New to machine embroidery? Experience the steps it takes to create this heart banner in the hoop embroidery with this step by step tutorial.
Hi crafty friends! With Valentine’s Day coming up, I wanted to dress up our mantel with a banner. I’ve often created using paper but this time I wanted something more permanent. So, I opted to use my Brother SE-400 Embroidery & Sewing machine along with this heart banner ITH file that I bought from Etsy to make this reusable, in the hoop project.
ITH (In the hoop) projects are super cool because every bit of the sewing (usually) is done in the hoop. All you do is change thread, add fabric and push buttons. If you’re new to this, I wanted to show you step by step what completing an in the hoop project can be like, because if you’re like me, even though it sounds easy, you’d appreciate an inside look and a little hand holding. Right? I hope this helps give you the inside view you need to take on one of these fun projects.
First, you have to load the file onto your machine. Uploading the file is a post for another day, but I’ll assume you know how to do that part. Because the Brother SE400 only embroiders up to 4″x4″, charm packs (fabric precut to 5″ x 5″ squares), are perfect for small projects like this heart banner. I’m using the Moda Ever After Charm Pack. I bought 2 of them to be sure I had enough; also, in case I screwed up. I’m also using angled embroidery scissors that are made to go over the sides of the hoop to cut. I think they’re a must have for machine embroidery.
After picking your fabric and threading your machine, you’re ready to get started!
STEP ONE: Hoop your stabilizer and attach the hoop to your machine. I use these 8×8 precut tearaway stabilizer sheets.
STEP TWO: Press the button to create the first outline directly onto your stabilizer. Yep. Just on the stabilizer. It lets you know where to place your fabric.
STEP THREE: Lay your fabric on top of the stabilizer where you just sewed the heart. You can use adhesive fabric spray or a fabric glue stick to hold it down or you can try to hold it down with your fingers. If you hold it yourself, be careful! Like my college stagecraft professor always said when we were building sets, “Always know where your fingers are!” He also said that if we lose a finger we get an “F”. So, pay attention and don’t sew yourself.
STEP FOUR: Press the button and sew the heart outline onto your fabric.
STEP FIVE: Press the button to sew the decorative stitch. I’m using the same color thread for this heart, but you could change to a different color before doing this decorative stitch.
STEP SIX: Remove the hoop from the machine.
If you’re like me, you’re like…”What?! Remove it? We’re not even done yet!” Don’t worry. It’s ok. The only thing you never want to do is … NEVER remove the hoop from the project/fabric until you are finished, but you CAN remove the hoop from the machine.
STEP SEVEN: Cut away any excess threads from the back.
STEP EIGHT: Using adhesive fabric spray, a fabric glue stick or tape, attach a piece of fabric to the back of your hoop. Again, you want to make sure the fabric is covering the outline of the heart. You want the right side (the pretty side with the print that you’d like to show) to face out.
STEP NINE: Press the button and the machine will run a stitch to sew both sides of the fabric together.
STEP TEN: Remove the hoop from the machine.
STEP ELEVEN: Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut away the fabric from the front. Be careful not to snip any of the stitches or tear the stabilizer, but you do want to cut close to the sewn edge.
STEP TWELVE: Turn the hoop over and cut the fabric away on that side too.
Here’s a look at the trimmed front. It’s looking great so far!
STEP THIRTEEN: Place the hoop back on the machine.
STEP FOURTEEN: Press the button for the final stitch. This one will create the finished edge and the areas that hold the ribbon for hanging.
STEP FIFTEEN: When the embroidery is finished, remove the hoop. You’re almost done!
STEP SIXTEEN: Trim away any extra threads and cut inside the rectangular ribbon areas to create the slits for hanging.
STEP SEVENTEEN: Remove the finished heart from the stabilizer. You can just tear it right out. Trim away any leftover stabilizer.
STEP EIGHTEEN: String your hearts up using ribbon, twine, whatever you like.
STEP NINETEEN: Hang your awesome heart banner where you can enjoy it!
I hung mine over the mantel and I’m LOVING IT! It’s so nice to have a banner that I can use year after year.
I hope you enjoyed this inside look at creating an in the hoop banner. Have you made an ITH banner or are you thinking of trying one soon? What’s your next project?