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Easy Embroidery Placement with Embroiderer's Helper

Do you have problems getting your embroidery designs centered and in the correct location on t-shirts and button-down shirts? 

This Embroiderer's Helper tool can help you get the perfect embroidery placement every time!  It has markings for small through extra-large shirts.  The Embroiderer's Big Helper is also available for larger shirts.

This embroidery placement guide works for t-shirts, button-down shirts and polo shirts. 

Embroiderer's Helper for Perfect Placement of Embroidery Designs - fb

If you need to place designs above a shirt pocket, the Embroiderer's Lil Helper is the perfect tool for the job.  

For more information on the placement of embroidery on shirts and other embroidery blanks, see this article on Embroidery Placement by DIME.

Click the link below to watch the video tutorial on YouTube or keep reading this article to see how to use this tool and an easy way to hoop your shirt.



COMPLETE VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE! The video below is a preview with no audio, to watch the whole video tutorial, click the link Easy Embroidery Placement with Embroiderer's Helper to watch in Youtube.


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

WHAT YOU NEED to embroider a shirt

This tutorial will show how to use the Embroiderer's Helper tool to mark the center position of the embroidery design and an easy way to hoop the shirt.

Instructions for all shirts

Step 1: Add the Stabilizer

For all embroidery, a stabilizer must be used to help support the machine embroidery stitches.  The fabric of the shirt itself is not strong enough to keep the embroidery design from puckering. 

So, in order to get nice embroidery on a shirt, a stabilizer must be added to the back of the embroidery location.  Depending on the density of the stitches, more than one layer of the stabilizer may be needed.  Test your design on similar fabrics to see the results.  

For most shirts, especially t-shirts, I prefer to use a sticky back tear-away stabilizer.  This keeps the shirt from stretching or distorting during the stitching process.  T-shirts are very stretchy and the sticky back stabilizer holds the fabric in place.  

If the design is dense, an additional piece of cut-away or tear-away stabilizer can be floated underneath the hoop to get additional support.

Cut a piece of sticky back stabilizer to cover the area to be hooped and place it on the back of the shirt fabric.

If you want to learn more about machine embroidering on a t-shirt, please click the link to see our tutorial.

How To Use Embroiderer's Helper embroidery placement guide on a Button Down Shirt

Step 2: Aligning the Embroidery Placement Guide on a Button Down Shirt

For the button-down shirt, place the notch in the corner of the Embroiderer's Helper underneath the top button of the shirt.

The Embroiderer's Helper can be flipped to either side of the shirt and has markings on both sides.Embroiderers Helper button down placement close up

The edge of the Embroiderer's Helper should go through the center of the buttons in a straight line.Embroiderers Helper Button Down place helper

Step 3: Marking the Embroidery Design Position on a Button down Shirt

The Embroiderer's Helper has markings for Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large shirts.  For Larger shirts up to XXXL, purchase the Embroiderer's Big Helper.

Place a target marker under the notch for the size of the shirt.  Be sure to align the lines on the target marker along the edges of the notch for the correct size shirt.Embroiderers Helper Button down marked

Place a marker on both the top and bottom location on the Helper.  The bottom location mark is used to make sure your hoop is straight.

Below is the shirt marked and ready for hooping.  Scroll down past the other shirt types to find the hooping instructions and tips for perfect hooping.Embroiderers Helper button down with placement stickers

Do you want to embroider above the shirt pocket?

To get the perfect placement of an embroidery design above the shirt pocket, use the Embroiderer's Lil Helper tool.   This tool is centered on the pocket and a target marker can be placed at the correct height for the center of the design.

How To Use the embroidery placement guide on a Polo Shirt

Step 2: Aligning the Embroidery Placement Guide on a Polo Shirt

Marking a Polo shirt is almost the same as a button-down shirt. 

For the Polo shirt, place the notch in the corner of the Embroiderer's Helper underneath the top button of the shirt.

The edge of the Embroiderer's Helper should go through the center of the buttons in a straight line.Embroiderers Helper polo alignment

Step 3: Marking the Embroidery Design Position on a Polo Shirt

The Embroiderer's Helper has markings for Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large shirts.  For Larger shirts up to XXXL, purchase the Embroiderer's Big Helper.

Place a target marker under the marking for the size of the shirt.  Be sure to align the lines on the target marker along the edges of the notch for the correct size shirt.

If you are using a marking pencil, mark the notch onto the shirt.Embroiderers Helper Polo Stickers Placed

It's important to mark both the top and the bottom location indicated on the helper tool.  The bottom location mark is used to make sure your hoop is straight.

Below is the shirt marked and ready for hooping.  Scroll down past the t-shirt instructions below to find the hooping instructions and tips for perfect hooping.

