Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cover those scratchy stitches!

Embroidery designs can feel scratchy, from the inside, next to the skin despite all our best efforts.  Even the softest design may feel scratchy to a baby or to a person with sensitive skin. 

After trying many methods, this is my personal favorite when embellishing a t-shirt with embroidery (or even applique depending on the thread used).

Pre-wash the t-shirt prior to embellishing, if it is a fabric which shrinks.  I use 100% cotton and always read the label to see if it was already treated for shrinkage.

I press the t-shirt to ensure there are no wrinkles and then with an embroidery adhesive I put one layer of wash away stabilizer on the wrong side of the fabric. This anchors the stretch on the area I will be embroidering. 

I use clamp frames so this is where your method may vary:  I hoop the shirt with one extra layer of wash-away stabilizer. If you feel the design stitches will sink in, you can add a topper to the sandwich.  I did not use a topper for the Ts shown here.

Once the embroidery is complete, I wash out the water soluble stabilizer thoroughly, allow to dry and then press from the wrong side.  I then add a fusible piece of Cloud Cover Stitch over the design in the back.  I can't tell you just how great this product is for covering scratchy stitches. This is what it looks like from the wrong side with this wonderful fusible stitch cover applied. You cannot see it on the front at all in the baby shirts pictured.  What you can see is that I should clip the threads closer, but you can't see that either from the front! Now I need to get out my ribbons and add a designing touch to the shirts and make coordinating socks! 


Anonymous said...

I love the way the cloud cover went on and the feel of it. My problem is that it comes off when I wash the shirt in the laundry. What am I doing wrong?

Cookie Gaynor said...

Mine is still in place after washing, so here are the tips that I have followed for laundering:
Things to consider,
1) Pressing vs ironing to keep adhesive where it should be, not pushed.
2) DRY heat vs steam –steam doesn’t properly set adhesive
3) Use of liquid fabric softener – chemical reaction with adhesive
4) Dried at high heat or left in hot dryer sitting on metal – reactivates adhesive and tumbling, etc. loosens bond with fabric.

I really love this product but I do know that each of the above really does effect the long term outcome. Would love to see one of your sewing projects sometime when you have a chance to share.

1968grad said...

I love to embroider onesies, but have a hard time putting them on the hoop, and then getting the remainder of the onesie out of the way. Any suggestions?

Cookie Gaynor said...

Hi there, 1968 Grad! I stitch my items on a professional machine with a free arm. However, before I committed to that machine, I use to turn the onesie inside out, hooped it using a 4x4 size frame and then used pins and binder clips to keep the excess out of the way. And it was stitched under "supervision" to ensure the pins were out of the way.

Using a stabilizer that looks like paper with an adhesive that completely washes away later is a great help. Several brands are on the market so ask your dealer for the one they recommend for your machine. I tend to buy most of my stabilizers from and I know they can help you if your dealer cannot. Supporting dealers is important and using the right stabilizer can make or break an embroidered project. Hope that helps!