How to embroider on a beanie

By on September 30th, 2020
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It’s fall, Y’ALL – which means it’s time to break out your cute knit hats to keep your noggin toasty during your outdoor activities. And just like the embroidered baseball cap you have been rocking all summer, the beanie is the perfect accessory to personalize using your embroidery machine.  Never tried it?  Here’s how to embroider on a beanie.

Supplies needed for embroidering on a beanie

Why embroider on a beanie?

Well – because it’s the perfect gift.  Everyone needs them and everyone wears them.  And, because they are stretchy – sizing is really not an issue.  A few years ago I stitched out initials in flag letters on several black beanies for many of the men in my life.  They were a hit. And although all the men I made them for were different sizes, I used the same beanie for all of them.

nautical flag hat

Beanie hats are also super cheap – especially if you wait until the end of the season and you hit the Old Navy clearance bin.

In fact, I picked up beanies for such a steal at the end of one winter season that I decided to personalize them all for party favors for my daughter’s 6th birthday.  Could there be a more ideal party favor for a winter birthday party?  The girls put them on right away which made it easy to spot them as they were running around the party.

An embroidered beanie makes a great party favor

And finally, they are a great project for a beginner.  Beanies are small, so anything you embroider is not going to take that long.  Plus the front of a beanie is easy to access (unlike trickier garments like baby onesies). So they are easy to embroider even if you have a single needle embroidery machine.

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What to embroider on a beanie

Well, you can see from my examples, that I have stitched a lot of names on hats. This certainly prevents my kid’s hat getting mistaken from someone else’s – which may have saved us from a round of head lice.  But, stitching a kid’s name on a hat may not be the smartest idea as a predator could easily read the kid’s name from the hat and trick a kid.

Logos are another great option to stitch on a beanie. In fact, my architect friend gets many beanies embroidered with her corporate logo. Then she gives them to all of her construction working buddies who wear them on the job site and promote her business.

monogrammed beanie

I think that adding a monogram to a plain jane beanie can make a great gift paired with some coordinating gloves.  I made this set as a birthday gift for my teenage daughter’s friend.  And based on my sightings of her throughout the winter, I think they were a hit.

How to embroider on a fleece beanie with no cuff

Beanies are usually comprised of either a sweater like material or fleece.  Fleece beanies are probably easier to stitch on than stretchy, knit ones. But, honestly, neither is a big deal.  For either type, I would begin the project the same.

Step 1

Hoop a piece of adhesive-backed tearaway stabilizer (shiny side up).  Make sure it is very taut.

Step 2

With a pin, score the inside edge of the hoop to create a small tear in the paper layer of the hooped stabilizer. Now, peel away the paper to expose the sticky surface. Then, draw a horizontal and vertical line through the center of the hoop using a Disappearing ink pen.

Step 3

Mark the desired center of the design on your hat with a pin.  then, stick the hat on the hooped stabilizer so the bottom edge of the hat aligns with the vertical line you drew on the hooped stabilizer and the pin lines up on the horizontal line.

Step 4

Instead of stitching your name or embroidery design in the center of the hoop, move it so that it is centered where your pin is on the hat.  Don’t forget to remove the pin before you start stitching! And, you may want to lay down a piece of water soluble stabilizer before you start stitching.  It will make the stitches appear more prominent.

Step 5

Tear away your excess stabilizer, trim your connector strings and you are done!

how to embroider on a beanie

How to embroider on a fleece beanie with no cuff

The process is a little bit different if you are stitching out an embroidery design on a knit beanie with a cuff.  You will still follow the first two steps, hooping the adhesive-backed tearaway stabilizer, etc… However a knit beanie is stretchier than it’s fleece counterpart so you will need to stabilize it a bit differently. You will also need to place it differently on the hoop due to the cuff.

Step 1 and Step 2

Same as above

Step 3

Mark the desired center of the design on the beanie with a pin.

Step 4

Cut a piece of fusible poly mesh stabilizer a bit larger than your embroidery design.  Fortunately, I have fusible poly mesh in black so it blends in nicely with the hat.

Step 5

Iron the piece of fusible poly mesh on the wrong side of the cuff.  Notice how the fusible poly mesh is between the cuff and the hat. This is because the fusible poly mesh goes on the back side of the embroidery design.

how to embroider a knit beanie

Step 6

Stick the beanie to the hooped stabilizer so that the very bottom edge of the beanie aligns with the vertical line drawn on the stabilizer.  Align the pin to the horizontal line.

how to embroider a knit beanie

Step 7

Rotate your name or embroidery design 180 degrees so that the top of the letters (or design) are at the bottom edge of the hat. The reason why you do this is so that the name or embroidery design will appear right side up when the cuff is flipped up. You can see on my embroidery machine screen how the design should be rotated.  Move the design into place so that it is centered over the pin.

how to embroider on a knit beanie

 

Step 8

Cover the soon to be embroidered area with a piece of water soluble stabilizer.  Knit beanies usually have a bit of texture and you don’t want your stitches to get lost in all that fabric.

Step 9

Remove the pin and start stitching out your design.

Easy, peasy, right?

Actually it is.  Once you see how easy embroidering on a beanie is – the next thing you know it will be midnight and you are stitching out names on a dozen for your kid’s birthday party…

Oh – and if you want to make some really silly beanies – check out the crazy monster beanies you can make from scraps of fleece.

monster hat applique

Good luck & happy stitching!

xo

Julie

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