Put your Artistic Digitizer software to good use: Part 1 showing how digitize an in-the-hoop eye/sleep mask

Digitizing an “In The Hoop” Sleep Mask – Part 1

PUT YOUR ARTISTIC DIGITIZER TO GOOD USE!! We are republishing this popular posts so that you can make a sleep or eye mask with your embroidery software.
I made these recently using Janomegirl’s instructions. I love them and will for sure be making more. I just added my own wording. Ed:Liz


Work along with Janomegirl this week to make your own “In The Hoop” Sleep Mask, from basic drawing to top-stitching. Ready? Grab a hot beverage of your choice (or cold if it’s still warm where you are lol) and settle in for a great tutorial with written instructions, photo’s AND a video.


Don’t worry if your drawing is a little wonky, you can fix that during digitizing.

First of all, sketch your sleep mask. I totally eyeballed it, and drew alongside the fold of a piece of  scrap paper so that when I cut it out, it was relatively symmetrical. Then I traced it again to add a little bit more space. Once I was happy with it, I took a photo and emailed it to myself to save on the computer.

Next, open up Artistic Digitizer and start a new project. Using the “from file” button on the top menu bar, find your photo/image and open it as a backdrop. At this point I also enabled the Grid through the View tab.

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Once your background is in place, it’s time to digitize the basic shape of the sleep mask. To do this, I selected “Digitize” on the left vertical menu bar, and then picked “Freehand Shape”. This allows you to draw in straight line segments.

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Now you get to make your shape! Starting at the middle of the top, click and move to each individual point where the shape changes. The line will go from pink to black, and back and forth until you decide where to end it. Note: you need to click twice on each point to make your line continuous. Use the reference lines on the grid to measure/confirm where you want your stitching lines to be placed.

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The pink line shows where your stitching line is. Right click on it to finish the shape.

When digitizing symmetrical shapes, taking advantage of the ‘duplicate’ and ‘mirror’ functions is very helpful. To create the other half of the sleep mask, I did that and then lined up the two sections of stitching so that they touched one another. (In the video linked at the end of this post you’ll see another way of making the shape. I much prefer this duplicate function!)

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Once the two sections were in the correct place, I combined them to make them stitch out in one complete section. (Select both, right-click and choose ‘combine’)

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The menu when you right-click on a selected object.

The important thing to remember when you are digitizing in-the-hoop projects is to visualize how they will stitch out. Then, create your stitches in the order that they will stitch. This prevents having to confuse yourself with the sequencing at the end.

Once your basic shape is created, duplicate it twice, so that you have 3 of the same shape showing in the sequence menu. Change the color of the middle one. Changing the color of the stitches tells the machine to stop even if you aren’t actually going to change the thread. This is what you want here.

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To see all of the stitches you have created in a design, click ‘Auto’ on the top bar to switch to ‘Manual’ sequencing. (Manual shown in above picture)

Now you can add your detail stitches, such as eyelashes or text. When digitizing curved lines, choose ‘outline shape’ from the Digitize tab on the left. This creates curved sections of stitching.

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There are three options for finishing a shape: Finish, Close and End. ‘Finish’ lets you keep on adding, ‘Close’ will connect the first and last point, and ‘End’ tells the software that you are finished with that area.

Make sure to duplicate your eyelid shape to make the other side, and then combine them to have them stitch at the same time. When you add lashes, simply duplicate the eyelid segment (don’t forget to change the color of the stitching) and change the stitches to a decorative stitch. There are hundreds of dec. stitches in our Artistic Digitizer software to choose from!

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Now you can add some text! A witty saying, or endearment will totally finish this cute little project and make it gift-able in an instant! My daughter wants one that says “Go Away” lol.

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Did you know? Artistic Digitizer will stitch out any True-Type font that is installed on your computer!

Next up is the elastic lines. I used 1/2″ fold-over elastic for mine. It’s smooth and not overly tight when stretched out. I placed two lines of zig-zag stitching even with the eyes on the mask, so that it was approximately centered between the top and bottom. But it is your choice for the placement – place it where you are comfortable. You can have it stitch out separately or consecutively, whatever your preference is. I chose to have it the same color and stop the machine as it re-positions to stitch the other side.

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You’ll notice in the previous picture that there are two lines of stitching, one approximately half an inch bigger than the other. This is so that there is extra seam allowance to attach the elastic. This is quite easy to manipulate using the corners and edges of the selected section.

Remember how we duplicated our initial shape twice? If you go back in the sequencing to find that third line of stitches, you can click and drag it to the end of the sequence and adjust the nodes of the stitching line to leave an opening for turning. It’s really hard to capture that in words, so have a look at the accompanying video for the full experience of digitizing a sleep mask. You can click here to watch it.

Make sure you come back on 14th June for part 2: how to stitch out your digitizing and do tweakings if necessary.

Until next time,


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