I just came across my pics I took on hooping back in September of 2008.
Of course this is how I hoop, but everyone is different!
1) I measure my shirt armpit seam to armpit seam to find the center of the shirt. You’ll find that the distance is usually a good even amount – 12″, or 10 1/5″, etc. I use an air erasable pen to mark my center, then turn the shirt inside out.
2) I cut my stabilizer (I use a medium cutaway on my t-shirts – it works best for me). I’ve actually been using precut squares from http://www.sewingmachine.com/ which are GREAT for my 4×4 hoop! I use a little bit of Sulky spray adhesive (KK2000 temporary adhesive spray). I usually spray the stabilizer inside a little cardboard box instead of on top of my shirt as pictured. The box catches a lot of the sticky ~ however this is a pretty light spray (but adhesive WILL accumulate after lots and lots of embroidery).
As you can see the stabilizer is “stuck” in place, so when I turn my shirt right side out it stays in place for hooping!
3) I lay the bottom of my hoop inside the shirt. Again, as you can see the stabilizer is “stuck” to my shirt (top of shirt).
Here is another picture. I’m ready to hoop! As you can see I am hooping this shirt with the hoop clamp coming through the neck of the shirt, therefore when I get my design on my embroidery machine I’ll rotate it to the left 90 degrees and it will sew sideways (my shirt will be sideways).
4) I eyeball my hoop for straightness. I’ve also hooped so much that I know just about exactly how tight my hoop screw needs to be. Your hoop should be JUST TIGHT ENOUGH to clamp on the shirt. Meaning… when your shirt is hooped, the shirt should be firm and there should be NO NEED to pull/tug on the shirt or tighten the hoop! If you hold the shirt up and the hoop looks crooked, just unhoop it and try again! I have to do this sometimes too! Here I am using my 4×4 hoop which hoops nice and easy! My 5×7 hoop is sometimes harder to get straight and firm so I use my 4×4 whenever possible!
5) Taa Daaa… My hooped shirt, and as you may see my center dot is centered pretty well in the hoop! It doesn’t have to be centered perfectly, but as close as you can get it so that your design will fit nicely!
I know there are tons of people out there who use sticky stabilizer and don’t even hoop their shirts! I’ve just learned to hoop this way so it’s what works for me! I think that medium cutaway gives the shirt nice support, so that’s what I use!
I mentioned in my earlier post that I prefer Heat N Bond Lite as my fusible product versus Wonder Under. Maybe I’ve had my iron setting too hot all this time, but I struggle with peeling the paper off of Wonder Under every time! HNB comes off very easily and you can see the clear layer of fusible “stuff”, which after it’s ironed fuses your applique to your shirt (when you’re finished w/ your applique). WU reminds me of ironing cob webs on to my fabric? Like I said, I’m probably doing it wrong but WU & I don’t get along too well!
I’ve also gotten several comments about the “H” store and their lack of customer service! Bless those sweet ladies’ hearts that work there! Someone just needs to tell them that when there are 8 people standing in line for 15 minutes, mosey on over and open one of the other 2 registers! It’s that simple!! I would tell them myself, but the german lady scares me!!