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How to Embroider a Cap


Using a Cap Hoop to Embellish a Baseball Cap

It seems like everyone is wearing baseball caps these days. And lots of people want them personalized with their name, team logo, or some design meaningful to them.

People ask me if the Brother SE400 can embroider baseball caps. Yes it can, but it helps to have a special cap hoop. And the process can be a bit tricky.

So in this lens, I'm going to show you how to embroider a cap using a special hoop with step-by-step instructions and illustrations.

Photo licensed from All other photos are by me.


You'll Need a Few Supplies

Besides the machine, you're going to need some accessories and supplies:

  • Baseball Cap: There are several styles available. I bought the white one on sale at JoAnns with a coupon, and the blue one at
  • Embroidery Design: Either one of the built-in designs or one you download. I like it less than about 2 inches high because if it's too big, it'll be too high on the cap.
  • Cap Hoop: It helps to have a special cap hoop. What's different about this hoop is that it has a clamp that holds the brim of the cap secure while you embroider.
  • Adhesive Stabilizer: There are a lot of different kinds. This one just happens to be Pellon Stick and Tear.
  • Embroidery needles: Needles especially for embroidery machines which are different than sewing machine needles. For hats, size 75/11 sharp, not ballpoint works best for me.
  • Embroidery Thread: Whatever colors you need for the design. Many kinds of thread work with my machine.
  • Bobbin and Thread: Bobbin wound with embroidery bobbin thread for your machine. Make sure you have enough thread. You don't want to run out of bobbin thread in the middle of a design.
  • Marking Pen for marking the position of the design. I use a Dritz Mark-B-Gone Disappearing Ink pen. On dark fabrics, I use ordinary taylor's chalk.

If you can't find the supplies locally, you can buy them from Amazon using the links below.

Next we'll prepare the cap for the embroidery.

Embroidery Accessories and Supplies on Amazon

I order almost all my embroidery accessories and supplies from Amazon including my Brother SE400 because I just can't find them locally or they're more expensive.

Set up the Brother SE400 and Stitch


Put in a new needle. Hats are harder on needles than other fabrics, especially the buckram-backed kind. I use a sharp, not a ballpoint, size 75/11. But if you're having trouble, try a ballpoint.

Attach the machine hoop to the Brother SE400's embroidery unit. The visor and clamp go in the back. It can be a bit tricky getting the cap which is all bunched up under the presser foot. I move it around looking for the lowest point and tilt it. Raise the presser foot even more by holding up the lever. You may have to remove the foot to get it under and then put it back on.

Turn the machine on and set it up for embroidery with your design as usual.

Because the visor has to go in the back, the cap is upside down. You'll probably have to invert the design. Press the rotation key on the Layout screen. Then press the 90° key twice.

Use the curser keys to center the needle over your center marking. Stitch the design onto the cap.

The Finished Cap

Scroll to Continue

And here is the finished cap with the embroidered baseball design. I added Jessie’s name under the home run baseball motif with editing software.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it useful. I love to share embroidery ideas and tips.


Now, I'd love to hear from you . . .

Roger K on October 05, 2019:

has anyone have a way to stop the center of a cap from moving when embroidery in a hat hoop thank you Roger

Mallory on May 01, 2017:

Did you have to change the hoop on your embroidery program in the computer? I'm using see what pro but I'm not sure if I should change the hoop

Lindle on July 02, 2013:

Wow! My cousin wanted a hat that said 'Foot' on it! This'll be perfect!


Mary Crowther from Havre de Grace on July 01, 2013:

Embroidery is such a nice touch!

GameHelp on June 25, 2013:

Great guide, thanks for posting this!

KamalaEmbroidery (author) on June 23, 2013:

@acreativethinker: It's a bit of an investment if your sewing machine doesn't embroider and some learning curve. But very rewarding and lots of fun. I hope you get to try it someday.

acreativethinker on June 22, 2013:

I've hesitated on embroidering with a sewing machine, but you've made it look much easier. This

is a very informative and interesting lens. Thanks for sharing. :)

KamalaEmbroidery (author) on June 22, 2013:

@Cynthia Haltom: I've read about embroidering caps without hoops. I think the cap hoop is easier but I also want to try it without a hoop. Thanks for stopping by.

KamalaEmbroidery (author) on June 21, 2013:

@TolovajWordsmith: It takes a bit of learning, but then it's not that hard. You do need an embroidery machine though. So probably better to just buy a new cap. ;-)

Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on June 21, 2013:

You made it looking so simple! I know I can use new baseball cap. Old one is losing color and shape...

LUMOSE on June 20, 2013:

Great lens.

Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on June 04, 2013:

I don't have the hat hoop for my brother embroidery machine, but I have embroidered a hat before using the regular hoop. The hat hoop definitely looks like an easier way to go.

anonymous on May 27, 2013:

I've never seen this process before and you sure did demonstrate it well for those who want to get started embroidering caps, how creative! I would guess that this takes a little practice or getting used to your tools of the trade but its almost done like magic! :)

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