Have you ever heard of an “In The Hoop” design? Those of you with embroidery machines probably have.
In short, an In The Hoop design is a project that is done completely in your embroidery hoop. The embroidery machine does all the sewing, you just need to set everything up and place the fabrics/notions in the right place at the right time.
Since the majority of my time is spent behind a regular sewing machine, I really haven’t explored the capabilities of my embroidery machine all that much. I pretty much use it to personalize my products and that’s it. But when Five Star Fonts offered this freebie design, I knew it was time to try this type of project out.
I have been tempted by In The Hoop designs before, but I have always thought, why do I need/want the machine to do this when I can do it myself? I now know….there are definitely benefits to these type of designs….
Once you make one, it is a time saver. If you are mass producing small items for a craft show, well – this is probably the way to go.
This coin purse had 5/6 steps (the last step was optional), and within 12 minutes (the first purse took a bit longer), I had a fully lined, perfectly stitched coin purse with detail stitching! That means if I had pre-cut all my supplies, I could bang out 4-5 of these in an hour. Good for business.
Another benefit is that you get that beautiful detail stitching….
What I didn’t like about it…well, I have to admit it was annoying removing all the stabilizer when the sewing was finished (Stabilizer is a type of paper that is required for “stabilizing” the fabric and thread for embroidery projects).
Another thing to keep in mind is that if doing these type of projects… “In The Hoop”will cost you more because of that stabilizer (it isn’t cheap, nor is it reusable). This is especially important to factor in if selling your items.
So – my final opinion on “In The Hoop” designs: I think they are great for those making small, similar items like this coin purse for craft shows or quantity gifts. There are some really cool designs out there, but for the most part, the designs are small and simple. You are also limited to hoop sizes, so make sure you only purchase designs made to fit your hoop!
I will definitely try out a few more designs, but for me, this will not replace sewing with a regular machine. I like the ability to alter/change designs to fit my needs!
If you haven’t tried one of these designs, I would highly recommend trying out this cute design by Five Star Fonts. You will love the final product, the instructions are easy to follow and it is a great introduction into the world of “In The Hoop” projects. You can download it HERE. And while you are there, you should check out her fonts….I have purchased several from her and love them. The stitch quality is excellent!