This week’s 20 Embroidered Flowers tutorial is an embroidered flower t-shirt. For this, I used the Hypericum pattern, which, in the ebook is embroidered in its usual yellow but here I’ve stitched it in blackwork, which I think looks fantastic too. Other than changing the colour, I also switched the straight stitched flower filaments (the straight lines coming out of the centre of the flower) to back stitch. Straight stitch is great on embroidery that is going to be going on the wall but if you’re planning on wearing your embroidery or using it on something like a quilt, you need to bear in mind that the fabric will be moving around and therefore the straight stitch may appear too loose, the same goes for satin stitch in large areas.
Although the jersey of a t-shirt isn’t the most conventional embroidery fabric, as long as you use a stabiliser underneath your embroidery, you’ll be fine. The stabiliser helps support the material and the stitches. I used this stuff, but there are lots of different brands out there.
When working out where to place your embroidery pattern, I strongly recommend trying the t-shirt on and marking with a removable marker the centre of where you want the embroidery to go. It can be quite difficult, when looking at a flat t-shirt, to work out a flattering placement for the pattern and there’s nothing worse than doing all that hard work on your embroidery, proudly putting on the t-shirt and discovering that the placement looks horrible.
When you’re happy with where you want to place the pattern, transfer the design using a removable marker or carbon tracing paper. Jersey isn’t the easiest fabric to transfer patterns on to, as it can move around quite a bit under your marker, so take your time with this stage and hold the fabric taut with your other hand.
Cut out a piece of embroidery stabiliser bigger than your embroidery. As my t-shirt was particularly on the thin side, I was cautious about using pins to attach the stabiliser, so I also made sure that the stabiliser was bigger than my embroidery hoop, that way the hoop could keep the stabiliser against the fabric (there are iron-on embroidery stabilisers, so using one of those would solve that problem). Make sure that there are no creases or wrinkles in the fabric, once in the hoop, when you’re happy everything looks okay, you can start stitching.
Now, I’m not always the neatest of stitchers at the back of my work but with something like this, it does pay to be neat, you don’t want the added bulk of too much floss behind your work, you also don’t want excess black thread showing through the fabric, so it’s best to be tidy.
Once finished, you can tear away carefully any excess embroidery stabiliser from the back. Remove any remaining traces of the removable marker that you used to transfer the pattern, and there you go, one wearable, embroidered t-shirt!