Friday, May 20, 2011

Finished Project: Embroidered T-shirt

This week's project is one I started about a month ago.  Pretty sad I am just now finishing it.  I was inspired when my friend (Lulu's Pin-ups) posted about Sublime Stitching.  If you haven't been there before, you should definitely go now.  There is so many awesome patterns and inspiration.  I used to think that embroidery was all about flowers and kittens, which aren't bad at all.  Let me try again.  I used to think embroidery was all about lighthouses and hummingbirds until I saw this site. 

So, I decided to combine two of my current likes.  Tattoos and sewing.  I came up with embroidering a traditional style "Death Before Dishonor" tattoo on a 3-month old t-shirt, since I'll have one of those pretty soon.     
materials for embroidery

Here's all the materials you'll need:  T-shirt (or other material), scissors, pen, embroidery needle, floss, and an embroidery hoop.  Some items that aren't shown are pins, tracing paper and carbon paper.  I promise I am going to get good at this whole planning thing one day.  I am really sucking at leaving stuff out and not taking enough pictures! 

old school eagle tattoo

First, find a design you like and trace it with the tracing paper.  Next, situate the tracing paper on the t-shirt where you want the design to go and pin it in place.  Slide a piece of carbon paper, color side down, under your design.  Trace over your design fairly hard on the tracing paper.  When you're finished, unpin the tracing paper and you should have a faint outline of your design on the material.  You may want to check ever so often to make sure you are tracing hard enough.  I had to do this a couple of times to make sure the carbon paper was working.  I'm sure there are easier ways of doing this.  Meaning, better materials.  Recently I found out they make iron transfer pencils!  I really could have used those with this project!

eagle embroidery

Now you're ready to put your material in the hoop and start sewing. 

Just a note.  I used a 100% cotton shirt.  I would not suggest it, unless you take your 6 strand floss down to two.  With 6 strands it was really hard to get the needle and floss through the cotton without stretching too much.  I'm sure there's an easier way to embroider on cotton, but I'm just learning!  If you have any suggestions for me, please leave them!  I need help!

eagle embroudery on tshirt

I used a back stitch on this project.


Close up of stitching. 

embroidered tshirt

Keep on stitching and following your lines and it should take the shape of your design!  I'm pretty happy about this.  There are definitely some imperfections, but at least my daughter will have an awesome t-shirt!

I'm thinking about just using fabric markers to "paint" it.  The cotton was really hard to work with, but the t-shirt looks so plain!  Maybe just Sharpies? 

embroidered tshirt

This is the inside of the shirt.  Haha, you can tell I had a little problem at some parts with the tieing off.  Looks like I won't be selling anything embroidered for awhile.  I need to find some of those iron on sheets to cut out and put on top of your stitching so they don't snag.  Anyone know the name of these?