How to Embroider a Basic T-shirt Dress

comments (7) September 9th, 2009     

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_nikki_ Nicole Smith, contributor
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Erika Kern created this dress for the Fall 09 issue of SewStylish.
Paint the floral design onto the dress. The paint acts as a stabilizer for the embroidery.
How to stitch a chain stitch.
Erika Kern created this dress for the Fall 09 issue of SewStylish.

Erika Kern created this dress for the Fall '09 issue of SewStylish.

Photo: Jack Deutsch

In the latest issue of SewStylish, we challenged three CraftStylish contributors to refashion a basic t-shirt dress into a personal statement.

Here, Jacquard fabric paint and a bit of embroidery turn this basic piece into a stunner. Embroiderer extraordinaire, Erika Kern, created this floral design that can be paired with black leggings or jeans for an effortlessly stylish look. For more from Erika, check out her blog, or her tutorials on CraftStylish. The paint helps stabilize the knit fabric, making this project super easy to stitch without the use of stabilizer.

1. Draw a rose motif. First, decide where and how big you want your rose to be. Using a photocopier, enlarge the template to the desired size. Using tailor’s chalk or carbon tracing paper, transfer the flower onto your garment. The shape of the flower should be organic, so don’t worry too much about making it perfect. To add visual interest, allow your flower to wrap around the side and over the edge of the dress. If you are concerned about getting the right shape, practice your flowers on scrap paper before you mark the top.

2. Paint the rose. Once you’re happy with the design for your dress, slide the cardboard into the dress, and start painting. The cardboard ensures that the paint won’t seep to the other side and onto the dress fabric. Use a nice, flowing stroke to paint the petals, allowing thicknesses to vary. Allow the paint to dry, and heat-set with an iron, as directed in the paint instructions.

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posted in: embroidery, sewstylish feature, sewstylish technique

Comments (7)

Guyton writes: Very nice!! It really jazzed it up.
Posted: 2:32 pm on October 6th
glamspoon writes: that's gorgeous!
Posted: 4:05 pm on October 3rd
Paws2 writes: Another project I will have to do and your instructions are clear and very easy to follow! Have you ever machine embroidered around any of your designs on other t's or dresses? Thanks for another great project.
Posted: 9:46 am on September 22nd
hanniefaye80 writes: Love this! I like that the design is bold and dramatic but won't take forever since only the accents are embroidered.
Posted: 7:26 pm on September 17th
_nikki_ writes: The t-shirt dress was from American Apparel.
Posted: 6:12 pm on September 17th
alamodestuff writes: Wow. Embroidering is one art I've not tried. This is lovely! I'm going to have to give it a try!
Posted: 8:32 am on September 17th
sewandsing writes: Just darling! What is the source for the T-shirt dress?
Posted: 8:39 pm on September 16th
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