Many new things come when welcoming a new baby. Blankets, burp cloths, onesies, receiving blankets, hats… So much to embroider! Picking out baby embroidery designs is fun, but there are many other factors to consider to ensure your baby items are usable.
Baby embroidery is fun because we get to work with all those wonderful (and frustrating) fabrics. Every cute animal you can imagine is right at the touch of a button. But wait! There are some things we’ll want to think about before you hit start to ensure the best results and a comfortable little one! Let’s discuss these factors further.
Things to keep in mind about embroidery for babies
You’ll hear a lot about safety, but we cannot discuss it enough. The goal is to be fun and creative, but don’t lose your sense of wonder and play when deciding which design you’ll be using.
Safety- As always, safety should be our number one concern. Ensure that the fabrics you use for your baby garments and accessories are approved for children. Ensure there are no chemicals or other additives. Also, make sure no pieces can be pulled off and swallowed. Beads, bells, tassels, and other embellishments must be secured and not long enough for an infant to eat.
Texture- We always want babies to be cuddled in soft fluffy fabrics but remember they love to explore the things around them. Touch and texture teach babies about their world, and introducing them (safely) to rough, bumpy, silky, and other textures are a wonderful learning experience.
Backings– The back is just as important as the front as the backing is next to your child’s skin. Use the softest backing you can, which will still support the embroidery well. No show backings and lightweight cutaway work well.You might be tempted to use a wash-away stabilizer, but after it disintegrates, you are left with tie-off knots that can be scratchy. Some people opt to iron on a lightweight fusible stabilizer over the back.
Baby Fabrics- Keep in mind that baby fabrics are slinky and stretchy, so ensure that you hoop your embroidery fabric properly, so they do not slide. We suggest using a ballpoint needle as it splits fibers and does not cut them.
Baby blankets are an easy and thoughtful gift for any new mom. They provide comfort and warmth and are an excellent way to use fun designs and names creatively. When working on a fluffy soft blanket, here are some great tips to consider:
Avoid Bullet-proof designs! The more stitches and trims you have, the more scratchy and stiff the design will be. If you are not yet ready to start embroidery digitizing yourself, use production-friendly designs from a reputable digitizer.
Extra embellishments. Adding extras like buttons, ribbons, and bows stimulates the baby’s senses, but they can also be dangerous! Ensure that extras are sewn on (not glued) and that ribbons and bows cannot be long enough to swallow or untie.
Appliques are wonderful on baby blankets and garments. When working with applique in machine embroidery, you can use the Hatch applique features and incorporate fun fabrics and textures. One of the benefits of applique is covering a larger area without many stitches; you can also applique on textured materials for a baby’s curious mind. Additionally, you can “pre-embroider” an applique to soften the fabric next to their skin.
Hatch Smash! It sounds dangerous, but it is a wonderful technique for knocking down the “fluff” or loft on the popular soft blankets. This technique will help show off your embroidery and give it a good base. On softer delicate blankets, it will give support and body. Want to learn more about the Hatch Smash technique? Check out our video below, where John explains this technique and provides a tutorial on using it.
Machine embroidery for baby onesies, clothes and more
Keep it soft! Remember to keep your stitch outs soft and supple, as we said above. If you are unsure how “scratchy” a design is, run it over your cheek or the back of your hand.
Consider design placement. When placing your design, consider where the baby will put little hands! Babies love texture and colors, so you can use this to your advantage by placing it on the stomach or chest. Also, consider the ever-possible stains. If you haven’t thought of it, embroidering a design on a baby’s back or the seat of their onesie is cute since it’ll be shown off when they’re being held.
Consider an embroidered “texture patch”! Minky fabric, terry microfleece, or even denim can be appliqued onto a onesie in moderation to give a texture spot for curious hands. Baby lambs, teddy bears, and other animals can really pop with added texture.
Baby cloths are easy and great gifts. Since these are used next to a baby’s delicate skin, keep your embroidery soft to not scratch skin. Remember when choosing your type of embroidery thread that polyester is highly durable and does not stain as easily as rayon. Baby washcloths are used daily (if not hourly), so they can be a wonderful gift.
Machine embroidered baby accessories
There are so many baby accessories that we cannot possibly mention them all here, but here are a few ideas for your next baby embroidery project:
Headbands and bows.
Plush toys – many embroidery-friendly stuffed toys are designed to be personalized.
Hats and caps – hats are super simple to make and can be embroidered on the side or top.
Crib bumpers and panels – these are wonderful opportunities to showcase your embroidery. Since these are not next to the baby’s skin, larger designs and heavier stabilizers can be used, but please be cautious when it comes to safety.
Kid-Friendly Machine Embroidery
Embroidery designs for kids
Kids are very conscious of “growing up,” so their tastes tend to gravitate to what they see in the world around them, on television, and at the playground. Their needs are a bit different than a baby so here are some things to consider.
Staying current – check out what is current for kids online, the TV, and with family/friends. Just a friendly reminder when it comes to shows and media to remember copyright infringements when purchasing designs not directly from the owner.
Work hard, play hard – what will the child do in this garment? Kids are notoriously hard on knees, elbows, and fronts of garments. Consider learning how to make custom embroidery patches to jazz up the garment and add durability.
Recycling and saving clothing – use old or damaged garments as fabric for applique. Use embroidery to cover damage on usable clothes. This is a great cover for those infamous pant holes in the knees.