I am NOT a hooper. I think most of the reason I upgraded my machine was just to buy Fast Frames and kiss hooping goodbye.
I know, there is pinning too. Ummmm, also not for me. I'd pin and everything would be off center even more. Or the extra fabric from the shirt on top would get caught in the machine. Yes, even with clips holding it back!
I do believe you have to be coordinated to use a hoop and I'm a clumsy fool.
But, there are times when I will do an older shirt and need a larger frame (still working on getting that custom fast frame for larger items!).
So, hopefully this will help as it has helped me.
Regardless of how I hoop, I measure and mark where the center of the shirt is every few inches down the front.
I'm not much with an iron either, but I know some ladies have luck folding the shirt in half and ironing to give a crease on that center line.
Me, I end up with about 5 creases and none of them straight.
So you see, if you are especially talented and slightly uncoordinated with an iron as well, marking may work out.
Anyway, back to the hoop.
After my shirt is marked, I slide the bottom part of my hoop along with the stabilizer under the front of the shirt.
Then, I add a bit of tape to the top hoop (double sided tape on the bottom of the top frame works too!).
Next, I pull out my grid and line everything up.
The tape helps hold the shirt exactly where I want it so when I press down in my hoop it doesn't shift and I don't have to endlessly adjust.