How To Monogram A Shirt With A Sewing Machine

Last Updated on 6 months by Susan Mayrich

Did you know that you can learn how to monogram a shirt with a sewing machine in just two steps? First, we’ll talk about setting beforehand, then share tips to make sewing machine embroidery easy. Do not be intimidated even if it’s your first time monogram a shirt because this tutorial is easy to follow.

how to monogram a shirt with a sewing machine

Are you also interested in serging? Then, we wrote a guide on how to use a serger sewing machine that you can check out. 


How To Monogram A Shirt With A Sewing Machine Easily

The following is a tutorial for two-in-one models capable of sewing and embroidering. Please check your machine type and follow its instruction manual for embroidered projects.


Step 1. Preparation and designing

  • Decide on where you want the monogram on the shirt
  • Mark the intended center of the design or print the template and position it on the shirt if you can’t imagine it easily
  • Reverse the shirt and place the stabilizer on the back of it with a spray
  • For fusible types, iron it on
  • Use up to two layers of stabilizer as needed and ensure that the stabilizer itself is an inch larger than the hoop on each side
  • Align the center of your hoop to the center of the marked area on the shirt 


Step 2. Start embroidering with the sewing machine

  • Check if you’re using the proper embroidery needle, embroidery thread, and bobbin thread
  • Pull out the back of the shirt from under the hoop, so that you can attach the hoop to your machine
  • Secure the unhooped part of the shirt with clips to keep them from getting into the embroidery area
  • Load the monogram design and line it up with the marking on the shirt
  • Lower the presser foot and start 
  • Let the machine do the work, and afterward, remove the hoop from the machine
  • Release the shirt and cut off the stabilizer on the back of the shirt
  • Clip off the remaining jump stitches and press soft backing at the back of the embroidery design to make it feel smoother when wearing


Can You Embroider A Shirt With A Sewing Machine?

It’s possible to embroider a shirt with a sewing machine even if you don’t have a special embroidery machine. For one, some brands offer two-in-one models, and second, you can use different sewing machine feet for embroidering a design on a shirt. Here are the items you’ll need when embroidering with a regular sewing machine:

  1. A water-soluble stabilizer to transfer the design to the shirt 
  2. A permanent marker for tracing the design
  3. Glue to secure the stabilizer 
  4. Thread 
  5. Free motion embroidery foot
  6. Straight stitch foot
  7. Clear applique foot

With these items ready, you’re essentially tracing your preferred design on the stabilizer and then use the sewing machine needle to trace along with the shirt. And since you will use different feet, read this tutorial on how to change a presser foot on a Singer sewing machine. It’s for a specific brand, but the process is relatively similar for most machines. 


How Long Does It Take To Embroider A Shirt?

The time you’ll spend embroidering a shirt will depend on its size. For an adult shirt, you can expect to spend more than 10 hours embroidering it by hand. But of course, using a sewing machine or an embroidery machine will make it shorter. 

For example, an average embroidery design is about 4,000 stitches. If a machine can run 6000 SPM, it will finish the design significantly faster than hand embroidery. Some commercial machines can even finish 6,000 stitches in 10 minutes or less. 


How Do You Stabilize A Shirt For Machine Embroidery?

If you will monogram a light-colored shirt, use a cut-away mesh stabilizer to keep it from showing through. However, be wary of using tear-away stabilizers if you’re working with dense designs. Otherwise, you’ll risk pulling out the stitching when you tear the stabilizer off. 


What Can I Use Instead Of Stabilizer?

You can use fleece, cotton, and flannel fabrics similar to a fabric stabilizer to embroidery projects. Some people even use dryer sheets as a cheaper alternative to stabilizers. Other household items that you can use as embroidery stabilizers include baking paper, coffee filter, and wax paper.


Do You Need A Stabilizer To Embroider Clothes?

You need a stabilizer when embroidering a shirt. Remember that fabrics are flexible, and when the shirt gets distorted, you’ll get uneven stitching. You will also prevent puckering if you have a stabilizer that will stiffen your material. 


Embroidery Vs Monogram

Monogramming and embroidering a shirt share similarities, which is why the tutorial above is also for embroidery. However, a quick difference is that monograms are typically used for a logo, while embroidery is for larger designs. Monograms are mainly initials, and embroidery is more intricate. 



And that’s it! To recap how to monogram a shirt with a sewing machine, you can treat it the same way as embroidering on any project. You can use a sewing machine with embroidery function, such as the two-in-one models from some brands. 

Since you’re only monogramming, expect to finish quicker than when doing larger embroidery designs. We hope this was easy to follow. Leave us a comment if you have other questions. 

0 thoughts on “How To Monogram A Shirt With A Sewing Machine”

  1. thankyou so much for this information and it help me a lot because recently I have start writting about sewing machine so this article help me alot


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