How to Embroider Letters on an Embroidery Sewing Machine

Introduction: How to Embroider Letters on an Embroidery Sewing Machine

I am making a new Christmas Stocking and I wanted to use the Janome 350E Embroidery machine at TechShop to machine embroider the name it.  This Instructable will describe how to set up the machine to embroider a word or words with a set of embroidery letters  purchased online.

You will need the following:
• Your fabric. In this case the piece for the top of the stocking.
• A piece of stabilizer. Stabilizer prevents the stitching from puckering the fabric.
• A sharp sewing machine needle
• Machine embroidery thread. Rayon is slightly shinier than Polyester but much more expensive.  I got mine at
• Design files on a flash drive
• A threaded bobbin

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: File Setup

I choose to buy letters online as I wanted some fancy, fat letters. The standard options that came with the machine were too skinny. I bought mine at

Kayelee sent me a zipped file that contained a separate file for each letter and number.

Make a folder on your flash drive called EmbF5 . Place a folder inside that folder called MyDesign. (No Space) Copy the design files that you purchased inside that folder.

Step 2: Fabric Set-up

Thread the machine and place the bobbin in the machine. Test the tension by sewing a few stiches. None of the bobbin thread should show through on the top of the fabric.

Determine how large your final words will be and then pick the appropriate size hoop for your project. My project was small, so I choose the A Hoop, the smallest one. My fabric fit in the hoop. Note that if your fabric is smaller than the hoop, you can pin it to a larger piece of stabilizer fabric. The hoop will hold the stabilizer and the pins will hold your fabric.  Place the fabric and the stabilizer in the hoop and tighten the screw.  Lock the hoop into the machine by matching the holes on the hoop and the machine and turn the knob.

Step 3: Embroidery Design Setup

Turn on the machine and place the flash drive in the USB slot.  Click on the USB symbol, (second from the bottom) and the folder MyDesign will appear. Click on the folder and each of the pictures from the file will appear.

Tell the machine what size hoop you are using by click on the edit button, and then the hoop button. See the picture.

Click on the letter you want to use.  It will appear in the center of the screen.  Use the arrows on the screen to move the picture of the letter to the correct place on the grid.

If you want slightly larger letters than the original design, use the Size button to increase the size of each letter. I increased them by 10%. See the picture.

Continue to add letters to the screen and move them into place.  Make sure the letters are lined up horizontally. Use the on screen grid as a guide. I also found it helpful to make the letters touch, to make sure they were lined up and then move them away from each other. Once you hit OK you can move the words around the screen as a group, but you can no longer move individual letters, so make sure they are lined up, or you will have to start over (by hitting cancel).

Use the Trace button to have the machine show exactly where it plans to sew your letters.  It won’t sew them, but go over the spot – trace – where they will go. That way you can adjust where to place your letters within the hoop precisely.

Step 4: Start Sewing

Once you are sure the letters are placed properly push the start button and watch the machine work. Note, it estimated that my word would take 14 minutes.

Sit back and watch. If the thread breaks or the bobbin runs out, you can fix the problem and and the machine will start where you left off. 

Once the pattern is done, take the hoop off the machine and take the fabric out of the hoop.  Trim the stabilizing fabric away from the design on the back and you are done.

I made this at TechShop San Jose, CA. 

Be the First to Share


    • First Time Author Contest

      First Time Author Contest
    • Leather Challenge

      Leather Challenge
    • Space Challenge

      Space Challenge



    7 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice Xmas stocking. Does it seem like the "N" might be upside down? Maybe that's just me. :)