Embroidery Saves the Day--err Sweater
With a little bit of embroidery experience, and a couple of materials, you can salvage a sweater from the donation pile. What I'll show you how to do is basically embroider a patch directly over the offending stain.
Embroidery seems to be the new "put a bird on it", and I'm definitely not mad about it. Let's all embroider everything all the time.
This post includes a list of the necessary materials, but if a kit is more your style, I have kits in my shop, click here.
Step 1: Find a shirt or sweater to embroider
Do you have a sweater that met some unfortunate circumstances, but you can't bear to get rid of it? With a little embroidery, you can kiss that moth hole, coffee stain, bleach botch goodbye, and take your sweater out on the town with pride.
This lovely-to-me cardigan is my favorite. I love it's cute little front pockets, and perfect fit, but that damn paint stain on the sleeve keeps it on the "to get rid of" pile.
Step 2: Sulky Magic
Prior to this little experiment, I didn't know anything about Sulky. Now I know that Sulky is magic, and makes all of the difference in the world. It's freedom from a hoop and/or a million pins waiting to make your fingers bloody.
If you're unfamiliar, it's a sticker on one side, so you can sketch your design directly on the Sulky and then stick it directly over what you are about to embroider.
But I still backed it with felt
You'll notice that I am using pins, but it's because I pinned felt to the inside of the sweater. Overkill? Maybe, but with knits, I prefer overkill to keep my stitches tight. Do you see how I kind of missed the mark when I stuck the sulky to my sweater, and didn't even notice that it wasn't covering the entire stain, until I had embroidered most of the butterfly. Oops! Oh well, very few people will notice that stain after there is a beautiful butterfly. Part of embroidery is adaptability, and changing your stitches or embroidery plan on the fly. If you're just starting out, don't worry, you'll develop it over time.
Step 3: Start Stitching
Here we go! My plan was to stitch the middle first. I used sections of satin stitches to create the body.
I was going to start with the outline, but decided that outlines really work better as a last step in this case. So I went through and filled my embroidery in, color by color. I used variegated thread for even more color variation.
Step 4: Remove the Sulky (carefully)
Now the finishing touch was to outline the butterfly, and then outline around each thread color. To remove the sulky, I soaked it, and then gently tore around my embroidery. If you are using felt or stabilizer on the backside, trim around to keep it more compact. I added the antennaes afterwards, since they don't really need to be stabilized further. Notice you can see a little paint, so if you plan a little better than I did, your stain won't even be visible. ;)
Pretty sweet, huh? Even though it's the summer, I am still wearing it today.
These little appliqué/embroidery fixes are so much fun, and addictive.
I'm really into thrifting and mending/upcycling, so if you're into it too, sign up here to get my blog in your email box every couple of weeks, and we can experiment with embroidery together!