I’ve enjoyed doing embroidery projects since I was a young girl. My favorite were the ones I designed myself from scratch, usually to add my own flair to a piece of clothing or accessory.
Several projects I’ve done involved creating letters. It is a handy skill to have since monograms on anything from sweatshirts to hand towels is a custom that isn’t going to go out of style soon.
Usually, I would accomplish all this added flair by hand. Then I realized that I could probably do some basic letters using my very basic skills on my sewing machine.
And what do you know, it works!
What You Will Need to Embroider Letters
- Item to Embroider (of course)
- Sewing Machine (obviously)
- Letter Template
- All Purpose Thread in the Color of Your Choice
- Sewing or Safety Pins
- Sewing needle
Creating Your Template
If you have a computer and printer, you can simply print out a template to scale using just about any word processing software.
If you prefer to go old school, a piece of paper and a good pencil and eraser will get the job done. I like to use graph paper for lettering to help me keep them sized to each other.
Once you have it, cut away the excess paper around your word or letters and pin the template into place using sewing pins or safety pins.
Set Your ZigZag & Begin Embroidering Your Letters
When you’re ready, set the machine to create a tight zigzag stitch the width of your letter lines.
If you need to, practice with some scrap fabric and a copy of your template so you can experiment with exact settings before starting on the “good” piece. Once you’ve practiced and established the settings for your stitches, you can get started on your first letter.
Using your template, sew a “line” down each part of the letters. When you reach an end point, stop, raise your needle and pull a length of the thread out to leave hanging after you cut it.
Continue to treat each straight line of each letter as a single line.
For example, an A will be done in three lines.
If you have a curved letter, like a B, you can tackle these two main ways.
1.Turn the curves into angles.
2.Follow the curve around like you would a neckline. NOTE: This option will cause the outer sides of the zigzags to be spaced wider apart than the inside. You can either leave them like this or fill them in by hand later.
Once you have finished, one at a time, thread the hanging ends of each line on the front through a sewing needle and pull them onto the back side of our item. There you should find a corresponding second thread. Tie them together and trim the excess to finish the end.
Once all ends are tied and secure, gently tear off the template paper. If you are not able to remove all the paper that is under the stitched, its OK. They will break down and come off over time and regular washing.
Now you know how to embroider letters with a standard sewing machine. This process can be a fun way to customize a school t-shirt, canvas bookbag, or a baby blanket. If it fits on your machine, you’re good to go.