Have you ever wondered if you could reproduce those striking monograms you see on designer goods using your basic home sewing machine? With a little practice and the right tools, the answer is a resounding yes. Monograms are one of my favorite embroidery projects. I use them on towels, pillowcases, dining room linens and they are regal in a wedding theme. Embroidered monograms always remind me of the lovely detailed handkerchiefs my grandmother used to carry with her everywhere she went. Because they hold such a special place in my heart, I put together this tutorial to share some of that nostalgia with you.
What is a monogram and How To Monogram With A Basic Sewing Machine? A monogram is a 2 or 3 letter arrangement of the initials of an individual’s name. Monograms are also used for business logos and official seals. There are rules as to the order of the initials and it can become quite involved in formal circles. For a more in-depth look into the history of what is a monogram, check out this Wikipedia page.
A basic, simple sewing machine will suffice for this project. So, what is a basic sewing machine? A basic or simple sewing machine is one that has enough basic features to sew fabric into a completed project. Click here to see an example.
- Basic sewing machine (see what is a basic sewing machine)
- Embroidery Hoop
- Embroidery foot
- Foundation paper (optional)
- Fabric pen
- Embroidery needle
Hoops are available in various shapes, sizes, and materials. The main objective is to make sure the hoop will comfortably accommodate your design without interference. The hoop provides proper tension to the fabric while it is being stitched. A good wooden embroidery hoop will work just fine for this project.
Stabilizers add weight and strength to light-weight fabric. It helps to ensure that the fabric is not damaged by the stitching.
Any pair of scissors will do; however, I prefer embroidery scissors. Embroidery scissors are light and small. They can trim very close to the design for a clean finish.
An Embroidery foot is recommended to achieve good results. It has a wider opening and allows you to freely move the fabric as needed. Here’s a video showing how to install and operate an embroidery foot.
Foundation paper is an option for transferring your design to the fabric. My preference is to sketch my design directly onto the fabric with a fabric pen.
As mentioned earlier, a fabric pen offers the ability to sketch your design directly on the fabric. Some of them are water-soluble and others fade over time. I use both, but the drawback to using the latter is that you have limited time to work before it fades.
Choose an embroidery needle that has a gauge appropriate for the fabric you will be using. Stabilizers will help with this, but you don’t want holes from the needle to be overly visible in your monogram.
Thread is your choice. Just make sure to pick one that is durable.
Ok, we got our tools, so let’s get started.
Secure the fabric inside the embroidery hoop.
Lay the inside hoop on a flat surface. Place your stabilizer, fabric, and design if applicable on top of the inner hoop. Now press the outer hoop down other the layer of fabric and inner hoop until snug. Here’s a video demonstration.
Transfer your Monogram Design
Print or draw your monogram pattern on paper or directly on the fabric with a fabric pen.
Attach Embroidery Foot
Choose your embroidery foot for your sewing machine and attach it. (Click here to watch a tutorial for attaching an embroidery foot.)
Stitch your Monogram
Align your pattern with the embroidery needle on your machine and start tracing your monogram. Watch it done here.
Finish and Trim your Monogram
Trim any excess stitches from your monogram and carefully remove all exposed stabilizers according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You now hold in your hands your very own monogram creation. I hope you enjoy this project as much as I do. Monograms are a nostalgic treat for me and I hope they will bring you joy also. If you liked this tutorial “How To Monogram With A Basic Sewing Machine”, share this post with a friend or leave a comment below.