Embroiderers Helper Polo alignment stickers placed

How Use Embroiderer's Helper embroidery placement guide on a t-Shirt

Step 2: Aligning the Embroidery Placement Guide on a T-Shirt

Marking a t-shirt is different than the other two types of shirts, since there are no buttons to align the template.

Fold the t-shirt in half on the center line by placing the shoulders and arms together.  Align the side seams together.  Smooth out the shirt.

Place the edge of the Embroiderer's Helper along the center fold of the t-shirt.  Align the top curved edge of the template along the bottom of the neckline ribbing.Embroiderers Helper t shirt fold in half

Step 3: Marking the Embroidery Design Position on a T-Shirt

The Embroiderer's Helper has markings for Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large shirts.  For Larger shirts up to XXXL, purchase the Embroiderer's Big Helper.

Place a target marker under the marking for the size of the shirt.  Be sure to align the lines on the target marker along the edges of the notch for the correct size shirt.

If you are using a marking pencil, mark the notch onto the shirt.Embroiderers Helper Marking close up

It's important to mark both the top and the bottom location indicated on the helper tool.  The bottom location mark is used to make sure your hoop is straight.

Below is the t-shirt marked and ready for hooping.  Next are the instructions for hooping and tips for perfect hooping.Embroiderers Helper T shirt targets placed

How to easily hoop the marked Shirt

Step 4: Prepare the Hoop

Hooping the shirt can be a frustrating process.  As you add the bottom hoop, the top hoop can slip out of place.  Then you must start over again! 

Avoid this frustration!  Get some Clover Double-Sided Binding Tape.  Place this tape onto the back of the top hoop.  I usually place it on the top and bottom of the hoop in the larger flat sections.Embroiderers Helper Hoop with double stick tape

It's hard to see in the photo, but the tape is along the top and bottom of the back of my top hoop.  It can be placed along the sides too but I don't find it necessary.

Place a piece of tape and then peel off the paper backing to expose the sticky side.  The tape can be used multiple times and can be removed and replaced when necessary.

With the tape in place, when you place the hoop onto the top of the shirt and align it, the hoop will not move as you place the bottom hoop underneath.  PURE GENIUS!

Add the grid alignment guide to the hoop and make sure it's in the notches around the hoop.  This alignment guide is how we ensure the hoop is centered.

Step 5: Align the hoop

Take the hoop and align the center mark and cross lines on the alignment guide with the lines on the target marker.  

Embroiderers Helper t shirt align bottom hoop

Use the second target marker to make sure that the hoop is straight by aligning the line on the alignment guide with the line on the target marker.

The sticky tape will hold the top hoop in place.

Step 6: Add Bottom Hoop

Slide the bottom hoop inside the shirt and underneath the top hoop.  Press the two hoops together.  

The tape should hold the top hoop in place as you press them together.

Check to make sure nothing shifted while adding the bottom hoop.  The alignment markers should still be aligned.Embroiderers Helper t shirt hooped

Remove the alignment grid before stitching the design.

For a full tutorial on machine embroidering on a t-shirt, please click the link to go to that video and photo tutorial.

Step 7: Ready to Stitch the Embroidery Design

The shirt is ready for the embroidery to be stitched.  Load the design into your embroidery machine and be sure the design is centered.

Place the hoop into the machine and move the back of the shirt out of the way.

If extra layers of stabilizer are needed, they can be placed under the hoop before stitching.  The stabilizer will get stitched to the design as the first stitches begin.

Load the correct thread color and begin to stitch the design.

QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

Some other Machine Embroidery Tutorials you may be interested in:

Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

Clover Double Sided Basting Tape With Nancy Zieman, 1/2-inch By 7.5 Yd.

Clover Double Sided Basting Tape With Nancy Zieman, 1/2-inch By 7.5 Yd. #ad

I use this basting tape on the back of my embroidery hoop to keep it in place when hooping! It works wonders! Affiliate Link to Amazon.com

Embroiderer's Big Helper™

Embroiderer's Big Helper™ #ad

For aiding in placement of embroidery on larger shirts and t-shirts sizes XL, XXL and XXXL. Affiliate Link to DIME

Embroiderer's Helper™

Embroiderer's Helper™ #ad

Tool to help in the placement of embroidery on shirts and t-shirts. Sizes from Small to XL. Affiliate Link to DIME

Embroiderer's Helper™ Bundle

Embroiderer's Helper™ Bundle #ad

This bundle includes the Embroiderer's Helper and Embroiderer's Lil Helper Affiliate Link to DIME

Embroiderer's Lil Helper™

Embroiderer's Lil Helper™ #ad

Tool to aid in the placement of embroidery above a shirt pocket. Affiliate Link to DIME

Target Stickers™

Target Stickers™ #ad

Target stickers can be used to help in placement of embroidery or when hooping embroidery blanks. Affiliate Link to DIME






Embroiderer's Helper Tool Tutorial - pin


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