Free Embroidery Download!

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!
|by Jessee Maloney|

Hello there! Jessee here from an Art School dropout’s life to show you an easy way to digitize a quick doodle into a versatile embroidery using 6D™ Embroidery Extra software, an embroidery machine (in my case the Husqvarna Viking™ Designer Topaz™ 50) and a new free Adobe app called Adobe Shape.

Many ideas were thrown around for this post, but in the end we decided on a simple cat face that both children and adults can both enjoy. (And at the end of the post, you can download three different sizes of the kitty face embroidery file for free!)

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

I started out by drawing a few cat face pieces here and there. I’m not that great at drawing a pair of anything. So if I know I will digitizing something that is a pair, I always draw and then copy it and reverse it in whatever software I’m using. So as you can see I only drew the right eye, ear or whiskers. I just couldn’t decided for awhile if I wanted cute, angry or serious. After much thought, and some help from my five year old, I went with serious.

There are many ways to digitize these doodles from this point, but today we are only going to talk about one.

How to Prep and Digitize Your Drawing Using Adobe Shape

Adobe Shape is a very useful app that turns any photo or illustration into a nice and smooth vector file, and you don’t need any other Adobe programs to use it. If you like to draw and then digitize your drawings it’s brilliant. It’s also perfect for making simple, and fast, one color embroidery files too.

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

To prep my drawing I needed to combine all of the parts I liked into one drawing. I used tracing paper and traced over a right eye, ear, whiskers and the nose. I then flipped the tracing paper over and traced the left eye, whiskers and ear. I made sure to keep everything as straight as possible.

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

I then went over the entire drawing in pen. Afterwards I made sure to erase any stray pencil lines on both sides of the paper. It will help keep everything nice and clean for the next step.

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

I opened the Adobe Shape app and touched the plus sign on the bottom right to start the process. I chose to make a new shape using my camera. The camera will open up in “Live Preview” mode, but if you touch the screen it will switch to “Shape Preview” which I prefer. There’s a sliding bar under the photo that allows you to adjust the image to your liking. If the bar is too far to the left, you only get a faint outline of the cat’s face, if it’s too far to the right, it’s almost all black. I notice around the center works perfectly for this image.

You may notice there is a little smudge under the whiskers, don’t worry, we’ll get rid of that later.

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

Once I’m happy with the way it all looks I just press the green circle on the bottom middle of the screen, and after it cleans it up a bit I press the circle again. The app will then bring you to a screen where you can name the file and then save it. It will save it to a shapes folder.

From here you can send it to whatever cloud service you may use or email it to yourself. I chose email.

Now you have a perfect vector file all ready to made in to an embroidery file!

How to Convert Your New Vector File in to an Embroidery File

First things first, open up 6D™ Embroidery Extra.

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

Next go to the “Wizards” tab and click on “Express Design” and then “Express Design into Hoop.”

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

A window will pop up asking you what type of embroidery file you would like to make. I chose “Create Express Embroidery.”

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

Next it will have you look up your file, then ask if you would like to rotate it, and next ask if you would like to crop it. I did want to crop this photo since the table underneath my drawing showed up a little in the vector file.

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

After cropping, the next window will ask if you would like to reduce colors. Originally the program wanted to use 12 different shades of gray to stitch this design out. I took that number down to TWO. One black and one white.

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

The next screen showed me which thread colors I would be using, plus it has a fewer more options for tweaking the design a bit. I chose to automatically remove background color and then made sure to click the button that removed all the background color, even in the eyes. This is a very important steps because it turns the embroidery into a single color embroidery, instead of a two color.

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

The next window lets you chose the type of embroidery texture you would like. I personally like the “Fill” style, but if you would like something a little puffier, I’d suggest going with the “Satin”, or maybe mixing the two together by moving the slider to the middle.

Once you are happy with all the options you have chosen, press next and watch the magic happen! If you like the finished look of the embroidery then press finish and you’re good to go. If you aren’t happy just press back and tweak the options a bit.

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

Remember that little smudge under the right whisker? Well now is the time to fix it. Just go over to the “Edit” tab, press “Box Select” or whichever way you would like to select, and then select the part of the embroidery you don’t want anymore. Once it is perfectly selected, just press delete. It’s that easy.

From here you just save the file in the format that you use and export it to either a USB drive, an embroidery card reader or to your machine.

