Needle Hoop Tutorial

Needle Hoops

Embroidery hoop storage for your knitting needles

By: Erika Ripley

Difficulty: Beginner

Skills Needed: knowledge of how to use a sewing machine, ability to sew straight lines, ironing/pressing


Print Fabric

White Fabric or backing



Fabric Scissors

Matching thread

Tacky Glue


Wooden Embroidery Hoop 10” or 12”

Yardage: It all depends on how many hoops you’ll be making. A yard of each print will be more than enough, however. So pick up what you feel is best.

Note: I was able to pick up quilting fabric on clearance that came in large rectangles, but were not bigger than a yard. Also you can use whatever scrap yardage of fabric you have lying around to back your work-just make sure it doesn’t show through.

Basic Procedure:

Note: all seams are sewn with fabric lined up with the rightmost side of the foot.

1. Start by cutting strips of fabric into 2.5” wide by 24” long.

Lay out all your prints and decide which shall be the background and which shall be the pocket. Iron all your fabric.

2. Lay strips right side together, iron, and sew together longwise. Press seam open. Repeat until sufficient amount of strips have been sewn together to match diameter of hoop. For 10 inches this was about six strips and for 12 inches this was about 8 strips.

Note: your color or thread and bobbin thread will not matter here as neither will show.

3. Add backing to your work by lying it right side facing you on top of your chosen backing fabric, cutting to fit, and sew two opposite sides together. Iron.

4. Fold you pocket fabric in half and iron on the crease or if not enough fabric to fold in half, add a backing in the same way as before.

5. Place background fabric and pocket fabric in embroidery hoop to eye out exactly how you want it to look. Take a pencil and mark with a ruler your center line. Pin the layers together.

6. Start sewing from the bottom of your work (so your whole piece will be rotated 180o going into the machine) and sew until one stitch into your background fabric. Lift foot with needle still in fabric and rotate piece back around, place foot, and sew back onto the same line you just made.

7. Next measure how wide you want your pockets to be. You can do this by tucking your needles underneath and marking with a pencil and ruler how wide it’ll be. Or you can use this chart base off of my measurements.

Needle Type and Sizes

DPNs 000-7 US 1.25inch

DPNs 8-13 US 1.75inch

All Circular 3.5inch

Straight 6-11 US 1inch

Straight 13-15 1.5inch

Straight One US 17 1.5inch

Sew all your lines just as you did your center line.

8. Place work into embroidery hoop, center, and tighten into place. Cut excess fabric off leaving about 3/4” remaining.

9. Using lots of tacky glue, glue down each layer to the wood and to each other. Once that is done take tacky glue and glue a line around the crease between the two circles so the outer hoop will not pop off. 

Let it dry overnight, hang it up on the wall, and enjoy!


Horizontal Stripe pocket:

After you have sewn your strips together, place backing fabric on top, right-side facing together. Sew seam at the top of where you want your pocket to be. Press seam open and fold backing fabric over so that a sliver of your pocket fabric is showing (shown in picture). Press.

Two Rows of Pockets:

Make pocket fabric up to having it folded in half and pressed. Decide which shall be the front pocket and back pocket. Take back pocket fabric with background fabric and place it within hoop, pin and sew center line. Be sure that the back pocket is higher than you would usually place it.

After you have sewn center line, take your needles that you wish to place in them and mark how deep you want them to go inside the back pocket. Sew a horizontal line there at the bottom of where your needles shall touch. This way your needles will not get lost in the deep pocket!

 Now place the front pocket over the back pocket and sew center line (so you will be sewing over the same center line you sewed for the back pocket). Continue sewing your pocket lines as normal, starting at the bottom of both pockets and turning your work at the top of the back pocket.  


"My Knitted Boyfriend"

Finally completed my double Heelix socks I started a year ago. The construction of it was what initially intrigued me as you start with the heel, then work the foot, and then finish with the cuff. However, they didn’t end up fitting as well as my other socks. I completely redid the toe shaping and omitted the white short row shaping on the toe. If I were to redo this I would also change up the gusset shaping.