Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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A Hoop on a Stick – Hand Embroidery Tool Review


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It’s sometimes called a Fanny Frame. Sometimes, a Hoop Stand. Sometimes, a Sit-on Hoop.

But I like to call it a Hoop on a Stick. Kind of takes me back to those blissful childhood days… Apple on a Stick, makes me sick…

But this hoop on a stick doesn’t make me sick – I love this contraption!

Whatever you call it, the concept is this: an embroidery hoop held by a stick which is attached to a flat paddle that you sit on.

The point: so you can embroider pretty much anywhere you can seat yourself, with your work in a hoop while having both hands free.

Embroidery Hoop Stand - Fanny Frame

Before we go any further with this review of the sit-on embroidery hoop stand, know this: there are hoop stands, and then there are Hoop Stands.

Some are rather cheap in construction and lack durability. Years ago, I owned just such a seat stand, and woe is me! It wasn’t worth the money! If you’re going to invest in one of these, find out where it is manufactured.

It will make all the difference in the tension you can achieve with the hoop and in the quality of the joining parts on the stand. If it’s a made-in-China knock-off, it’s not going to work as well as you want as far as tension goes, and it isn’t going to last.

Sit-on Embroidery Hoop Stand - Fanny Frame

Here’s the stand, free of embroidery. In the US, the brand name on this hoop and stand is Hardwicke Manor, imported by Access Commodities. The original manufacturer in Germany is Klass & Gessmann, so if you’re in another country looking for the same thing, you’ll know how to find it.

The “fanny frame” is made up of a hoop attached via the inner ring to a small head which attaches to a stick which is adjustable in height. The stick is inserted into the base, which is attached to a flat paddle that you stabilize by sitting on (or attaching to a table with a c-clamp). The head can be manipulated to any comfortable angle for stitching and tightened in place.

In the US, the hoops are available in several sizes: 8.5″, 10″, 11″ and 12″. All have 7/8″ deep rings. The stand comes with the 8.5″ hoop. The other hoop sizes can be purchased separately and are interchangeable. They each come with the stick that fits into the base of the stand, to make changing projects easy.

Sit-on Embroidery Hoop Stand - Fanny Frame

This is the base attached to the foot that the stick supporting the hoop fits into. You can raise and lower the stick, so that your work is at the height you prefer.

Then, using that knob there on the side of the base, you tighten the stick in place.

Sit-on Embroidery Hoop Stand - Fanny Frame

This is the top of the stick, fitted into the base. The head on the hoop fits in the slit at the top of the stick, and is tightened in place by a screw with a wing nut. You loosen the wing nut to adjust the angle of the hoop.

I’m not the biggest fan of wing nuts, so eventually, I’ll replace the wing nut with one of those plastic knobs that are used in place of wing nuts these days.

Sit-on Embroidery Hoop Stand - Fanny Frame

This is the head that’s attached to the inner ring of the hoop, that fits in the top of the stick, that slides into the hole in the base, which is supported by the paddle that you sit on.

…that lay in the house that Jack built…

(Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Sit-on Embroidery Hoop Stand - Fanny Frame

Note that you can’t use just any hoop with the stand. The hoop has to have this head attached to the inside ring, in order for it to attach to the stick.

Why a Sit-On Embroidery Hoop Stand?

So, why a sit-on embroidery hoop stand? What can you do with it, anyway?

Well, you can sit on it, for one thing! Whether you’re wearing slacks or a skirt, you can sit comfortably on the paddle base and enjoy both hands free while you’re stitching, pretty much anywhere at all.

Sit-on Embroidery Hoop Stand - Fanny Frame

The sofa, your easy chair, a kitchen chair, your bed, the car, a seat on the train or plane, a bench in the park, a blanket on the ground – it doesn’t matter where you want to sit! It’ll work practically anywhere. It gives you the convenience of a floor stand in an easily transportable package.

You can access the back of your work by loosening the wing nut and flipping the hoop up. That’s pretty handy! It doesn’t flip all the way around, but it flips up straight so that you can get to the back of your work.

Anything you can embroider in a hoop, you can embroider in a hoop on a stick.

If you’re working on a project smaller than your hoop, never fear. You can enlarge your ground fabric with scraps of cotton or muslin. I explain how to enlarge embroidery ground fabrics to fit a hoop or frame here. So really, a hoop stand will hold pretty much any embroidery project that can be hooped up.

My Impressions of the Sit-On Hoop, Summarized

I have to admit, after my first experience with a really cheap and cheesy sit-on hoop stand, I wasn’t too keen on these contraptions. But since I didn’t have a good one, and since I have never reviewed one here on Needle ‘n Thread, I thought it worthwhile to invest in a quality sit-on hoop stand and give it a try.

