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How to Make Your Own Embroidery Pattern?

If you haven’t tried decorative design before, you probably think making a custom embroidery pattern is really hard and time-consuming.

However, an experienced person would quickly tell you how easy and fun it is to create all kinds of decorative or custom patterns with little effort. Would you like to know how to make your own embroidery pattern the easy way?

How to Make Your Own Embroidery Pattern?

Embroidery Pattern

Making your own embroidery pattern involves two interdependent steps: designing the pattern and bringing it to life on a digital embroidery machine.

In the first step, you create your own embroidery design by hand and digitize it on any embroidery software of your choice. Examples of embroidery design software include: Embrilliance Stitch Artist, BuzzSize, Brother Initial Stitch Embroidery Lettering & Monogramming Software, among others.

You can also skip the hand design and just create a pattern from scratch on the software. Don’t worry about your artistic skills! You’ll be surprised at how creative you can get with a pencil and some watercolors or crayons.

Alternatively, you could also take a picture of something you want to create an embroidery of (like a picture of your cat) and upload it to the software. The software will do its magic and transform your picture into a custom embroidery pattern.

In the second step, you print out your design and bring it to life on your choice of modern digital embroidery sewing machine to sew the intricate patterns. You can also create a collection of embroidery patterns and add them to your collection for future projects. There is a ready market for unique embroidery patterns out there.

How to Create Embroidery Pattern?

Embroidery Pattern

Step 1- Design inspiration

Unless you are creating from an existing picture (like your pet photos), the first step in creating custom embroidery patterns is finding some inspiration!

You will find it easier to conceptualize and come up with a practical pattern if you have an idea of what a good pattern looks like. For this, there are thousands, if not millions, of inspirational embroidery patterns on the internet.

You can find them on sites like Pinterest (the best source), Etsy, Instagram and Behance by searching for “embroidery patterns+ site name” on Google. For instance, if you want to find Broderie Anglaise patterns on Pinterest, just type “Broderie Anglaise embroidery patterns Pinterest” on Google.

Take time to find patterns that match your taste or project and save them on your desktop or print them out.

Step 2- Sketching or doodling

With your inspirational patterns on hand, it’s now time to get to work. It’s best to start with a simple drawing pad to put your first design down. Grab a pencil and some coloring material and draw your patterns.

You can also create doodles and enhance them as you go if you are not into drawing. Feel free to draw several designs and choose the one that looks the best at the end. Remember to add all the colors you want on your pattern at this stage as they will be necessary when you get to the software part.

Step 3- Cutting your designs

Embroidery Pattern

To make it easier and faster later, it’s best If you grab a pair of scissors and cut out your paper design, leaving the least amount of bleed at the edges. This would save you time separating the pattern from the background on the software if you drew on a colored or uneven background. Cut the embroidery pattern out and put it aside.

You can repeat the last three steps if you have more than one design to work with so you can upload them all at once.

Step 4- Scan the design

Grab the cutout patterns and put them into the scanner. It’s recommended that you use the highest image quality when capturing the design so that every detail, such as colors and lines, are correctly captured. You can also use a scanning app on your smartphone, such as Camscanner if you don’t have access to a real scanner. Save the scanned image into a folder you can trace later.

Step 5- Turning your embroidery patterns into digital format for sewing

With the designs digitized, it’s now time to turn them into usable vector images that can be used for embroidery projects. Turning them into vector images means they can be printed out on any size including large format prints such as posters and sheets when you transfer them to your embroidery machine.

You can use any of the embroidery software mentioned earlier for this or use Adobe Illustrator if you are familiar with it.

Open your already installed embroidery or vector design software and upload the saved images for conversion. Depending on the software you choose, locate the option that allows you to convert the uploaded image into a vector file.

Custom embroidery software makes it easier using a wizard menu to move from uploaded sketches to a completed embroidery pattern ready to be used.

Once you have converted the image to embroidery, you can now go ahead and save it in the format accepted by your embroidery sewing machine. Any of the aforementioned embroidery software can save the pattern in all formats out there depending on the machine you will be using to print the pattern on the fabric.

