We received a message from Melinda on our Facebook page asking for some tips for embroidering on children’s shirts. Here are my top 10 tips for embellishing children’s shirts with machine embroidery.
1. Keep it light. Kids hate stiff, itchy embroidery so select embroidery designs that have a low-stitch count.
2. Use applique to add impact. Fun colors and funky fabrics infuse a lot of spunk into plain t-shirts without adding the dreaded bullet-proof embroidered shield!
3. Look for applique designs that are on the small size – under 3” x 3”. Jumbo designs overwhelm a small figure.
4. Get the placement right. Depend on the Children’s Perfect Placement Kit to help with locating the correct position for designs on children’s garments, size infant to youth large.
5. Ask the child (if old enough) for input on favorite colors, shapes, characters and designs. If they help design it, they’ll love wearing it.
6. Rely on fusible polymesh stabilizer to eliminate the stretch in knits. It’s a strong cut-away and very comfortable.
7. Don’t be afraid to slit a side seam to make hooping easier. Knits don’t ravel so you won’t have to worry about frayed edges if you don’t have a serger.
8. After all embroidery is complete, add a fusible lightweight, tricot knit interfacing to the wrong side of the embroidery. This delicate, sheer cover-up will camouflage the bobbin threads and eliminate the ‘itch’ factor.
9. Lighten up your expectations. Kids are not only finicky but they grow so fast! Save the heirloom techniques for really memorable occasions when the effort will be worth it.
10. Look for ways to extend an active child’s wardrobe by adding embroidered borders to lengthen hemlines and cover stains. You’ll be glad you did if the child gets another season out of a garment.