Now you are all ready to embroider everything in sight!

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

I myself tried the design out on a few things…

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

The first was a plain black woman’s sweatshirt. I used the 360×200 hoop with cutaway stabilizer. It was my first time embroidering a sweatshirt and I absolutely love the results.

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

I also tried the design out on some quilting weight Kona Cotton in black for a dress for my daughter. I used a 260×150 hoop, sticky tear away stabilizer and embroidered it on to a large rectangular piece of fabric and cut out the dress pattern afterwards. I felt like this order helped me center those ears perfectly.

Oh and the dress pattern is the Geranium Dress from Made-By-Rae. It’s a super quick and easy pattern and looks so cute on my daughter.

I also tried out fleece, which was another new option for me. It was interesting seeing how the different fabrics react with the design.

Digitizing and Embroidering a Drawing, plus Free Download!

My last text was on a tightly woven quilting cotton, using the 120×120 hoop and I spray basted the design to the hooped tear away stabilizer instead of hooping the fabric. I didn’t want to stretch out the fabric much. I’m happy with the results and think I’ll attempt some quilt blocks using the embroidery and some b&w fabric.

I feel like this design, and process all together, can be super useful. I see myself making a few more pieces as gifts and my daughter already has a few dozen ideas on what she would like.

I have included this Cat design embroidery file, in all three sizes that I used, as a free download for anyone who would like to make something of their own right away! How neat is that? Click the button below to download:

Download Kitty Face embroidery files!

If you happen to take photos of anything you make using it, please share them with us. I would love to see them.

Well, that’s it for me this month. I really hope you enjoyed this post, and I can’t wait to share another easy project with you next month!

JESSEE MALONEY Art School Dropout
I have spent almost my entire adult life as an indie business owner and maker, 12 years to be exact. Most of my time was spent dabling in cast plastic jewelry, mix media accessories, 3D printing, laser cutting, embroidering and assembling vinyl pouches and much much more. It wasnt until 2014 that I decided to jump in, head first, in to quilting. Now it’s pretty much all I do!
Sewing machine: HUSQVARNA VIKING® DESIGNER TOPAZ™ 50


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20 Comments on “”

  1. carolblaha

    thanks so much. I have 5d, and was able to apply this to my drawing. I have read the manuals to try to understand this, but you made it super easy. Great tutorial.

  2. RB

    Thank you for the embroidery files! I’m confused about the colors, though. I thought there was only one color, but when I opened the files, I saw two: white & black. The white ends up hidden behind the black, so I’m not sure why it’s there. Would you please clarify? Thanks!

    1. The Sewing Party

      hey there! sorry about that! we will update the files, but for now you can just use the same thread color for each.

      1. Amberly

        Che ricetta invitante questa zuppa con le castagne!! E nel tuo blog ho scovato un sacco di spunti inntaessrtei per mettermi ai fornelli!! Grazie mille!!Un abbraccio

  3. Ruth

    I did a line drawing and got as far as saving the file in Adobe Shape, but it saves as a jpg – is that a vector file? I emailed the file to myself, but I thought it would have a different file extension then jpg. Thanks for all of this btw, very useful

    1. The Sewing Party

      Hi Ruth! The file would be a vector file if you were to save it to your Creative Cloud library then open it in a vector-capable program like Illustrator or Draw. But if you save it to your Camera Roll, then it is saved as a jpeg, which is all you need to be able to embroider something. Hope that helps!

  4. Elaine

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I was unaware of what Adobe Shape could do–opens up lots of possibilities. :-)

  5. Ruth

    Is Shape free? Can it be used on my PC laptop, is only for an I Phone or other such media? I don’t understand apps. Sorry.

  6. Ellen

    Thank you for a freat tutorial! I had been looking for software to convert raster graphics for digitizing. I just downloaded the app!

  7. Bob

    Great tutorial! I’ve been trying to accomplish the same thing with my Viking Epic, TruEmbroidery 3 software and original vector based artwork using Adobe Illustrator creative cloud. Sadly, the end result is always sub par. My design process is almost identical to yours, with the exception of my original artwork vectorized in Illustrator vs Shape…yet the stitch out never comes close to the clean lines of the original artwork. Any thoughts on what i might be missing would be greatly appreciated. Also, can you tell me the file type (extension) Adobe Shape creates once your illustration is converted from hand drawn to vector? Thanks again!!

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