For instance, if you are using a baby lock machine for embroidery, make sure you save the digitized pattern in “. pes” or “. dst” format. Even Adobe Illustrator has an option for the most popular embroidery formats. For your guidance, here is a breakdown of some of the most popular formats you can use depending on the machine you are using:

  • DST- Tajima
  • EXP- Melco and Bernina
  • PES AND DST- Babylock
  • JEF- Janome
  • PCS- Pfaff
  • PEC- Babylock, Brother and Deco
  • SEW- Elna, Janome and Kenmore
  • XXX. Singer
  • ART- Bernina Grade C and D embroidery machines
  • CSD- Husky gram, Singer and Poem machines
  • HUS- Husqvarna embroidery machines

You can always refer to your embroidery machine’s user manual to find out which file formats are accepted before you save your digital patterns.

Step 6- Sewing your patterns

Embroidery Pattern

The final step basically involves transferring your completed embroidery patterns into a USB stick and loading them into your embroidery machine. Follow the sewing and embroidery instructions for your specific machine to turn your designs into real-life prints on T-shirts, posters and other materials!

You can also convert your designs into PDF or Vector images and upload them to Pinterest for sale or to inspire other designers.

How to Transfer Your Embroidery Pattern to Fabric?

After choosing the designs for your embroidery project, it is now time to transfer them to fabric. If you prefer to use less technology and instead use a more traditional way to start your embroidery project, here are some suggestions you can check out. Find out which way works best for you and the materials you’re going to use.

  1. Tracing– this is the most basic and traditional way to transfer designs. Everyone has done tracing at least once in their life. You can directly trace your design to your fabric by putting the paper containing your design on a surface with a light source (well lit window, tablet, light box) and you can start the process. However, this method is not applicable for thick fabrics like wool and the likes.
  2. Iron on pencils, pens, and paper– this method is useful if you don’t have a lightbox or well lit window readily available to trace your design on. Just remember to trace your pattern in reverse because when pressed, the mirror image of the design is transferred.
  3. Water soluble pens- these markers are a staple in crafting or sewing. They don’t fade easily and there is no ink transfer if you have layered fabric. If you enjoy freehand drawing and would like to freehand your designs, water soluble markers will give you lots of freedom to do so. After you’re finished embroidering, all you have to do is soak the finished product in water and the ink is washed away immediately.
  4. Water soluble stabilizer- this method is beneficial if you are working with dark colored fabrics. The pattern can be printed directly onto the stabilizer using this material, which can then be placed on the embroidery fabric. Simply soak the finished embroidery in warm water to dissolve the stabilizer.
  5. Hot Iron Transfers– these are ready made embroidery patterns you can easily buy on Amazon or Etsy. If you don’t have enough time to make your own intricate embroidery pattern, this method is a good option for you. Hot iron embroidery patterns have various designs you can choose from and most kits come with instructions on how to complete your embroidery project.
  6. Prick and Pounce– this method is seldom used nowadays due to having more advanced and more efficient options, however, it is not totally forgotten due to its reliability. To use this method, print your pattern on a heavier paper medium like vellum to avoid tearing when you start pricking. With your choice of needle or mechanical pen, start pricking along the lines of your pattern and make sure the holes are close enough to each other. When finished, you can start pouncing the pattern with powdered charcoal and felt pounce. This method may sound more complicated than others, but it can be fun to try!

How To Make Embroidery Designs On Computer?

There are plenty of ways you can use your computer in making embroidery designs. With the evolution of our technology, many embroidery enthusiasts choose to make their patterns digitally. Even the designs you can buy from Amazon, Etsy, etc., are made in a computer through different softwares.

If you want to explore your creative skills and would like to use your own hand-drawn art as a pattern, it can be easily done by scanning your artwork and uploading it to your computer. Software like Adobe Illustrator allows you to trace the lines, add colors and details to the original design.

Embroidery software like PhotoPad Embroidery Design Software allows you to upload any photo and turn it into an embroidery file which can be used for embroidery machines.

However, these methods require time and practice to fully optimize the features of your chosen software. If you have ample amount of time to spare and familiarize the different features it has to offer, your digital embroidery pattern making will be easier.

How To Create Your Own Embroidery Designs Online For Free?

If you are a beginner at embroidery, starting with free software is the best option for learning how to make your embroidery designs.

There are thousands of free photos on the internet you can use to practice your chosen software, but if you are feeling adventurous, you can always make your own embroidery patterns and let your creativity flow.

