Monday, April 30, 2012

Monogrammed Straw Hats

I was re-inspired over the weekend when I walked into church & saw my Aunt waiting for my family to join her in her straw hat from last year.  She had been in Savannah the weekend before & said that she got so many compliments on it.  One lady even told her, "It looks so expensive!"  Shhhhh, no secret telling here!  Then later in the afternoon, I see this picture on Facebook where teenagers are enjoying some of the hats I've monogrammed this year on their Spring break trip.  They have been & continue to be a huge hit!

Now, on to the reason you're here.....

Here's a "how to" on my method.  I've seen lots of these in FB groups that I follow, so I know many ladies have their own methods.  Hopefully, this will help some "newbies" get started and then you may be able to develop your favorite ways too.

Here's the hat on the hoop.  I keep it simple & always use my 4x4 hoop with a 3" tall center letter.  I've lost count of how many I've done like this.  Customers seem to be happy with this size, so I stick with it.  If I changed the monogram size now, it may cause an uprising!  I hoop 2.0 oz tear away stabilizer purchased from  Sewing  Then I lay the hat on hoop eyeballing (is that a real word ?) each side to make sure it's square in the hoop.  Then I put 3 pins through the hat & stabilizer.  I do NOT use spray.  I used to until about 6-7 hats ago.  But it just became too much of a burden to pick away the stabilizer from the back.  I tried without it & it works just fine!  Step skipped=I love it! 

This is the hat on the hoop on my machine.  I have a Brother Duetta 4500 D.  Yes, she's "topless" in a sense due to some auto threading issues, but that's a post for another day.  I have the cover off so I can see how to manually pull the thread up & around & through the tunnel.  If I ever catch up on hats, I'll get this fixed.  For now, I'm making do.

I almost always use Monogram Wizard Plus' Master Circle or MC Center fonts.  I change the letter width to 200 & I choose to use the underlay stitches for good coverage on the hat.  I move the needle down to where the bottom of the monogram will be & I adjust so that the needle is in the middle of the second "lane" around the hat.  I've recently taken up running & this reminds me of a track.  (Sad & weird, I know.)  Oh!....don't forget to rotate your design either in your software or once you get it to the machine! 

Before I start stitching, I lay a precut piece of Solvy on top & away we go!  With a 3" tall center letter & underlay, usually my hat monograms are about 8,000 stitches & this takes about 16 minutes on my machine.  I don't run it on 1000 spm because it just makes me nervous. 

And in the time it took me to write this post, another hat is done! Thanks for stopping by & Happy Stitching!


  1. Thank you for the tutorial! I bought a couple of these months ago and now I feel like I can do it! Just hope the MIL doesn't look at me like I'm crazy when I give it to her. LOL..

  2. Great job! This was so helpful!

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  4. What kind of stitching do you use? (fill, satin...)

  5. this may sound ridiculous, but how do you get the solvy to stay without hooping? do you pin it?