Embroidering a beanie presents a unique problem from embroidering on other fabrics. Since beanies are so stretchy, embroidering them is more difficult than embroidering on traditional fabrics. The best way to embroider a beanie is to purchase a few different embroidering supplies designed to help hold embroidered stitching in place. With these supplies, embroidering a beanie becomes a much simpler process.
You will need to use a traditional embroidering frame to embroider a beanie by machine. If embroidering by hand, use something that will hold the material tight while you work on it. Purchase some heavy tear-away embroidery backing to help hold the design in place even when stretched. The backing will be used no matter whether the beanie is machine or hand stitched. You will also need embroidery thread in whatever color you wish to use and some embroidery needles. The underlay used for the embroidery thread should be a heavier grade than used for some other embroidery projects. The underlay is the soft, net-like backing that is seen behind embroidered fabrics. If you have questions about any of the necessary materials, consult with a staff member at any sewing supply store. They can direct you to the correct supplies for embroidering beanie hats.
The order in which the backings are applied is important for a professional appearance on your embroidered beanie. Adhesive underlays work well for beanies as they stay in place around the hoop frame. Lay the adhesive underlay on the inside of the cap and place a tear-away backing on top of the underlay. Place another tear-away backing on the front of the hat. Pin the backings in place. Mark the desired design onto the backing. Place the beanie two-thirds of the way inside the hoop, but make sure the entire backing is inside the hoop. Stretch the hat tight across the hoop. Make sure the hoop or frame that you are using is compatible with your machine if you are sewing the pattern by machine.
If embroidering the hat by machine, the process is simple after this point. Set your machine to a knit setting, and embroider the design into place following the directions specified in your sewing machine manual. If you are sewing the design by hand, the process is a little different. Use a stem stitch to embroider both large and small designs. Start by knotting the end of thread and sticking the needle through the back side of the hat. Pull the thread through. Next place the needle directly to the right of the thread and about 1/8 of an inch away. Poke the needle through the other side. Pull the needle out just in front of the last stitch. Continue on this way until the project is complete. When the hat is embroidered, tear away the tear-away backing, but leave the adhesive underlay.