designed for the job. Hand threads, which can be divided into several strands are handy and allow you to vary the weight of your stitches to add depth to a project. Select a good quality thread that is washable and fade resistant. Use a ballpoint needle for best results. The pointed end will pierce and stitch most fabrics.

Embroidery tips:

  • It’s easier to add an embroidery while the pattern piece is flat and before before putting a garment together
  • If new to embroidery, start with a small design that’s not too challenging
  • Always do a test embroidery first on a spare piece of your chosen fabric

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