Volume 103 Overspray Turned in to Opportunity

This blog is expanded coverage of the Subtle Tees article featured in Volume 103 March/April 2017.  This post covers “overspray”.  

For spray paint tips, visit “spray paint

I did not heed my own advice when I spray painted the stencil on the t-shirt.  It was windy outdoors and I didn’t cover the shirt well when I appliqued the spray paint.

My heart sank when I removed the stencil.  The colors looked amazing.  But there was overspray.

No problem!  I decided to use the stenciled part of the shirt as applique fabric.

Overview of this Project:
I stitched the Ravenheart design on the spray painted (ruined) shirt first.  Then I cut the embroidered piece to use as applique fabric.  I embroidered the fabric on to the new shirt.  Since I was working with knit fabric, I chose to make my applique raw-edge applique.

The purpose of this article is to show mistakes can be salvaged. You just have to get scrappy!

Embroidery Designs:
Ravenheart from Urban Threads.  I chose this design because the decorative elements on the heart mimicked the stencil design.
Applique shape:  Created in Perfect Embroidery Pro but any digitizing software will work.

Step 1.  Make the Applique Shape

Determine the Size of Applique Shape
I printed a template of the Ravenheart design and placed it on the stenciled portion of the original t-shirt.  I didn’t love all the stenciled areas I spray painted, so I chose the area I liked best.  Feel free to experiment – you are creating a ‘new’ fabric.

This process helped me determine how big to make the applique.  I cut a square piece of paper  to audition how large my applique shape should be.

Launch Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Click on the Drawing icon on the top toolbar. Select the Rectangle.

Draw a shape.  Don’t worry about the size.  You will make adjustments in the next step.

Click the Transform Tab.  Make sure the Main aspect ratio does not have a checkmark.  Type the proper dimensions for the applique shape.  (My example is 5.5″ x 5.75″.)  Click Apply.

Now it’s time to convert the artwork to stitches.  Make sure the artwork is selected.  Then right click, select Convert To / Run.

Change the Stitch length to 2.5 mm.  I selected Two ply for the stitch type.

Save the design as AppliqueShape.  Print a template of this design and send to your embroidery machine.

Step 2.  Prepare the Applique Fabric
I used spray adhesive to attach a piece of polymesh stabilizer to the back of my ruined t-shirt.  Then I embroidered the Ravenheart design using Snap Hoop Monster.  (Snap Hoop Monster prevents hoop burn and let’s me tug easily on the shirt without fear of puckering).  Once finished, I unhooped the project.

Next, I placed the template of AppliqueShape on the embroidered design to get a sense of how much of the t-shirt I need to cut.  I cut a large enough piece of the t-shirt to use as applique fabric.  Remember, you can always trim but you can never add to an already cut piece of fabric.

Step 3.  Stitch the Final Shirt
I used spray adhesive to attach a piece of polymesh stabilizer to the back of my new t-shirt.  I placed the AppliqueShape Template on my new shirt to determine where to place the applique on the t-shirt.  Next, I placed a Target Sticker to designate the center of the AppliqueShape Template.  The last step:  stitch the AppliqueShape design.  Trim the edges of the appliqued t-shirt leaving about a 1/4” all the way around.



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9 Comments on Volume 103 Overspray Turned in to Opportunity

  1. Lori Woodward
    March 29, 2017 at 5:21 pm (3 years ago)

    I love that you turned the “Oops” into a beautiful project!

    • Denise Holguin
      March 29, 2017 at 6:24 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Lori,
      Thank you! I surprised myself!


  2. Jacque`
    March 30, 2017 at 4:12 pm (3 years ago)

    We can generally salvage problem projects. I just hate when it is a customers and I have to replace. So I am extra careful. I prefer to supply my own blanks. Then the “OOPS” are mine to deal with later.

  3. Sara Redner
    April 1, 2017 at 5:27 am (3 years ago)

    It turned out cute. Applique often comes in handy to cover mistakes or just a design I don’t like as much as I thought I did when I stitched it.

  4. Joan Shriver
    April 4, 2017 at 7:13 pm (3 years ago)

    I agree with you, Jacque. Messing up someone else’s piece is the worst. I don’t mind helping out a friend, but no more embroidering on their item!

  5. JD
    April 5, 2017 at 7:44 pm (3 years ago)

    This turned out great! What save. Thanks so much for sharing this project.

    • Denise Holguin
      April 5, 2017 at 11:40 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you, JD. It’s one of my favorite shirts!

  6. Daisy
    May 8, 2017 at 8:35 pm (3 years ago)

    This is a really intlielgent way to answer the question.


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