by Laura Pifer, Trash to Couture

Make a plain sweatshirt to the next level with machine embroidery. From monograms to fun designs you can customize this cozy wardrobe essential for yourself and others (great gifts). Get the tutorial below on how to embroidery a sweatshirt (Valentine’s Day inspired).


  • Lipstick Applique #80090-16 design from OESD’s Retro Mod Bathroom #80090 embroidery collection
  • OESD Medium Weight CutAway Stabilizer
  • OESD Applique Fuse and Fix
  • Fabric scrap for applique
  • 505 Temporary Spray Adhesive
  • Fabric marking tool
  • Large hair clips


Mark 3″ down from the center neckline with a fabric marking tool.

It’s a good idea to print out a template or create a sample stitch out to find your preferred placement. Once you find the location you prefer, mark the center, vertical, and horizontal locations (basically create a rectangle). I like to create a cross and center the design at the center. Mark what works best for you.

Flip inside out. Use the medium weight cutaway stabilizer that will cover the embroidery area and hoop size. Spray with a temporary spray adhesive and press onto the area that will be embroidered. I use cutaway stabilizer on sweatshirts because they’re worn and washed often. This will help the embroidery last a long time compared to other stabilizers.

Flip right side out. Place the outer hoop inside the sweatshirt and place the inner hoop on the top making sure the design is centered in the hoop. Roll the excess material towards the outer hoop (away from the hoop area). You can use clips to keep the excess material in place (I use hair clips, a tip I got from a friend).

You can use software to create your design and lettering or just piece it together on the Brother Touch Screen. I have the PE800 which makes it easy to add and edit designs right on the screen.

Begin embroidery. To applique you will want to add your fabric over the stitch line. I like Applique Fuse and Fix for my applique fabric pieces.

Once I finished up the embroidery, I added the word Love next to it. I didn’t add the heart that came with the embroidery design. I like how this turned out, it’s cute to wear out but also just a fun cozy at home piece with my favorite pj bottoms and a good book.

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