For you, after all. I did it all for you! (Yes, well, any excuse…)

I am So Glad I Did! The sit-on embroidery hoop stand is one of the most convenient hand embroidery tools I’ve ever bought! I’m enjoying it immensely. I wish I had had it when I started my Hungarian Redwork Runner! It’s perfect for that project. And I can’t wait to try it with tambour embroidery

It’s a wonderful tool, definitely worth the investment, and an affordable substitute for a floor stand, for projects that can be worked in hoops.

From now on, if I’m embroidering with a hoop, I’ll be using this sit-on stand. We’ve become Best Friends for Life.

If you use hoops, you’ll love it!

Where to Find Sit-On Embroidery Hoop Stands

In the US:

This particular stand that I’ve reviewed can be found through Needle in a Haystack in California. They carry the 8.5″ hoop and stand, which is sold together, and you can special order the interchangeable hoops, which come with the stick attachment, but no base.

In Canada:

Well, I couldn’t find a shop with them in stock, but try Traditional Stitches. They carry the Hardwicke Manor hoops and can most likely special order the sit-on hoop stand & exchangeable hoops.

In the UK:

The Crewel Work Company sells a similar sit-on hoop stand with interchangeable hoops, included in the price. I don’t know where it is made, and I haven’t tried it. It doesn’t quite look like this one – the connection on the hoop is slightly different. The reviews I’ve heard for it from readers are favorable.

Sophie Long Embroidery sells the same sit-on hoop as The Crewel Work Company, but only with the 8″ size hoop, which cuts the cost a bit.

In Australia:

Australian Needle Arts carries the Klass & Gessmann sit-on hoop stand, like the one reviewed. They come in a wider range of interchangeable hoop sizes. They also carry a very intriguing hoop floor stand that works with the interchangeable hoops.

Vetty Creations (Yvette Stanton) sells the same sit-on hoop stand, too, with the various sizes of interchangeable hoops available as well.

Over to You

Do you use a sit-on hoop stand? If so, how do you like it? We’d love to hear your take – have your say below!


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(119) Comments

  1. I’ve always been curious about these sit on hoops. Wondered if they stayed sturdy as you stitched and not wobble. I use the sewing method a lot but stitching a lot if tambour I can see this will be a perfect item for me. Thank you for the review.

  2. Very good! I’ve been wondering about these. I was thinking about getting a floor stand and although I haven’t looked at them “up close and personal,” it seems like they would be hard to get close enough to me, so I thought a lap stand would be a good choice. Now you have cinched that deal for me. Thanks for enabling me…lol!

  3. I can not praise Hardwicke Manor hoops enough. I have every size – both deep and thin as well as seat frame, floor frame and a table frame they made years ago. They are expensive but so worth the money. Once you have used one
    And seen what a difference a good quality hoop can make, you
    Will never change. Darcy Walker

  4. I have an Erica Wilson fanny frame that I bought maybe 35-40 years ago. I haven’t hand-embroidered anything that isn’t on smocking pleats in so long that I don’t even know where it is. I’m going to a hand-embroidery class in November so I have to find it. They are the best!

  5. Thankyou Mary for this info , I purchased a old model,with Erica Wilson stamped on the bottom, at a thrift shop and it only had one part of the hoop with it. So with the info you provided I can now find the hoop I need. And thankyou for providing all the stitch tutorials, they are the best I have ever seen !

  6. Beautiful item. I am looking it up to purchase as I do commercial hand roll hems and sit in a chair for it, so this tool, tucked under my lap will hold my fabric and pincushion very nicely. I will make sure that it is the original.

  7. I use the sit on stand slightly differently. I’m blind as a bat but with a sweet spot an inch away from the end of my nose, so I like to stitch with my work close to my nose.

    The sit on stand is more portable than most stands and if I stand it on a table/desk/etc, and weigh it down with a dive weight, it gives me a portable stand for my work which is an inch away from my nose.

  8. I bought a standing hoop that comes in 1 size ( 8 inches), and not the better quality one. I like it. It took me a bit of time to set up the fabric and hoop to my liking, but I like it. Did not break it yet, wish I vould use different size hoops.

  9. I once thought Susan Bates hoops were all I would ever need, but I really like my sit on hoop. It is especially good for silk ribbon work. Recently I stripped the thread on the screw when I was tightening the hoops–do you know if replacements are available?

    1. Hi, Rebecca – Yes, they are. They carry them at Needle in a Haystack and at Mad Samplar (both linked to above). I think the replacement screw for the embroidery hoop is 50 cents cheaper at Mad Samplar…

  10. I’ve never heard of sit-on frames before. Isn’t the wood uncomfortable after awhile?

    Love the idea of hands-free stitching though. I bought a floor stand recently and after using it a couple days, it’s now taking up space in the office because it was so wobbly while I was stitching and I had to keep holding onto it. The sit-on frame would definitely cure that issue. Hm, I may have to try one.

