Some things that I do when I embroider by hand is to iron a fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric before I start the embroidery. Whisper Weft is a good one to use, but if I don't have any on hand I will use any light weight fusible interfacing. This helps to both stabilize the fabric while stitching and helps to hide the threads. I personally do not use an embroidery hoop.
Here is my embroidered zippered bag~
|I quilted the bag too.|
|Back of the bag. I love how this fabric goes so well with the embroidery.|