Should you Resize an Embroidery Design?

That is the question! Can a 7″x7″ embroidery design, be reduced to a 2″x 3″ embroidery design for example?

For basic resizing in all Janome embroidery machines, designs can be reduced or increased by 20%. The machines don’t have an internal stitch processor to add or take away stitches. At 20% resizing, the integrity of the design is maintained; 20% larger won’t have any gaps and 20% smaller won’t be too dense.

However, our Artistic Digitizer software lets you increase and decrease the size of your design as long as it fits into your hoop. The software has a very powerful stitch processor/calculator that can add and take away stitches. But there is the question of integrity. For example a design digitized 2″x 2″ is tiny and won’t have many details or colour changes. If you were to increase that same design to 7″x 7″, the stitch count would increase proportionately but it may look a little ‘flat’ because there isn’t enough detail. The software can increase the stitch count but not add that extra detail.


small car
This antique car’s original size is 2.4″ x 2″ and 6,719 stitches.

large car
This version has been increased to 8″ x 6.5″ and 32,932 stitches.

It looks okay but for the size of the design, but there is not enough detail. There should be lines on the tires, shading on the body to give it more dimension and maybe even more detail on the grill.

The opposite would true for a larger design and trying to make it smaller. Say, you want it for a patch on a child coat.  The design is digitized 7″x 7″ with a lot of detail. The software will remove stitches, but there will still be the same number of colour changes with the same amount of detail.

Wolf 7x7
This original design is 7″x 7″ with 77,291 stitches and 12 colour changes.

2.75 x 2.6 wolf
This design is only 2.75″ x 2.6″, 46,178 stitches and still has 12 colour changes!

Some of the colour changes will only be a couple of stitches, especially the shading of the wolf’s fur.

Maybe this design shouldn’t be resized that small?!

The examples I’ve used are extreme, as it is totally possible to increase or decrease a design that are less detailed and get amazing results. This is just food for thought because the more you know the better you embroider!

A little trick , I have used many times with the resizing tool on my embroidery machine,  is to enable me to rotate a design in the hoop. Some designs can’t be rotated because it ‘hits the wall’ of the screen while rotating. By decreasing the size of the design to 80%, most designs can then be easily rotated. Once the design is in place, resize back up to 100%. PS. Some of our embroidery machine have a feature where you can rotate a design despite the fact that it “hits the wall”. It greys out but once fully rotated, it is editable.

We thought this previously published blog post would be a good review for all of you who are currently enjoying your Artistic Digitizer Free trial and are actively expanding your embroidery skills.

Don’t forget that it is not too late to register for the free trial. Click here for more info. Registration closes on 15th May. And you have until end of this month to enjoy using the software. We also have Part 1, 2 and 3 online classes on Artistic Digitizer being offered on 13th; 20th & 27th May. Click here for more info.

Originally posted by Linda P.

About Anne Stitcher

I have been an Educator with Janome for several years now. Crafting is my passion. I love to sew, quilt, crochet, knit, cross-stitch, scrapbook, paper tole and cook. I have so many hobbies. I am always doing something. I love to use my skills to help people in need and to pass on my knowledge to others. Happy Sewing!
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2 Responses to Should you Resize an Embroidery Design?

  1. Nancy Nygaard says:

    My 350E literature says designs can increase by 20% and decrease by 10%. Is there any place on the screen that says the design has been resized? The original size is listed, but I’m looking for a resized design notification so it doesn’t get resized and resized again.


    • Liz Thompson says:

      Hi Nancy,
      Unfortunately we no longer have that model so I’m trying to reply by memory. This blog post was referring to designs resized in SOFTWARE, not on the screen of the embroidery machine in Edit mode where , yes, you are most definitely limited to 10-20% larger or smaller. I am pretty sure the Ready to Sew screen will tell you the actual size of the design after resizing. Obviously the # of stitches remains the same as before resizing so that won’t be different. Resizing more than the 10-20% won’t happen accidentally as you would have to save the resized design and then bring it back into edit mode and try to resize again. It might let you, it might not but we do not advise doing this as you may end up with a giant knot if you make the design too small or a wispy spiders web if you make it too large – because the stitch count does not change unless you use embroidery software or AcuDesign App.



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