How to embroider on a t-shirt

Published on 15 April 2020 2 min read

Jennifer Cardenas Riggs is a fantastic textile and graphic artist otherwise known as Thread Honey. Blending her modern aesthetic with the traditional craft of embroidery, Thread Honey creates fresh designs that we just love! Follow along with Jennifer and jazz up an old t-shirt or jumper with a bit of embroidery.

Download the template for this beautiful butterfly design and the colour chart before you get started! And why not brush up on some of the essential stitches for this design while you're at it.

Download the Template

Materials

1

Prepare your clothing item for stitching. Iron out any wrinkles where you are going to be doing your stitching.

2

Transfer the pattern onto your clothing item using a peel & stick fabri-solvy stabilizer. Stretch your embroidery hoop around your pattern and pull the fabric tight, there should be no wrinkles or puckers in your fabric.

3

Outline the wings with 3 strands of DMC #310 embroidery floss, using the back stitch method.

4

Fill in the thorax with 3 strands of DMC #436 embroidery floss, using the French knot method.

Wrap the thread around your needle twice as you create your French knots.

5

Stitch the abdomen with 3 strands of DMC ECRU embroidery floss. First outline with the backstitch then fill in using the long and short stitch or brick stitch method.

6

Stitch the head with 3 strands of DMC #437 embroidery floss, using the satin stitch method.

7

Stitch the antennas with 3 strands of DMC #310 embroidery floss, using the back stitch method.

Stitching the upper wings

8

Stitch the outer portion with 3 strands of DMC #3042 embroidery floss, using the long and short stitch method.

9

Stitch the spots with 3 strands of DMC #436 embroidery floss, using the long and short stitchmethod.

10

Stitch the inner portion with 3 strands of DMC #ECRU embroidery floss, using the long and short stitch method.

Stitching the lower wings

11

Stitch the inner portion with 3 strands of DMC #310 embroidery floss, using the long and short stitch method.

12

Stitch the middle portion with 3 strands of DMC #437 embroidery floss, using the long and short stitch method.

13

Stitch the outer portion with 3 strands of DMC #3042 embroidery floss, using the long and short stitch method.

14

When you’ve completed your stitching remove your embroidery hoop. Place your embroidered clothing item under warm water to dissolve away your sticky fabri-solvy stabilizer. If you have problems removing any of the stabilizer you can use an old toothbrush to very gently help remove the stabilizer.

15

Lay your clothing item flat to dry and enjoy your beautiful hand-embroidered piece!

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