    1. Hi Shell D No it’s not uncomfortable at all. Every time I work with one at a course at the Royal School of Needlework, it’s for one or two days and could be longer. Hands-free stitching is great. For thinner frames I use another stand which I bought last year called the necessaire floor stand. The little frames just sit on the arms, it’s brilliant.

    2. http://needleneeds.co.uk/store/
      For the Necessaire Floor Stand. You’ll see that Mary reviewed their Millenium Frame. I have a feeling she also reviewed the floor stand ages ago. The firm make beautiful wood items. I also found out by chance that they make children’s wood toys.

  11. Mary, This is a great review! I would like to add…. the hoops are also available in the 6.5″ and 7.5″ sizes. I carry these as well and they have been hard to get lately, but are on their way back in stock, for those who work on smaller pieces. Also, beware of the imitation Sit-Upon-Hoops that are much cheaper $30-$40), but are made in China and are INFERIOR quality. I ordered one to check them out, and received a couple of splinters for my trouble. They were not completely sanded and very rough. Hardwick Manor quality is the best. happy Stitching!

  12. A few months back I purchased a beginner crewel embroidery kit (featured on NnT) from http://www.crewelwork.com that included a seat frame (it came with a DVD too). I loved the kit and working the wool embroidery–but the seat hoop frame was the best surprise of all. So very glad I have it. To have full use of both hands is very liberating. Techniques like French knots, bullions, and needle lace are all so very much easier. Mine came with three different hoops (small, med and large–really love it!

  13. I’ve used an Elan lap stand for years and absolutely love it! there are a number of things I need two hands for, and this makes it very easy to do!

  14. Hello Mary,

    I recently completed a needle painting project on a hoop stand that I purchased from Siesta Frames in the UK. I believe they make them there and I was very happy with the price and shipping cost to Canada was very reasonable.

    I was happy with how much I was able to move the work surface to different angles and orientation, which works well for me when needlepainting. The work stayed drum tight and it was easy to flip over to get at the back with no need to loosen the wingnut.

    This was my first project on the frame but I will definitely use it again and I am happy with the workmanship of the product – especially as the cost was relatively low.

    Cheers, Sarah

  15. I always use hoops, and these sit-on hoop stands sound genius! Before today, I had never heard of them. And it’s good to know that you can dress pretty much any way you like and still be able to sit on one. I always wear skirts and dresses (I simply just don’t like to wear pants), so knowing this was helpful.
    Thanks for your review, Mrs. Corbet! This sit-on hoop sounds really easy to use, helpful, and versatile.
    Now I want to go get a sit-on hoop. . . .

    Sarah 😀

    P. S. Have you finished the Hungarian Redwork Runner yet? I haven’t seen an update on it in a while.

  16. When they invent a sit-on needlework stand that allows me to use the hoops I already own I might try one. I do not have room in the house for a floor frame of any sort, but I do not have the craft funding to buy more hoops. Thank you for the review though. 🙂

    1. They now have an attachment for this sit on frame that holds the smaller hoops. I got mine from Susie Gay in Smithfield, Va.

  17. I bought a hoop stand from The Crewel Company that has three hoop sizes. It is solid, well made and works great. Having three hoop sizes is a real plus.

  18. I Used these a lot when I was first learning to embroider as a kid, my gram called it a “sit upon” (but you have to say it all at once “situpon”)

  19. Dear Mary

    The Hoop on a stick is a great idea and I do like the fact that they are made by Hardwicke Manor and you can use it anywhere. The Sophie Long hoop is an Elbesse sit on hoop not sure of the quality though. The Crewel Company looks a better option as you get all 3 hoops and seems to be of good quality. This is a handy hoop for out of doors embroidery must put this on my wish list which is growing by the minute. Thanks so much for doing all of this just for me ha! ha!. Thanks for the review on the hoop on a stick and for sharing the information with us, great review.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  20. Hi Mary,
    I have used a “fanny hoop” for my embroidery since the 70’s and wouldn’t attempt anything without it. I might add I went for the best I could find but it’s the same one I use today. Quality works!
    I have wrapped the Inner ring with a bias tape which helps to keep the background fabric even more taut. It also diminishes the ‘ring’ the hoop makes on the fabric. As we know it’s best to remove your work from the hoop when not embroidering but sometimes we slip up.

  21. Hi Mary
    Don’t know if anyone else has told you, but there is also a ‘Versatile Clamp kit’ which is the stalk bit that fits into either a clamp on a table or the sit-upon type, and holds ordinary rings and square type frames – although I don’t think they can be very heavy – but the ‘Versatile’ is very reasonably priced.
    Not used one myself, but seen other with it, and it seems to be quite successful, so any hoop/frame can be used.

    1. Dear Mary,

      I have been using my seat frame and my table clamp for several years now. The are made by Elbesee in the UK. And they do have the versatile clamp too, which fits on both. It means that I can use very small frames too. The quality of them is good, as long as you remember to open the wing nut when rotating the frame!

