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Kenny's Korner_ How to Hoop a Onesie - Embroidery Library

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					Kenny's Korner: How to Hoop a Onesie




                                              Hooping 101: Onesies
          Embroidering on baby clothes is a great way to express love and affection for a new
          addition to the family. It's so fun to spruce up shirts and dresses and little jackets and
          onesies with colorful critters and messages!

          But onesies, those teeny-tiny-itty-bitty things, can be tricky to hoop. They're so small!
          How in the world can they be hooped so that the design ends up straight?

                                                                                For this article I worked with
                                                                                the teeniest, tiniest onesie I
                                                                                could find: the 0 - 6 month
                                                                                size. The fabric is extremely
                                                                                soft and stretchy -- onesies
                                                                                are usually 100% cotton.

                                                                                Begin by laundering the
                                                                                onesie, with a tumble-dry, to
                                                                                pre-shrink.

                                                                                I am working with a small 3 x
                                                                                3 inch design, so I'm using the
                                                                                smallest hoop that I have that
                                                                                will accommodate the design.




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                                                                                To position the design on the
                                                                                onesie, I printed a "template."

                                                                                A template is a printout of the
                                                                                design, made with an embroidery
                                                                                software program. The
                                                                                embroidery software program
                                                                                prints the design at its full,
                                                                                stitched size, and adds horizontal
                                                                                and vertical axis lines, as well as
                                                                                a center point, so that I can
                                                                                position the design where I want
                                                                                it.

          Most embroidery programs can make templates of designs: Embird from (www.
          embird.com), Wilcom's TrueSizer (available from www.embroiderystartup.com ), are
          two of many programs that can print templates.

          If you don't have embroidery software, then you can make a template from a sample
          stitchout, or cut a piece of paper to the size of the design, and draw horizontal and
          vertical axis lines, as well as the center point.

          Arrange the template on the onesie until you have it right where you want it. You can
          also reference the free placement guide for infants, toddlers, and children found here.

          Once you have the template positioned where you want it, mark the horizontal and
          vertical axis lines on the onesie, as well as the center point. Use an air-erase pen,
          soap, chalk, or other marking method. These lines will help you when hooping the
          onesie.




                                                                                Remove the template and
                                                                                draw lines that connect the
                                                                                marks.




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                                                                                Unsnap the onesie and turn it
                                                                                inside out. Lay it flat. Cut a
                                                                                piece of cutaway stabilizer
                                                                                (2.0 ounce works the best) a
                                                                                bit larger than your hoop.

                                                                                Spray the stabilizer with a
                                                                                temporary spray adhesive (we
                                                                                use KK100) and smooth the
                                                                                cutaway stabilizer on the
                                                                                onesie over the back of the
                                                                                area that will be embroidered.




          Notes about stabilizer choices:

          Because onesies are made from a very soft, very stretchy cotton knit, using cutaway
          stabilizer will bring the best results. When working with very light designs, like simple
          Redwork, tear-away can be used, but results will be sporadic. Also, because baby
          items are washed often, the tear-away stabilizer will degrade over time, leaving the
          onesie wrinkled and shapeless. Cutaway stabilizer will stand up better to frequent
          washings than tear-away stabilizer.

          Some embroiderers that stitch baby items are concerned about the rough feeling of
          cutaway stabilizer, thinking that the stabilizer will irritate a baby's skin. In my
          experience, a good-quality cutaway stabilizer will begin to mold to the fabric after a
          wash or two; only the low-quality stabilizer remains rough after a few washings.
          Floriani's No-Show Mesh or Sulky Soft 'n' Sheer are sturdy stabilizers, and soft. In my
          opinion, they are great choices for working with baby clothing.

          Also, after embroidering, you can add an interfacing to the back side for extra
          softness. A tutorial for that technique can be found here.




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                                                                                Now that the onesie is marked,
                                                                                and is backed with stabilizer,
                                                                                we're ready to hoop!

                                                                                Turn the onesie right side out.
                                                                                Insert the bottom portion of the
                                                                                hoop inside the onesie with the
                                                                                tab facing out towards the
                                                                                opening at the collar. You'll note
                                                                                that this means that the onesie
                                                                                is hooped sideways; rotate your
                                                                                design 90 degrees clockwise
                                                                                prior to stitching.

                                                                                Hoop the fabric and stabilizer
                                                                                together, aligning the marks on
                                                                                the hoop with the marks on the
                                                                                fabric. Hand tighten the screw
                                                                                after hooping.




                                                                                Now I'm going to wrap the
                                                                                excess fabric around the hoop
                                                                                so that I don't accidentally stitch
                                                                                through both sides of the
                                                                                onesie, and so that no stray
                                                                                fabric interferes with the hoop's
                                                                                movement.

                                                                                Pull the onesie up around each
                                                                                side of the hoop so the bottom
                                                                                of the hoop is free and clear.




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                                                                                Along each side of the hoop,
                                                                                roll the excess fabric up
                                                                                towards the top of the hoop.
                                                                                Secure the rolls in place with
                                                                                small clips, such as hair clips,
                                                                                chip clips, or binder clips.

                                                                                These clips can be purchased
                                                                                at many different places -- try a
                                                                                Google search, or check at
                                                                                Target, Walmart, the Dollar
                                                                                Store, etc.




                                                                                Attach the hoop to the
                                                                                machine, and move the hoop
                                                                                so that the needle is directly
                                                                                over the center point (most
                                                                                machines have this feature).

                                                                                Embroider the design!




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                                                                                After you've finished
                                                                                embroidering, remove the hoop
                                                                                from the machine, and the
                                                                                onesie from the hoop.

                                                                                Turn the onesie inside out and
                                                                                trim away excess stabilizer,
                                                                                leaving about 1/2 inch around
                                                                                the design. This helps to
                                                                                support the fabric during wear
                                                                                and wash.

                                                                                Launder the onesie to remove
                                                                                any chemicals from the marking
                                                                                tools or adhesive spray.




          For this tutorial I used a quick-stitch rocking horse design (click here to find it). I prefer
          (and recommend) light and quick-stitching designs for onesies. Babies grow so
          quickly -- before you know it, they'll be too big to wear that teeny-tiny onesie that
          you've embroidered. Using a design that has a few stitches and color changes makes
          stitching fast.

          Another reason why I prefer light and quick-stitching designs on onesies is because
          of draping. Solid or heavy designs will sink into the soft cotton fabric, and after a
          couple of washings, any solid fills will sink in, creating dimpling and a misshapen
          area. Choosing light designs will eliminate that problem. Redwork, toile, vintage, and
          other designs in the Quick-Stitch category are a perfect fit for baby items.

          For a new embroiderer, getting accustomed to hooping can be the most difficult part
          of the learning curve. The hoop wiggles around, the onesie will get hooped upside
          down and inside out, and it can be tricky to get it straight.

          When trying to learn this new skill, keep in mind three things: practice, patience, and
          perseverance. Hooping your first onesie might be difficult; doing it a second time will
          be easier; the third time easier still. Soon enough you'll be sending me an email and
          giving me tips on how to make this article better and more helpful for new stitchers.
          And I welcome your ideas, and look forward to hearing them!




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                                                             Kenny is a master digitizer and Vice President of
                                                             Production at Embroidery Library, Inc.

                                                             Ask Kenny! Send email to stitch@emblibrary.com.




                                Click here for a printable version of this article.

          You'll need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your
          computer. If you don't have it, you can download a free copy by
          clicking on the icon at right.

                              Previous "Korners" can be found by clicking here.




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