My favorite part of sewing is the process. I enjoy watching the progression unfold and then savor what my sewing efforts produce. Today you’ll see that machine embroidery is the star of the process and the end result!
The machine embroidery designs you’ll see below not only decorate, but transform an everyday knit shirt into a wow shirt. Eileen Roche, the brainchild of this technique, joins me on Sewing With Nancy to take embroidery to the next level. The second of a 2-part series, Simple to Chic T-shirt Remakes, focuses on in-the-hoop T-shirt remakes, using a two-part design.
Prepare a T-shirt for a Remake
It’s incredible what an embroidery machine can do, once you give it instructions! Start with a basic knit T-shirt. Then, stitch creative embroideries, plus embroideries that modify the neckline shape. The result is so chic.
- Fold the shirt front in half, matching the shoulder seams.
- Mark the center front with tape or pins. (Tape is featured in the photo below. Later I’ll show you the option of using pins to mark the center front. Use whichever technique is best for you.)
- Hoop a water-soluble adhesive stabilizer in a 5″ x 7″ hoop.
- Score the paper of the stabilizer, within the hooped area, with the tip of a pin or seam ripper. Remove the paper covering.
- Stitch color 1, a placement guide, directly on the stabilizer. The T-shaped stitches indicate the neckline and center front of the T-shirt. The placement guide is offset to accommodate the larger embroidery design.
- Remove the hoop from the machine and place it on the narrow end of an ironing board, with the top of hoop at the point of the ironing board.
- First, place the shirt hem over the board and hoop. Align the shirt center with the vertical stitch line and the neckline at the horizontal line.
- Carefully smooth the fabric onto the sticky-backed stabilizer.
Note from Nancy: You can easily release and reposition the fabric if there are wrinkles. Ask me how I know this!
- Nest the shirt above the hoop and transport the hoop to the machine.
- Attach the hoop to the embroidery machine.
Stitch the Decorative Embroidery
- Stitch color 2, the tack down stitch, a basting stitch that temporarily holds the stitching field in place. After the embroidery is complete, it will be easy to remove.
- Stitch the decorative elements, the design and eyelets—colors 2–7.
- Stitch the second to the last color—color 8—placement marks. Notice the placement marks to the left side of the T-shirt’s center front. These marks are temporary, yet vital to aligning the next design.
Note from Nancy: At this point the center of the design is embroidered with additional design motifs on the left-shirt front. A second hooping is needed in order to stitch the design motifs on the right-shirt front. Not to worry, it will be easier that you think!
Stitch the Neckline Transformation
- Place a 6” x 8” rectangle of prewashed tricot interfacing fusible side UP over the center of the shirt, extending the interfacing ½” above the ribbing.
- Stitch the next thread color, which is the neckline transformation. The stitching will be spot-on!
- Remove the hoop from the machine; then remove the shirt from the hoop. Trim away the excess stabilizer
- Hoop another layer of water-soluble adhesive stabilizer in the hoop.
- Score the paper of the stabilizer within the hooped area with the tip of a pin or seam ripper. Remote the paper covering.
- Select the second design of this embroidery; it’s a separate file.
- Stitch color 1 directly onto the stabilizer, this time the embroidery stitches two placement marks.
- To achieve perfect placement, use PAL, the Perfect Alignment Laser. Place the hoop on a flat surface and turn on PAL. Align the beams with the top horizontal mark and the vertical markings.
- Place the shirt over the stabilizer.
- Align the alignment marks on the shirt, using the beam of the laser as a guide.
- Insert the hooped shirt back onto the embroidery unit.
- Tape the interfacing toward the stitched design to keep it out of the way of the embroidery.
- Stitch the remainder of the second design.
- Remove the hoop from the embroidery unit and the hoop from the stabilizer.
- Trim away the excess stabilizer. Remove the basting stitches of the tack down and placement guides.
Side Hemline Makeovers
Necklines aren’t the only area where makeovers can occur. Using comparable processes, watch how side hemlines can make a fashion statement. The embroidery and transformation are comparable to the neckline technique.
Watch Simple to Chic T-Shirt Remakes Part One and Part Two on Sewing With Nancy online.
Create Exciting T-Shirt Transformations with this Unique Embroidery Collection
Simple to Chic T-Shirt Remakes Package contains:
- 8 neckline designs
- 7 sleeve designs
- 9 hemline side seam designs
- Step-by-step instructions for T-shirt remakes.
- 24 designs that fit in 5″ x 7″ hoop and two bonus jumbo designs
Designs in Machine Embroidery (DIME) is giving away a copy of the CD, which includes a printable PDF instruction book. Nancy’s Notions is giving away a Simple to Chic T-Shirt Remakes DVD. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below telling us which of these designs is your favorite.
The random winner of the book, The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew, graciously provided by Nancy’s Notions, is Betty Gilreath. She said: I’ve been sewing off and on for 49 years, and I learned 3 tips in this tutorial today—I love it, and love all you do, Nancy! I thank God for the gifts He has given you, and I thank you for your life’s work of sharing them with the world.
Bye for now,