I strongly suspect wasting stabilizer is a pet peeve of most machine embroiderers (uhh that probably isn’t a word but anyway..) That stuff isn’t cheap!! I try to hoop the best way to conserve it. I’m especially careful with my Vilene (a water soluble stabilizer which is like fabric). Vilene seems to be the best option for delicate stitching. I highly recommend it. I was able to find a good deal on a roll of it from Amazon (like this) but it still isn’t the cheapest so I like to conserve it.


I came up with this method while working on some pretty scalloped skirts. (see similar finished skirt here) I needed to use my largest hoop to get the length, It still required 4 hoopings but it was better than doing it 8 times!. The design was very long but not very tall. I didn’t want to waste all that unused stabilizer, so I figured out a way to stitch two skirts  without cutting them. I needed to make two skirts but if your pattern requires two pieces for the skirt, this will work as well.

Just one design….. a LOT of extra space on my stabilizer!!!



but see you can stitch two on one piece!

How to conserve stabilizer on border designs. Nice new blog to follow.


It really is pretty easy…hoop your first one as usual.

Side note…because my design was so big I only had about 4 “clicks” to move it. It was really hard to be able to line up the design to connect to the previous one. My understanding is that on the Ellisimo third upgrade (Large continuous border hoop embroidery upgrade III)  it is a lot easier but I don’t have that right now. I found that I needed to leave about half of a scallop visible so I could see it on my Ellisimo on-screen camera shot on and line up the next design.

Once you finish the stitching, Unhoop the fabric and stabilizer, then fold fabric over to the side. Do not cut it off the stabilizer! If you cut it, you can still use it but it will weaken the stabilizer and make it harder to get a nice snug hooping.

IMG_1384.JPG This will give you a nice wide space to stitch the other skirt.

Get your other piece to be stitched and lay it down over the folded piece…like so..

The second pictures shows it from the back. You can see the nice wide area you have free to stitch. From the top it just looks like this..you can barely see the second fabric but it is safely folded over with no chance of stitching over it.


When you have both of them stitched this is what it looks like from the back…


Then you can cut the stabilizer off. If you cut them like these lines are drawn you will have nice strips to use as floaters for other projects. The floater pieces you can see on the back were actually trimmed from previous  hooping of the skirts.

I haven’t finished sewing these skirts into doll dresses yet. But you can see a very similar skirt I did on another doll dress here.

Comment and let me know if this helps or if you have any tips for conserving stabilizer. I’m always eager to learn more!