      Thanks for the review! Jessica

    2. I tried a clamp that in theory could be used with any frame and with what I call the paddle stand. I found it didn’t work very well for me, slipped and went askew so often I gave up. I now use the Necessaire Floor stand http://needleneeds.co.uk/store/ for my narrow frames which don’t work with this clamp. I’m much happier with hands free. I must say the paddle stand is great for portability.

  22. I have one and like it except – and maybe I am doing something wrong – I do a lot of “turning” (like rotating the hoop/work “around”) while I am embroidering and I found the one I have flips up and down fine, but when I want to rotate it around for better reaching I can’t. Mary, I would love a suggestion. Should I be moving the base that I sit on more to position it? Thanks.

  23. I tried a sit upon, not the brand you reviewed, and as soon as I started to work the frame drooped down. A drooped frame canceled out the ability to work with two hands as I was basically still having to hold the hoop up. Any advice as how to keep the hoop upright. Thanks.

    1. Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, Carol! I’ve heard the same thing about the cheaper ones found here in the States at places like Overstock and Amazon. I don’t know what you can do. It depends on how the “head” (connected to the hoop) attaches to the stick. Is it tightened on with a bolt? You might be able to add some kind of washer to it, to help tighten and hold it in place? Not sure!

      My biggest complaint with the cheap one I had years ago was the wobble. The stick just didn’t connect in the base well, and it was constantly wobbly. So I didn’t get a chance to use it enough to check how well the hoop connection worked.

    2. I use a set of pliers or some other hand-held tool from my husband’s garage to tighten the metal screws (washers are a must). You need them to loosen, but no wobble! Also the threaded on the srcew might be stripped if the tight fit won’t hold. Best of luck!

  24. As fine as these hoops are they cannot beat my old one. It used to be available from DMC many years ago and it comprises a 10″ hoop with TWO supports, one on each side, attached to a base slightly wider than 10″. The base sits in your lap. The hoop itself is attached in such a way that it may be tilted. It is so much steadier than ones having only one support. I would really love to be able to find them again somewhere. Mine has already been repaired twice and is now mostly held together with love.

    1. Hi, Cecelia – you’ll find the 10″ inch “dual support” lap stand available at Lacis. I reviewed when writing about tambour work. You can find the review here: https://needlenthread.wpengine.com/2013/10/tambour-embroidery-project-finished-and-a-tambour-hoop-stand.html

      But you know, now that I have a good sit-on stand, I have to say, I like it a lot, lot, lot better than the dual support lap stand. For one thing, I can adjust the height. I find the lap / table stand with the two sides a little too close to the table for my preferences, and a little too low in the lap. Another point, the two sides on the dual support stand get in my way. With this hoop stand, I only have the one stick to worry about, and if I situate the stand right, it’s never in the way. Another point: the depth of the hoop. On the dual support stands, the hoops are generally thin. The hoops on this stand are thick, making them suitable for fine and heavy weight fabric.

      As far as steadiness goes, true, there are flimsy hoop stands out there, that are wobbly and not very durable. They’re made in China. Places like Overstock.com and Amazon carry them, and they are quite inexpensive. But they don’t last – talking from experience here! This one I’m reviewing is not one of those. It is super sturdy, it doesn’t wobble. Everything holds in place nice and tightly, and I can even rest my hand on the side of the hoop while I’m embroidering, and it doesn’t budge.

      I’m just in love with the thing. It’s been a real pleasure to work with for the last couple weeks! I think my favorite feature is the height I can get out of it. I can bring it right up to my chin, and there’s a ton of space underneath the hoop so my hands don’t bump into anything.

  25. I use a floor stand most of the time and then put my Q-snap fames in it. I would like this sit upon hoop for smaller projects and to take with me to the park. I usually just hold the hoop when I take stitching with me, which is how I was taught several years ago. Thanks to the readers who shard about the Erica Wilson hoop. I’m going too look for one at our local 2nd hand/antique shop.

  26. I have had mine for years and it is wonderful for small projects. It can also be adapted to small scroll frames with a clamp and only works with a project 12 inches wide or less. Two handed cross stitching works well and so do most surface stitches.

  27. I have one of the Hardwicke stands and while I love it for stitches such as French knots, where I really need both hand free, and it works well for Cross Stitch, I have the same problem as Mary Gordon! I tend to turn and twist my hoop constantly when doing surface embroidery.

    I think I just need to work with it more.

  28. I have one of the expensive ones. Around $80.00 a few years ago. I have two problems with it:

    1. It does not allow you to turn your work. This is maybe just important to me but I like to turn my hoop as I stitch.

    2. It tilts if you are sitting on a soft surface – easy chair, sofa.

    Elaine in New Mexico

  29. Hello Mary,

    About six months ago I began a “hoop w a stick” search (for purchase) and reviewed nearly all the sources you listed.

