Friday, March 09, 2007

Embroidering Tee Shirts

To warm up for my batch of onesies--can I do four on one Saturday?--I tried out my embroidering technique on a little tee for Daisy. This is my first attempt, and I think I can improve. For instance, this cheap little shirt is made of very thin knit which wants to distort. For this project, I simply held wrapping tissue in place behind the stitching with my embroidery hoop. It quickly shredded into unhelpfulness.

I also learned to use as slender a needle as possible, to minimize snagging the loops of knit.

I did another tee this morning for Daisy (before she got dressed, and at her command) that I liked much better. I cut a small square of regular freezer paper and ironed it to the back of the shirt. It held the stitches beautifully, then I very carefully pulled most of it off the design. I don't know yet if the little bits are going to come easily off the back. We'll wash tonight and see.

The freezer paper actually made a hoop unnecessary. Which was good because I couldn't get a hoop over it.

More of my obsession to come soon!


Julian said...

I have that Sublime Stitching too! Isnt it just delightful?
Love, love love the shirt. Thanks for the tips. Im going to be doing some boy shirts with the guitar transfer, and the truck, and car as well. we all know you, and know how extremely talented you are, so yes, be of good courage, you CAN make all thoes onesies tomarrow!
Great idea by the way!

littlejennywren said...

If you can get a ball point needle its a big help when embroidering knits.

Me said...

another thing that is nice is to stabilize it with a bit of interfacing...depending on the product and your feelings - you can choose regular fusible interfacing - or you can use a type that rinses away when you wet it.

Fusible is nice as it prevents stretching and warping with stuff that might shrink a bit in the wash.

G.L.H. said...

There is a type of interfacing that rips away when you finish the embroidery, too. I hadn't thought of the freezer paper--that would be right on hand the next time...

thanks for sharing!

Cindi said...

I do a lot of machine embroidery and there are products on the market for that that could be used for hand embroidery. You can buy them in smaller packets also. Some I have you leave on and they soften as the item is washed and help stabilize the stitches through numerous wearing and washings.

Momma Roar said...

What a neat idea. And I absolutely love the website you had in your previous embroidery post. It looks like a fun one to drool over - but I am certainly not lacking in the 'want to do' project area. Too many projects...too little time. Thanks for the site, I can't wait to spend some time there!

MrsSM said...


Your embroidery is so sweet. I really like the t-shirts--it's inspired me to get back in and do some, too. In the past, I've done baby onesies (the plain t-shirt kind, and some ribbed knit ones from Children's Place) and they make wonderful baby gifts. Most of my ideas came from Martha Stewart, and hers were mostly French knot designs--like a beach ball or a baby chick, for example. More of a raised texture, but kind of cool. That led me to try some buillion (sp?) knot children and ice cream cones from the Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine. Those were really cute, too. That type of embroidery also works great on the Peter Pan collars of plain white blouses!

I know what you're saying about the stabilizer on the back. I can't remember what I did. I think I may have used a piece of really soft, thin fabric such as batiste. I know I didn't use a hoop, just did the tension in my hands. I would agree with Cindi--some water soluble (sp?) stabilizer might be just the thing.

Sorry to be so long-winded (!), but I've enjoyed what you've been doing:)!


AmeliaB said...

Your shirt is so darling. You have inspired me to learn how to embroider. I think I might make up some summer dresses and embroider them.

JuneCarter said...

Jenny over at Sublime Stitching ( sells something called I Can't Believe It's Tee Shirt Stabilizer. I have used it for tee shirts and it works great. You can get a 9x21 sheet for $5.

amanda m. said...

If you use a ball-point needle for the knit fabric embroidery, you won't have snags. Also, I use the used dryer sheets as a stabilizer. It works well.

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