How to Keep Excess Fabric Out of the Embroidery Area

Keeping Fabric Out of the Embroidery Area with

Here is another inexpensive back-to-school item you may want to add to your sewing room! If you have ever embroidered on a child’s shirt using a single-needle machine, you know that hooping such a small item is difficult in itself. What is even harder, is keeping the excess shirt out of the stitching area.

Keeping Fabric Out of the Embroidery Area with


Many embroidery machine companies have hoop clips you can use to help secure fabric around hoop edges. They work just fine with hooped items that aren’t particularly bulky.

We’ve also shown how t-pins help to keep things from shifting in the hoop and how SewTites magnets hold items in the hoop that are bulky and those that you do not want to pin or tape to stabilizer.

Keeping Fabric Out of the Embroidery Area with

We recently shared a blog on using fabric with Bonnie’s applique designs. Did you notice how the t-shirt was secured in the hoop? Binder clips! While they may not be traditional, these strong clips worked perfectly to keep the edges of the shirt in place.

I have seen instances where embroiderers used claw hair clips to hold cloth to each side of the hoop. That works if there is a lot of give in the fabric and you can gather it easily.

In the case of embroidering small items like shirts and onesies, the problem is that there is great tension on the fabric and it wants to pull to the middle of the hoop. I needed the strong springs of the binder clips to hold edges back out of the way.

An earlier post, "Hooping the Small Stuff Made Easy" demonstrates an ingenious method that uses an inexpensive plastic food storage container whose base was close to the same circumference as the inside of your hoop. The bottom was cut out and cut up one side so that you could position the container around the base of the hoop like a tall guide, keeping sides of the item away from the needle, and keeping the embroidery field inside clear.

How do you keep fabric out of your stitching area when embroidering small items?

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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  • Debbie Henry - August 21, 2023

    Thank you for reading, Joyce!

  • Joyce - August 15, 2023

    Thank you for the useful information

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