    My final purchase decision was via the Royal School of Needlework. Part of that reasoning was price (I live on a fixed income)and my other consideration was having a selection of hoop sizes. For the price of one hoop and stand at many of the sources you discussed, I was able to purchase 3 different size ‘hoop sticks’ and the stand. The item is manufactured by Elsbee and the only part that is plastic is the knob that adjust the height of the stick.(I think it is a steel screw underneath and the plastic knob is for comfort.) The rest of the product is like your pictures in this article.

    Since the proceeds of my purchase price go directly to the RSN, I feel like my decision was a “two birds w one stone”. I received a nice, durable,multiple hoop-sticks/stand and RSN received a ‘contribution’. Additionally, the shipping price was via Royal mail and cost no more than shipping prices within the U.S. My grand total was $98.oo for 3 ‘hoop-sticks’, the stand and shipping. I think I received a Bargain!


    1. This has been very helpful. I didn’t know what brand the lap-stand being offered was. There is a lot of information about Elbesee hoops and lap-stands available so the Royal School of Needlework offer seems good.
      Now if I could only find out what brand the hoops are. I would imagine they are Elbesee.

  30. Hi Mary,
    Thanks so much for the review. There is another Canadian source for the German-made Hardwicke Manor sit-on hoop stand: L’atelier de Penelope; http://www.latelierdepenelope.com Her site is in French, but if you click on “Métiers” on the menu, it’s all pictures & numbers afterward :-). I bought a Hardwicke Manor hoop & stick from her and find that it works fine in my Elbesee base, although some people might find the H.M. stick to be a bit too long used that way.

  31. I acquired my ‘Fanny Hoop” in the UK in June at the Royal School of Needlework shop. My good friend Linda and I took a class which used this new tool. I have something going on it most of the time.

  32. I have one of these hoops and find it very useful even more so after a workshop with Phillipa Turnbull where she demonstrated the correct use and how to get the most out of your frame. One of the main differences between her frame and others as the small round screw for tightening on the leg is oval, much better from a design point of view as it is easier to tighten and fingers dont slip. I came home and my husband took mine the workshop and sliced a bit off each side of the round screw making it much much easier to use. Also with hoop angled up not only can you use both hands but your head and neck are held up not bent over your work with all the problems that can create.

  33. 15 years ago along with some friends we had a goldwork class at tha Royal School of Needlework and a ” fanny hoop” was required ….over the years I have used it numerous times when doing goldwork and find the RSN hoop very useful , sturdy and easy to use.

  34. I love my sit-on hoop, I have used it for a lot of projects. I bought mine from Wye Needlecraft Ltd here in the U.K. It is great for me as I have arthritis in my thumbs and was finding holding a hoop was causing me a lot of pain and making my hands ache. Now I can enjoy my embroidery again. I would not be without it !!

  35. I love my sit on hoop, so much I have 2 of them, so I can have 2 projects going at a time. yes, i do use them both though not at the same time. Also I found a floor stand at a garaage sale for these hoops on a stick once. I is basically a stair stile with an appropriate sized hole in the top screwed to a base. Very handy.

  36. Hi Mary, I’ve been battling frustration for years when stitching and holding either a large frame or hoop and just needing to add that one stitch with both hands. I have a great old chair with high arms and find I can angle my hoop between one arm of the chair, my work table and the sunny window ledge when required. The hoop can move, but it’s a good height and I don’t have to hold my arms up to work. The sit on hoop I have arrived ready-to-assemble from England (I’ve recycled the box so don’t know the brand). It has wooden block screws that tighten and hold well and don’t seem to want to over-screw. It also has a clamp that you can put any sized hoop into – and it isn’t wobbling, yet. It’s quite happy with a large hoop and light-weight fabric. The embroidery table one of your readers refers to sounds ideal for large pieces of heavy-weight fabric. Somewhat like your fabulous trestle table, I guess.

  37. I first came across this style of embroidery frame and sit-on paddle when attending a course at the Royal School of Needlework, and bought it at the end of the course. I’ve since bought several different sized frames for it and use it when I sit to do work while watching TV – something I know it would be better not to do as embroidery need lots of light and my attention. Anyway I endorse all that you say. I tried it with a little clamp for my ordinary small frames, but they seem to slip and not stay in place.

  38. You have to be the right height – these are all too far away from me to embroider comfortably (I’m 5’10”), but I love the idea.

    1. I was wondering the same thing as I am 6′ 2″! When I read the description it says it goes up to 14″ and that seems too short for me. I was hoping this tool would also help with straining my neck/back? Anyone know of some good quality stands that can go taller? Or maybe there is an extension or something?

