Friday, March 18, 2011

Embroidering a T-shirt on a machine by AimeeG

Posted by AimeeG

First I gathered all of my supplies

Then I copied the design file to a thumb drive. Some designers also include a stitch map with the design file. It's a great tool to have. It tells you step by step what colors to use. My machine does not have a fancy screen and sometimes it is very hard to tell what step is what color.

It's essential to use stabilizer. What kind is up to your own preference. I use Sulky Stick Back. I know some say that it gums up the needle but . . . you really should change your needle after each project anyway. It's really the only stabilizer I use for machine or hand applique.

There are several ways to hoop your shirt but this is what seems to work for me. I cut right the side seam of the shirt. Then I lay the shirt flat with the hoop resting on top. I use the the vertical and horizontal ticks to help me line up my shirt. Using a fabric pen I put a dot by each mark and a dot in the center. Then I hoop the shirt.

When I stick on the stabilizer I make sure that I go right up to the notches on the bracket but not over them.

Now it's time to select the pattern. One day I hope to fancy machine with a color screen but for now it's the screen that reminds me of our Brother Word Processor from 1990.

Before I start a design I hit the adjust button. Here you can do lots of things like flip the design and change the size. I always double check the placement of the design. This cupcake is about 5 x 5 so the design is centered in the hoop. That is great but it is too far down the tee shirt. I use the arrow buttons to adjust where the top of the design is.

The first set of stitches is your placement mark. Here is another time saver tip- My machine only has one thread so I have to change it a lot. As long as it is not black I normally do all the placement and tack down stitches with the first color that will be satin stitched. For the design yellow is the first satin stitch color.

I also use a spray adhesive. I have never been successful without this spray. I know others have but my fabric seems to pucker without it! When it's time to spray my fabric I use this handy dandy box. I turn the fabric upside down and lay it in the base of the box. Spraying in the box contains the excess glue from sticking up the desk or the floor.
 The next stitch is the tack down stitch. You have to be very careful to cut
very close to the edge of the stitch without cutting the thread. When I trim the excess fabric I like to pull the fabric slightly. It helps to get a close trim.

Next the cupcake liner fabric was added and the cupcake outline was stitched. Another tip is to cut your jump threads as you go. A jump thread is where the stitching stops and jumps to another part of the design. It keeps the applique neat if you cut these threads after each color. I find this especially true when doing eyes.

And there you have it. . .