Dressing Your Hoop - Learn This Modern Embroidery Technique
One of the first things you'll need to learn with modern embroidery is how to dress your hoops. This step is important to get right because you want your hoop to be nice and tight like a drum, so you can easily stitch on it. Getting this technique right may take a few tries - but once you've got it, it's as easy as eating pie.
Without further ado, let’s jump into how to dress your hoop!
First, unscrew your hoop and pull the two parts of the hoop apart.
Then grab the smaller piece of your hoop, place it on your work surface and lay your fabric on top, around about in the centre.
Next, place the larger part of the hoop over the fabric so it slots over the smaller part (you’ll probably need to unscrew it a bit so that it fits over, now that the fabric is in the mix too).
Then you can start pulling your fabric around the outside of your hoop to get it tight. And tighten up the screw closure a little bit at a time as you go.
Keep doing this, alternating between pulling your fabric tight and tightening the hoop to keep your fabric taut.
The goal here is to get your fabric as tight as possible in the hoop so that when you touch it, the fabric is tight as a drum. So keep screwing the top of the hoop and carefully pulling the fabric tighter until you’ve got it fairly taut.
Then once the fabric is as tight as possible, screw the hoop as tight as it will go. If your hoop can be tightened with a screwdriver, it’s worth doing that now as the finishing touch.
Now, have a look at how much excess fabric is hanging out from the hoop. About 50mm max works well, trimmed in a circle around your hoop.
So if you’ve got too much excess fabric or it’s not in a nice circular shape, go ahead and trim it down now. You’ll find this super handy because if there is too much fabric it can sneak under and get caught in your stitches, which isn’t fun!
Just checking: For this tutorial, I'm assuming that you're stitching on a piece of fabric that you'll frame as a piece of art (e.g. in a display hoop or frame). Just note that if you're stitching on clothing/accessories or moving your hoop around your work, you'll need to be careful you don't create any 'hoop burn' (this happens when your fabric gets dented by the hoop). In that case, you'd want to take care you aren't stretching the fabric out of shape as you go.
In this video, I’ve shared my tip about tightening the fabric in the hoop, which I think you'll find really helpful.
So there you have it, all the beginner knowledge you need to dress your hoop. This is something you'll do again and again as you keep making embroidery patterns.
This course takes you through all the beginner techniques and knowledge you need to make your first beginner pattern, Little Wildflower Meadow! Plus, it includes a beautiful second pattern, Blooming Lovely, which is a fantastic place to practice your newfound skills.
I would totally recommend this course, as it covers more embroidery techniques than just dressing your hoop, and you can also do it at your own place. Plus, this is a great way to hold yourself accountable for your own me-time and continue on your path to becoming a modern embroidery superstar.
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