  39. Hi Mary, my very best investment has been the sit on hoop stand & 3 hoop sizes , I have Klass & Gessman and wouldn’t be without it, I thought I would have to give up my embroidery as my hands were becoming very sore from holding on to my hoops I discovered the sit on variety and I don’t think I could now embroider with any other hoop, as we say in Australia “best thing since sliced bread”

  40. Hi Mary,
    I have one of these sit-on-hoops; and it is fantastic. I was introduced to it by Jenny Aiden-Christie at the Beating around the Bush Needlework Convention in Adelaide, South Australia. Just an aside, we in Australia don’t use the term ‘fanny’ the way Americans do. In fact, it means the exact opposite! Get my drift? Thanks for your wonderful site. Liz M South Perth, West Australia

    1. Hi, Liz – yes, I was kind of hesitant to use the term, because I was instructed on that variation when I was in Australia! And knowing I have a bunch of Australian readers, I wouldn’t want you to get the wrong idea… I think hoop on a stick works. Or sit on hoop stand. Maybe hoop seat? I never liked the name fanny frame, anyway! 🙂

    2. The usage in Britain is the same as the Australian. (I wasn’t going to mention it.) A U.S. group Fanny toured here years ago – you can imagine the media coverage.
      Hoop on a stick gets the attention – one can visualise it without support – or sit-on hoop stand would work equally well.

      Oh well, more for my wish list!

  41. I have used my sit-on hoop for several years now and I find it very portable and having two hands free is certainly and advantage. I have hoops of three different sizes and the whole system is very versatile.

  42. Hi Mary, was also going to mention that the term “fanny frame” makes us cringe down under, but have one and have found it very useful when you need two hands. Roma

  43. I love mine, bought it recently before the Beating About The Bush conference, and wish I’d brought it years ago.

  44. I bought mine from the Crewel Work Company about two years ago and am thrilled with it. I think the three different sized hoops make it good value for money. I have used all three sizes for different projects. I have since purchased a table clamp that will take the hoop on a stick and a clamp on a stick that allows me to use other frames, such as fiesta, with either the paddle or the table clamp. They all interchange, giving me a very versitle set of hoops.

  45. I have an Elbesee Versatile sit-on-hoop, I love it because you can use your existing hoops with it, no need to buy new ones!

    Also, “Fanny Hoop”! Fanny has a very different meaning here in the UK…

  46. I bought a sit-upon / fanny / hoop on a stock about a year ago and used it so much i had to make modifications!! I stripped the thread of the stick where he knob adjust sthe height of the hoop. So my handy partner drilled holes through the stick at my preferred heights and found long screws and butterfly thingys to overcome this. Then i fobd thar the screw which holds the hoop at an angle was not holding the hoop sufficiently so the hoop would droop. Again my handy paetner & his collection of bits and bits found me a screw which has four ‘corners’ under the head of the screw, so the screw remains firmly in place and the hoop does not droop. I think the core reason for thses minor adjustments is that softness of the wood of the stick.

    Mine was (relatively) expensive being $80AUD for the stand and one hoop and $40AUD for a second larger hoop. It looks exactly the same as the one in the pictures, but i have no idea what the brand is. I purchased it through a lcoal embroidery / tapestry shop here in Perth,mWestern Australia, and tend to think it was imported from the US.

    I love my sit upon but, surprisingly, i also find an el-cheapo, 6 inch hand held hoop great for small, mostly test, pieces.

    For someone who swore they would never hand sew a single thing in their life, I can’t believe how much I love hand embroidery!! I discovered it when I had to find something to do which would not take much storage space when my partner & I started what turned out to be a 14+ months road trip all over Australia.

    And i love your blog. Thank you so much for it!

  47. I have held my embroidery hoop with my System 4 stand. That has been very helpful so I am sure this sit on hope is great!

  48. I do use a seat stand (can’t bring myself to say fanny stand as that means something else in British English). It is a cheap one but it’s the only one I could find that had a clamp instead of a hoop. I don’t like using a hoop, I’m a Qsnap fan. It’s very convenient though I wish it weren’t so cheap as it moves around a lot.

  49. I like “hoop-on-a-sticks” very much. If you want to use a smaller hoop Elbesee make a clamp kit that fits into one of these and you can clamp a small square or round frame onto it. Very usefull without having many extra hoops.

    Kind regards


  50. The idea of “hands-free” embroidery is very appealing to me–never could knit, because I couldn’t hold one of the needles between my knees 🙂
    Really want to purchase a hoop on a stick, but before I send in my order, two questions. First, would you recommend wrapping the inner hoop with twill tape? and second question: how stable do you think the larger hoops are–if I have to stabilize the hoop with my free hand, it seems that the action will defeat the purpose.
    Love your website–always a joy to read your email, first thing in the morning…or re-read, late at night! Thank you for your expertise!

