Archive of ‘Subtle Tees’ category

Volume 105 July/August: Fascinator!

Fascinator! 

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.

Materials
Beads
Lace (plain, not ornate)
Tulip ColorShot Instant Fabric Color in Black

Embroidery Designs
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”.


Final Notes:

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.

Volume 104 Subtle Tees – Leaf Lesson Part 1 of 2 – Software

By Denise Holguin

This is expanded coverage of the Subtle Tees project featured in Volume 104 May/June 2017.

Lesson Highlights:
Copy, paste and rotate designs in embroidery software to suit your needs.


Design:  Leaves & Branches Garland Frame
Company:  Stitchtopia / http://www.stitchtopia.com

I like to let the creative process unfold.  Initially, when I purchased this design I planned on placing a word in between the frame.  But the more I thought about it, I decided to transform the design to a 4-sided frame to showcase a spray painted leaf.

I think the process of creating and transforming is the most enjoyable part of stitching a t-shirt.


Open the Leaves & Branches Garland Frame in Perfect Embroidery Pro or similar design editing software.  I used the 4” frame to accommodate the scale of the shirt and the size of the leaf stencil I will be using.  (This very generous collection includes multiple sizes including:  4”, 5”, 6”, 7”, 8”, 9” and 10”.)

It’s easier to group each row of garland separately before we start rearranging and copying.  To do this, select the top garland.  Right click with the mouse button.  Select Group.  Repeat this step for the bottom garland.  If you choose not to group, it can be a little tricky to select the correct elements that make up a single garland design.

Select the bottom design.  Copy and paste. Slide the design to an empty space.

With the newly copied design still selected, go to the Transform Tab.  Type 270 in the Rotate box and click Apply.

Reposition the design so that it is to the left of the original frames.

Slide the top and bottom garland designs to make room for the new vertical garland.

Select the left garland.  Copy and paste the garland.  Slide it to the right side of the design.

Go to the Transform tab.  Click on Flip horizontal.  Press Apply.

Rearrange the garland designs as needed until you have a pleasing shape.  Once finished, go to Edit / Resequence by color.

Save the design, print a template and send to the embroidery machine.

Volume 104 Subtle Tees – Leaf Lesson Part 2 of 2 – Spray Paint

Leaves! by Denise Holguin

If you’re a Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine reader, then you’ll enjoy this expanded coverage of the Subtle Tees project featured in Volume 104 May/June 2017.

 

Embroidery & Spray Paint

I used a Baby Lock Alliance and Snap Hoop Monster for the embroidery process.  You can use a standard single needle or a multi-needle machine, applying the same techniques.

Everyone has their favorite techniques for finding and marking the center of a shirt.  I like to fold the garment in half then I place Painter’s Tape along the fold line.  I have found ironing a crease to mark the center ineffective.  The crease isn’t as noticeable as bright blue tape!

Place the template on the shirt, aligning the top arrow with the edge of the Painter’s Tape.

Place a Target Sticker on the garment, underneath the center of the template.

I used a water soluble mesh stabilizer when hooping this tissue-weight garment.

Attach the hoop to the embroidery machine.

The Baby Lock Alliance has a handy laser you can use to align the design properly.  Move the design on the embroidery machine screen until the laser aligns with the target sticker.

Peel back the Painter’s Tape and target sticker.

Stitch the design.

Spray Paint!

Place the garment on a cardboard t-shirt frame.  Audition the stencil on the embroidered frame.

Mask the stencil and cover the surrounding t-shirt with wax paper to avoid overspray.

Spray the garment with brown spray paint.  I added a spritz of silver spray paint for a subtle sparkle effect.

Remove the tape, stencil and wax paper to reveal the spray painted leaf.

The final step—I added a button to each corner of the embroidery design.  The detail and dimension finish the look.

Come back on Saturday, May 20, 2017 for the lesson on how to create the leaf border. In the meantime, gather your supplies and get ready to make your own Subtle Tee!

 

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.