Wednesday, October 23, 2013

KCW Day 3

I have a really simple project done today.  I feel like it's kind of cheating--just call it "semi-homemade." :)  I bought a plain-front baseball-style tee from Old Navy and used my machine to embroider a VW van silhouette.

 Sadly, I was pretty disappointed with the quality of the t-shirt when it arrived.  But, my 5-year-old son, Walter, started kindergarten this year and really needed some school clothes, so I went ahead with the project.  Although I'm sure that it would have been much better to make the tee myself, a little handmade is better than nothing, right?  At least he'll be wearing something unique that nobody else has.

I found a printable coloring page of a VW van online, and I loosely based my embroidery pattern on it.  I first drew my design on regular paper.  Then I traced it onto Sticky Fabri-Solvy, a product by Sulky (purchased at JoAnn's).  It kind of looks like interfacing except that one side is paper-backed with sticky adhesive.  I removed the paper backing, positioned it on the shirt, and then stitched over the traced lines.  I used what I call the triple stitch.  It's a stretch stitch intended for knits--it is one stitch forward, one back, and then one forward again.  It makes the stitching lines more defined.  I then pull the threads to the back and tie off.  The Sulky product then rinses away with water and just leaves behind the stitched design.  After washing the shirt, I backed the design with Tender Touch, another Sulky product.  It is a soft tricot iron-on interfacing that keeps the stitching from irritating the skin.

As you can see, my stitching isn't quite perfect :)  It's easy to be overly critical of my results, so I have to remind myself of how much I love seeing my kids wear things I've made for them, perfect or not.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  It has so rewarding to share my projects with the KCW community!


  1. wow! what a great shirt design! Totally makes up for the store bought shirt (which I do all the time too:). And thanks for the great details on what products you used - super helpful! I hope your son love it!

  2. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who likes to start with store-bought shirts :)

  3. impressed that you embroidered that on your machine.
    looks great!!

  4. So cute! Do you have a regular machine? I'd love to try something similar with mine. My first ever KCW project was upcycled. That's homemade-ish right ;).

  5. Thanks, Abby! I have a pretty regular machine, a mid-level Kenmore. I checked my daughter's entry-level Brother, and it doesn't have the triple stitch that I use for applique. But even if your machine doesn't have that stitch, you could just go over each line two or three times with a regular straight stitch. I sometimes shorten my stitch length if the pattern is intricate or I have to go around a lot of curves. My machine has the needle down/needle up function which makes applique and embroidery a little easier, as it can set the machine to always stop with the needle fully inserted into the fabric. That makes pivoting easier because I don't have to manually turn my fly wheel to put my needle down. But even without that feature, this project would be completely do-able even on a base level machine. It just takes a little practice :)