    1. Hi, BJ – Yes, you can wrap the inner ring. You just have to cross over the attachment inside the ring as you wrap it. The larger hoops are stable. I have the 12″ hoop and it’s fine for me. Granted, I don’t lean on it at all – not sure if that would make a difference. If I do rest a hand it’s on the part with the stick right below it, not on the outer rim. ~MC

  51. I had never heard of this contraption previously, and now I simply HAVE to have one! Thanks for bringing it to my attention- and just in time for Christmas lists!!! I’m really excited to start using one of these.

    1. It usually just hangs over me or on the table if I’m working on a table. I don’t tend to roll mine up or anything. You can – you can roll it and use a clothes pin to hold it out of the way, or something like that, but I usually let my excess fabric lie on the table, because I normally work at a table.

  52. What is the height of the frame before it is extended, and at it’s full extention? Sorry if I missed this information.

  53. Thank you for a very detailed and informative review! I first used a hoop seat like this at some Royal School of Needlework day classes I did a few months back, and really liked them. But I am left with a question I’ve not been able to answer, and which your pictures tantalisingly don’t _quite_ address.

    When doing the day classes, I was wearing trousers. And I found that the best way to use the seat frame was to, uhm, stick it between my legs. That way, the hoop was facing me straight on, sloping down in a straight line. However, I usually wear skirts, and so I would have to place the paddle underneath me from the side.

    Now this is the difficult bit to explain, but I couldn’t seem to make it work without having to twist my spine. I could twist the stick so that the hoop sat more or less in front of me, but as it tilts down from where it is attached to its stick, I either had to have it level (horizontal), which I don’t like, or if I tilted it it sloped not towards me but from left to right.

    In your picture it does look as though the person sitting on the stand is slightly turned, not sitting with the wooden bit at right angles with her legs. But if I do that, and sit at an angle, the hoop is off to one side, i.e. not centrally in front of me.

    Does this description make sense? I hope so! And I’d really appreciate your further information.

    1. You are right. I find it hard to use when I’m wearing a skirt because it’s either extremely unladylike or on the side where stitching is uncomfortable.

  54. Mary,
    I just wanted to thank you for this review. I have been wavering over the purchase of this sit-on embroidery hoop stand and I thought I would check out your website to see if you had reviewed it. Of course you did! And it was such a great description, not only of the product, but also how well it works. (I did puchase the stand from Hedgehog.)
    I am finding that you are the “go to” person for most of my embroidery questions. I love your newsletter. Thanks so much for all of the information you share, and for your infectious enthusiasm for embroidery.

  55. Another vote from me for Elbesee seat frames in the UK. I purchased the versatile seat frame (you can fit any size hoop into it) from Elbesee and I’m very pleased with it. I can see the Hardwicke Manor ones being the creme de la creme, but I couldn’t justify paying the luxury price on my income!

    Elbesee used to be in Bisley, UK and there’s a fascinating (only if you’re into history) article about the town’s industrial heritage here:

  56. Thank you Mary for explaining the Seat Frame to everyone. My son designed a few improvements to our UK version which has been in production here in the UK since 1937, and also added a wing nut tightener as part of our three hoop pack. If anyone wants my free “how to use a seat frame” leaflet we can emil it to them free. Just reply on our contact form on http://www.crewelwork.com and see how I use Saran or similar food wrap with these frames. By the way this trick was the suggestion of a very handsome chef when I had jet lag in Australia 2001!
    I will bring them for free loan for my classes in Lexington Kentucky in October and to New Zealand in February.

  57. Love the sit-upon frame. Took a crewel class with Philippa Turnbull and I purchased this frame and the Twizzler to tighten it. Great investment.

  58. I love my sit on stand but also like to work in the thinner hoops made by Hardwick if I’m taking my embroidery out of the house – just easier to carry around. Now we can have the best of both worlds – there is a “stick” t hold the thinner hops that fits into the sit on stand. I bought one at the Smocking Arts Guild of America convention last month and I’m in love!

    By the way – I also won Best in Show, Best Use of Color and two of the three Judges Choice ribbons at the SAGA Design Show at that same convention. I’m sorry but I’m so excited, I’m telling everyone – even people I don’t know and who probably don’t care! Best in Show came with a new Babylock Soprano sewing machine too!

    1. I just knew you would ask that! I didn’t keep the packaging so I don’t know who makes it. Just looked at it and there are no markings on it at all. Susie Gay of Berryhill Heirlooms in Smithfield VA. is the one I bought it from. It works great! Don’t have a phone number for her but here’s her email – sgay@berryhillheirlooms.com

  59. I was trying to decide which embroidery frame to purchase for a project I started in a class at the Royal School of Needlework last year, and came across your review. It has really helped – thanks alot!

  60. I recently ordered the hoop stand from Australia (Australian Needle Arts) and have mixed feelings about it. The idea is great, but I read that it would work with ANY hoop. That’s debatable. I have an excellent (and expensive) large hoop (12″ for a large piece) that I use with it, but keeping it in place is difficult. I had searched the web to find the stand first in the USA but couldn’t find it listed. I will now check with the American companies listed in your review to see if I can get the appropriate hoop to lock it in place. Purchasing it from Australia was VERY expensive!

