Embroidery Machine Tutorial

 Step 0: Watch our intro video 

Watch the intro video below to get a visual guide to the embroidery machine, or skip to the text steps if you prefer.

 Step 1: Machine set-up 

Make sure the machine is off before proceeding through the setup steps.


Check that the machine is set up for embroidery

The machine has different parts for sewing or embroidery. Please get an intern for help with any of these steps.


Check that the embroidery attachment is on

The embroidery attachment unit is shown at right. It slides on and off the left side of the machine. If the sewing attachment is on the machine, slide it off and slide on the embroidery attachment. Grab a makerspace intern if you need help finding the correct attachment.


Check that the embroidery foot is attached

The presser foot is the small metal piece surrounding the needle, that has a purpose of smoothing the fabric as it is fed through the machine. There are different styles of presser feet for different purposes. You need the embroidery presser foot.

An intern can help you with these steps to change the foot, if needed:

Your presser foot should look like this. Note the keyhole.
Attaching the presser foot, if needed. Notice your left hand controlling the screw while your right hand holds the foot in place.


Check the needle

Make sure you have a needle that isn't bent or broken. To replace a needle:


Prep the embroidery frame

We use an embroidery frame to hold the fabric.


Find an embroidery frame

Find an embroidery frame that is the correct size for your project.  Use a frame that is the size of the embroidery that you want to make. 

Hats have a special attachment! Refer to the Hat Section of this guide for more help using the hat attachment.

Unscrew the frame.


Add embroidery stabilizer to your fabric

Find the role of embroidery stabilizer. Cut a piece to match the size of your frame. Stabilizer should be slightly bigger than the frame. 

Stick the stabilizer to the back of the fabric.


Reconstruct the frame

Place your fabric, with the stabilizer on the back, between the two pieces of the frame, with the inner hoop under the fabric and the outer hoop on top. Consider the orientation of your embroidery design.

Reconstruct the frame making sure there is sufficient tension in the fabric. 


Attach the embroidery frame

The embroidery frame will slide onto the embroidery attachment via two screws on the attachment.


Thread the top thread of the machine


Check the bobbin thread

The bobbin thread is in the bottom thread. There should be a small spool of white thread. If not, follow these steps to load a new bobbin:


Turn on the machine

Turn on the machine with the button near where the power cable enters the machine. The machine will move. Keep all hands away from the machine.

 Step 2: Pre-Loaded Design 

If you just want to embroider text, use the designs that are already in the machine. It is *much* more simple to use the pre-loaded designs than to make your own.


Navigate to design

Once the machine is on, use the LCD screen to navigate to one of the first 3 tabs on the home menu.  The first two tabs allow you to pick from a variety of preloaded designs, while the third tab allows you to add lettering to your embroidery.


Select your design

If you select one of the first two tabs, you will be taken to a menu where you can cycle through the designs using the arrows under the screen (Left arrow to move left, Right arrow to move right).  

If you select the lettering tab, you will be prompted with a keypad on the screen.  From there select which letters you would like to be embroidered.


Place your design

Center the fabric in the carriage by selecting “Adjust” → “Layout” → using the arrow pad to adjust by hand, or by selecting the image with a needle and arrow square to begin auto-detection of the parameters.


Size your design

Adjust the size and rotation of the embroidery using the same menu. 

By playing with the buttons in the screens shown in the picture below, you can watch your design change on the screen to what you want as well. Always test the design layout button to make sure it fits in your designed area before starting the embroidery.


Lower the presser foot

Once the design, location, and size are set, lower the foot.  Doing so should change the button above the needle from red to green.


Start your embroidery!

To start the embroidery process, press the green arrow button.


Change the thread color, if needed

Some preloaded designs have built-in stops in the embroidery so that you can change thread colors.  Once one of these stops happens, refer to Step 3 of the Machine Basic Setup section to properly change thread colors.


When you're done

Remove your finished product by raising the embroidering foot, lifting up the embroidery frame lightly from the base, and slide it out from under the foot. Then cut any excess thread.

 Using the Hat Attachment 

The hat  hoop will make embroidering hats easier. It's designed to work with an existing 4x4 hoop or larger. These instructions are compatible with the se270D 2 knob hat hoop. No hats with plastic backing should be used. Only floppy hats work.

 Step 2 (alt): Executing a Custom Design 

It is much more complicated to make a custom design for the embroidery machine but it is possible!


Create/download your design

Your design will need to be a vector graphic.

You can convert a raster design to a vector graphic using Image Trace.

Or you can create a design from scratch in Illustrator, using the shape, text, and pen tools.

Save your design as an .svg




Prepping your custom design

 Step 3: Cleaning up 


Remove all scrap pieces of thread from the machine and throw them away. 


Put all reusable scrap fabric back into the bins in which they were found. 

If the fabric was brought in, do not leave them in the makerspace. Take them with you.


Place the machine itself back where it was found and place the protective cover back on top of it.

 Step 1: Machine set-up 

Make sure the machine is off before proceeding through the setup steps.