The Volume 105 July/August issue is making its way to newsstands and mailboxes across the globe. This post shares the expanded coverage of the “Fascinator” beaded shirt from the Subtle Tees article on page 24. Enjoy!
This shirt was influenced by my love for fascinators. The process evolved as I created. I share the steps in an unusual order to show there is more than one way to produce the same result. Sometimes creative inspiration happens during the stitching process. Don’t hamper the process! Adapt and see where it leads.
Lace (plain, not ornate)
Tulip ColorShot Instant Fabric Color in Black
Embroidery software to make an applique heart shape.
Free design from Kreations by Kara
Step 1. Embroidery Designs
Overview: I made a heart shaped applique in Perfect Embroidery Pro software. While I’m not necessarily fond of wearing hearts on my shirts—I thought it would be good to challenge myself! I added a Hexagon pattern inside the heart applique shape. If you don’t have Perfect Embroidery Pro, it’s available as a free trial (save option is deactivated). Purchase your activated version through an Inspirations Dealer.
Go to the Artwork Tools located on the top toolbar. Select the heart shape. Hold down the CTRL button and left mouse button to draw a heart. Don’t worry about the size—we will make the adjustments in the next step.
With the shape still selected, go to Properties – Transform box. Uncheck the “Maintain Aspect Ratio”. Change the width and height of the heart to 6.0. Press the Apply button.
With the shape still selected, right click. Select Convert To / Applique.
In the Properties – Applique box, select Change Colors. Press Apply.
Right click on the heart. Select Utility, then Create Outline.
When the Create Outline window appears, type 0 in the Distance field. Select Ok.
Change the color of the newly created outline. (Click on the Plus sign to add a color, then right click on the new color)
With the outline still selected, right click. Select Convert To / Complex Fill.
In the Properties – Fill box, select Adv. Stippling.
Scroll down to the Hexagons pattern.
Change the Pattern Length to 30 mm.
You’ll notice the color sequence needs to be adjusted. You want the Hexagons pattern to stitch before the satin stitching on the applique is finished.
Select the Applique heart design. Right click. Select Break Up Path.
Now the individual thread colors are displayed in the Sequence box. (The sequence of stitches to make the applique are broken into individual components – making it easy to rearrange the thread sequence.)
Reposition the Hexagons color sequence so that it is the 3rd detail to stitch. (Placement stitch first, tackdown second, decorative hexagon stitching third and satin stitching as the last step)
I saved the design, printed a template and sent to the embroidery machine.
Step 2. Preparing Applique Fabric
I chose a different style of lace that looks more like tulle with a subtle line pattern. For dramatic effect, I spray painted it black.
Of course, if you already have black lace, use it! My goal was to use what I have and adapt it to what I want. If you’ve priced lace, it can add up—and I love having one of a kind pieces.
I stitched the heart applique on the center of the shirt.
Then I downloaded the free design from Kreations by Kara. It’s on their Freebies page in the 2013 section. It is the free design for the month of April. (The file name is Kbkfreeapril2013_abstractlineflowers)
If you examine the free design from Kreations by Kara closely, the shape works as a corner design. In embroidery software, I rotated the design 90 degrees. When the design is in this position it reminds me of a fascinator. I saved the design and printed a template. I auditioned the template on the still hooped shirt, placing the delicately angled fascinator design on the ‘head’ of the heart applique.
I stitched the design.
I loved how the shirt turned out. But it needed more. I used the embroidered Hexagons as a guide to hand sew clear beads to the shirt. No measuring or marking was needed. The decorative stitching made it easy to evenly place the beads. It’s a subtle touch but it elevates the shirt into a different category of “homemade”.
You could have planned the design layout all at once in software. But as the opening paragraph explained, sometimes ideas evolve and improve during the process. If you’re a planner – do what works for you. Plan and design before taking your first stitch. If you are a more free-spirited – design-as-you-go type of embroiderer — then continue with your process! There is not one single “right” method for achieving the desired results. Have fun!
If you enjoyed this t-shirt tutorial, be sure to pick up the latest issue. There are additional t-shirts featured.