  61. Mary,

    Thank you for all the information in this article. I am going to buy the sit on hoop today. The sit on hoop is just what I need as it is small and easily stored.

    Celia Holder

  62. I saw the Twizzler seat frame but it was out of the country. Does anyone know if it is available in the U. S.? Thank you. Jan in VA

  63. I just bought a hoop on a stick and would like to wrap the inner frame with twill tape but don’t know how to deal with the post that is screwed onto it. Any suggestions?

  64. Can you please tell me where I can obtain this sit on hoop in the UK. Unfortunately the UK is pretty backward in producing quality products like this.
    Thank you.

    1. You can buy plastic knobs at the hardware store that do the same thing as a wing nut like the one on the stand. The knobs are black and they’re usually shaped either long or in kind of a three-sided configuration, so that they are easy to grasp with your hands and turn.

  65. The Fanny Frame is now available at Traditional Stitches in Canada for those Canadians out there who might be wondering.

  66. I was wondering whether Klass & Gessman hoops are good quality. I can’t seem to find Hardwicke Castle hoops in stock in Australia, so was thinking of purchasing a K&G one instead.

  67. I use the Elbesee “Hoop on a Stick” set. I have the version that includes the piece to sit on and also the table clamp. I find them very versatile and easy to use. They also hold the tension perfectly — especially, the deeper hoop.

  68. I have the Phillips Turnbull stand and I like it. I haven’t used it recently, but when I did, it was easy to use. I believe that Phillips, designed the “Twizzler”, the gadget that can tighten the nuts, without hurting your hands.

    I also have a very old Needle Easel, originally designed, I believe, for handicapped users. I loved that stand! It. was not designed fo left-Handers, so I had to rebuild it. It is clunky, but sturdy. The other issue is I can’t find the fat rubber bands that keep the hoop still. If I could find those I would use it.


  69. I purchased a sit upon from the Needle in a Haystack. I haven’t used it yet because I am working on a prequilted crib cover and it is really thick. Maybe I will try putting it in there. It is quite cumbersome embroidering in the bed. (That’s where I have my Ott light set up)

  70. I’ve been using a sit-upon lap frame, but I’ve had it for about 40 years and it is not height adjustable and has only one size hoop. I ordered the Hardwick replacement, and the 10″ hoop for it as well. THANK YOU, Mary for yet another one of your postings that has improved my embroidery experience and lifted my joy level!♥

  71. Does anyone know if the Hardwicke Manor stick and frame fit into the Elbesee brand stand? I just recently purchased the Elbesee, but I can tell I prefer the HM frames. Thanks everyone.

    1. It depends on the type of embroidery, but yes, for most regular surface embroidery that doesn’t have beads, goldwork, mirrors on it, then it can be embroidered using a frame / hoop combination.

  72. Can it be tilted in slanting position? Can itbe flipped to see the backside of the cloth? Can we use plastic frames in it?

  73. I just brought the fanny frame a couple of weeks ago, and I’m not happy with it. The Fanny frame part is okay but the hoop doesn’t seem to hold tight for very long. I keep adjusting it all the time. So I’m disappointed in this product so far. Maybe there’s a way of resolving the hoop issue.

    1. Hmmm… That’s too bad! What brand is it? Where did you purchase it? Have you spoken to the shop owner, to see if you can get some suggestions for improving it? Have you bound the inner ring of the hoop? (This often helps retain a taut hold on the fabric for much longer.). If you think it’s a faulty hoop or equipment in general, I’d definitely talk to the shop owner where you bought it.

  74. I have MS and haven’t been able to cross-stitch for several years because my left arm/hand doesn’t allow me to hold the hoop for very long. Someone suggested I try something like this. I didn’t such gadgets existed.

    1. Yes, the hoop on a stock – or a floor stand – becomes the holder for your work, leaving both of your arms free. If a hoop on a stick (these sit-on hoop holders) doesn’t work for you, look for a floor stand. I prefer a floor stand, because the base of these hoop stands is not always comfortable, especially if you’re sitting on a sofa or something similar. You can’t control it as much, and it can be uncomfortable under the legs. Also, if you wear skirts, you’re stuck putting it to your side, which can alter the ease with which you reach your embroidery. I like the sticks in *some* circumstances, but I prefer a floor stand (especially the Needlework System 4 Stand) over most of these types of solutions. Hope that helps!

  75. How do you attach the hoop to the stand? Before you put your fabric in the hoop? Can you wrap your hoop. Can you provide more instructions and information about this process?

    1. The inside of the inside ring is attached to the top of the stick, as you can see in the second photo. You put your fabric over the inside ring, just as you would with any hoop, and then you put the outside ring over your fabric and tighten it.

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