How to Embroider on a Baseball Hat�When You Don't Have a Cap Hoop!

comments (5) October 25th, 2008     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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Embroider your statement along the side, back, or front of the cap.
I found this Think Pink cap at my local drug store...its perfect for machine embroidery because there were no hard stabilizers used when it was put together.
If you embroider close to the bottom edge of the cap, the facing will hide the bobbin thread on the inside.
Embroider your statement along the side, back, or front of the cap.

Embroider your statement along the side, back, or front of the cap.

Photo: Jen Stern

With all the Go Pink, Think Pink, and Pink Fundraisers going on this month, the ones that really stand out for me are the ones that also bring a lighthearted message. I was chatting on the phone with my friend Gail, and she told me about a woman she saw wearing a baseball cap that proclaimed "No Hair Day!". I thought that was a really clever—and inspirational—message. Let me show you how easy it is to embroider your own statement...whether it's to support your favorite cause or your favorite sports team! When you are picking out a cap to embroider on, make sure it's one that does not have any hard stabilizers or support built into it. These are hard to manipulate into the hoop.

It's interesting to note that one of the most popular questions asked by customers considering the purchase of a embroidery machine is "Can you embroider baseball caps?". At the time, I was working in a sewing store and the major brands of sewing machines we sold had cap hoop accessories. I was happy to show customers how to use these hoops if they were interested. Let me explain what a "cap hoop" is. Depending on the brand of machine, it's either a hoop with a built-in clip to hold the brim of a cap down, or it's an insert that fits into a hoop that can hold the brim down. I discovered that you can embroider on a soft-constructed cap without one of these hoops or inserts.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A softly constructed baseball cap
  • Embroidery design of your choice—I customized a message in my embroidery software
  • Heavy cut-away stabilizer
  • Embroidery threads of your choice
  • Small, sharp scissors to trim threads and stabilizer

I wanted to re-create the cap with the "No hair day" message, so I used my embroidery software to do it on the computer. Then I imported the design into my embroidery machine.

Customize your message
The nice thing about using embroidery software is that you have more fonts to choose from.

Hoop a piece of heavy cut-away stabilizer. There are lots of different kinds of cut-away stabilizer available. Make sure you pick one with some heft; that way your cap will be firmly anchored in the hoop. Draw some guidelines directly onto the stabilizer—they will help you get the cap into the hoop straight.

Hoop heavy cutaway stabilizer in the hoop
I like to use a Sharpie marker to draw my guidelines because after it dries, it doesn't rub off onto my fabric.

Decide where you would like to position your embroidery. I am going to put mine along the side, between the brim and the opening in the back. Pull the facing out of the way, and position the cap into the center of the hoop. Use the guidelines to keep the cap straight. I compared the horizontal line with the seam along the bottom edge of the cap. It's easiest to position the cap in the hoop with the brim pointing away from the machine, either to the left or to the back. That way it won't get in the way of the moving embroidery unit as the design stitches. Check to be sure the orientation of the design on the screen corresponds with the direction that you positioned the cap in the hoop.

Pin cap into the hoop using guidelines to keep cap straight
Pin the cap directly to the hooped stabilizer to hold it in place.

Sew the cap to the stabilizer. Remove the presser foot so you can get the hoop under the shank easily. Once you have the cap under the needle, set your machine for a long straight stitch. (I used a 6.0mm stitch.)

Take foot off to get hoop under the shank easily
Remove the presser foot on your machine so you can easily place the hoop under the shank.

Put the presser foot back on and stitch around the area that you are going to embroider. This stitching will hold the cap securely into the hoop so you can embroider your design.

Stitch the cap to the stabilizer
I stitched a much larger rectangle than the size of my lettering design—that way I didn't have to worry about the cap getting caught under the needle.

If you have a baste-in-the-hoop feature, you can use it to check if your design will stitch out straight.

Baste in the hoop before you embroidery if you have that feature
The basting stitches also give you an extra anchor.

Stitch your design. This technique will also work in the center front or back of a soft-construction cap.

Embroider the design or message
After the embroidery is complete, remove the basting stitches and trim the stabilizer away from the edge of the design.

 

posted in: embroidery

Comments (5)

AmySews writes: This is just what I was looking for! Just one more question. Would it be the same to embroider on the front center, above the bill?

Thank you!

Posted: 10:01 am on August 9th
Hawgstitch writes: THANK YOU...THANK YOU....THANK YOU.

I am a member of a Harley Motorcycle Group and have just purchased my first embroidery machine. I have been embroidering quite a few things for my riding buddies. Now, I have members coming up to me to have their caps embroidered on the sides and was wondering how I was going to do this for them. I wanted to be able to do this for them. You information is FANTASTIC. I love that you have pictures which makes the instructions a lot easier to follow.

I will soon have money to purchase my cap hoop for my machine.

THANKS A LOT.


Posted: 10:29 am on December 26th
jlbucha writes: OH I love your instructions, I too will be doing some caps for christmas.
Thank you for taking the time to share with us.
Posted: 6:16 pm on November 5th
JenniferStern writes: Thanks...good luck and remember to pick soft caps!
Posted: 9:49 pm on October 25th
Sweet_Pea writes: Jen,

Thank you so much for the very informative instructions on how to embroidery on baseball caps. I was also under the impression that you HAD to have the cap hoop to do this. Your instructions were clear and concise and have empowered me to give it a try.

WATCH OUT BOYS!! YOU'RE ALL GETTING BALL CAPS FOR CHRISTMAS!
Posted: 2:02 pm on October 25th
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