Let’s take a look at a few free tools you can use to get you started.

Inkscape and InkStitch

Inkscape is an open-source vector drawing platform which resembles Adobe Illustrator. They make vector graphics which is a requirement for digital embroidery patterns. One important advantage this software has compared to Adobe Illustrator is the Ink/Stitch extension used for digitizing your vector graphics.

Once you find the design you want to vectorize, upload it to Inkscape and start the process. Once you’re done, your design can be saved as an embroidery file compatible with your embroidery machine.

However, beginners might need quite a lot of time to learn the functions of this software. If you have enough time to spare, mastering this software will give you a great advantage.

Pixel Stitch

Any image that you like can be uploaded using this web platform and then make a cross-stitch embroidery pattern from this image. In addition to displaying the precise figures for thread companies DMC, Anchor, and Sulky, Pixel Stitch lets you select your stitch count, fabric size, and amount of colors.

Moreover, the menu lets you select the fabric size and number of stitches. You will see your pattern in centimeters after you have made your selections and you can use this to determine how much fabric you’ll need for the design.

Bernina Artlink7

This free program is a good option for beginners because this program has a user-friendly interface and is compatible with the majority of embroidery machines. You can resize and change the color of your patterns with the Bernina Artlink7.

Your design template is also available for download and formatting. Therefore, the pattern will look fantastic whether you use a machine or hand embroidery.


This cross-stitch embroidery design making tool is suitable for phrases and letters and it is totally free. The fonts they offer are in the public domain so you can use them freely. This website is practical and simple to use. It details how to create your unique design.


Any image you want converted into a pattern can be uploaded in this software. This tool is mostly used for cross-stitch and beading patterns and they also offer pattern conversion for knitting and crochet.


Another cross-stitch pattern maker, this tool transforms your images into embroidery patterns with the freedom to choose thread brand, the number of stitches you want, the color palette, and the pattern size. This tool is good for beginners due to its convenience and simplicity.


This brand is popular for their embroidery threads. Their website offers various free patterns and you can see these patterns embroidered on different fabrics. To access these benefits and more, all you have to do is create your account on their website and sign up.

How To Design Embroidery Patterns For Machine?

Digitizing is the process of generating a new embroidered design, utilizing either an image file or a hand made artwork.

Embroidery machines are unable to read image types like JPG, JPEG, and PNG. If you find an image you would like to convert into an embroidery pattern, you must first vectorize it before you can save it as an embroidery file.

Depending on your embroidery machine brand, some may offer embroidery software. However, most of the time, they are to be purchased.

Free digitizing software like Inkscape and Ink/Stitch is also available where you can upload any image into Inkscape for digitizing and you can save it as an embroidery file through Ink/Stitch once finished.

As this software is free, the functions are also limited. But, if you are a beginner who doesn’t want to commit to purchasing expensive software just yet, this can be a good option.

How To Create An Embroidery File?

Different embroidery machine brands require different embroidery files. One embroidery file type does not work in all embroidery machines. It is essential that you know what embroidery file your machine requires before you start digitizing your images. Here is a list of file types you can check:

.jefStitch-based, MemoryCraft 10000
.sewStitch-based, MemoryCraft 5700,8000,9000
.pes, .pecStitch-based, Brother and Babylock
.husStitch-based, Huqsvarna/Viking
.pcsStitch-based, Pfaff
.csdStitch-based, Poem, Huskygram, Singer EU
.xxxStitch-based, Singer
.dstStitch-based, Tajima
.expStitch-based, Melco

You are now ready to start digitizing your images upon checking which file type suits your embroidery machine brand. Digitization is the most essential step in converting images and once you’ve mastered the process, creating embroidery files will be much easier.

How Do I Create An Embroidery Pattern PDF?

Embroidery Pattern

It’s very easy to convert your digital embroidery patterns to pdf after you have converted them with embroidery software or Adobe illustrator. To do this, you can go to file then save us on the software and look for pdf in the filetype box. This is the same box you use to create embroidery file types for the type of machine you are using.

Also, some software has a standalone “save to pdf” option in the File menu, so look out for it and use it. Make sure you save your embroidery patterns to a folder you can remember or in an external USB disk. Saving your embroidery pattern as pdfs allows you to sell them online as digital products or open them on any browser or pdf reader.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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