Embroidery for Beginners: Placement Is Everything

Embroidery for Beginners: Placement Is Everything

Adding customized embroidery to your clothing is one of the best ways to announce your sense of style boldly. But embroidery can be added to much more than just clothing. There are so many opportunities to share your individuality with your guests and enjoy your home to the fullest by embroidering household items like tablecloths, blankets, and more.

You’ll need a few basic tools — such as a sewing machine, an embroidery needle, and thread — to get started with DIY embroidering. However, it’s important to think about how the placement of your embroidery can affect its appearance (and the ease of the embroidery process) before you get started, too.

Where to Embroider: A Guide Based on Items You Use

Proper placement of embroidery will vary based on the item in question. Let’s take a look at a few of the most commonly embroidered pieces and where you should place your designs to look their best.

T-Shirts and Sweatshirts

For the front of T-shirts and sweatshirts, you should place your embroidery between 2 and 4 inches below the neckline, ideally in the center for optimal viewing. If you’re placing a design on the back, lower your design a few more inches, especially if your sweatshirt has a hood.

Collared Shirts

If your collared shirt has a front pocket, this pocket is a great spot to place an embroidered design. Just make sure the design is centered and that your embroidery doesn’t go all the way through as you’re applying it with your sewing machine — otherwise, you won’t be able to use the pocket!


The best spot for embroidery on a jacket tends to be the back, usually along the center seam, right between the shoulder blades. Anywhere between 2 and 8 inches from the neckline can create a pleasing aesthetic.

Table Linens

To tastefully embroider your table linens, use your sewing machine to sew images or decals in the corners roughly 5 inches from each side and at least 1 inch from any hem decorations.


Whether you choose to embroider your top sheet or your bedspread, you should plan your embroidery so that the final design sits on the top center of the material. That way, your embroidery will be visible when you fold down the tops of your sheets and bedspread.

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