In this instructable I'm going to show you how to make a high quality T Shirt modification using a reverse applique process with an embroidery machine. I'll show you some basic embroidery digitizing steps, hooping, embroidery, cutting, and how to add bling using a hot iron and hot fix crystals.
On a side note you can also make these embroidered T Shirt Mods withOUT an embroidery machine, you can use a home sewing machine, or stitch them by hand and still use the techniques in this instructable to create a great shirt.
Step 1: Embroidery Digitizing
The first thing we will need is a program to run on the embroidery machine. (If you are making these on a home sewing machine or by hand, you will skip this step)
Open your embroidery digitizing software. I use Designer's Gallery Master Works 2, it's an older program but it gets the job done and didn't cost me a bajillion dollars. :) Not all embroidery digitizing software is the same obviously but most have similar functions and it should only be a minimal amount of effort to find the simple commands I'm about to show you.
1. Select the option to add TTF Artwork (which is just a fancy way of saying you are going to digitize letters from a True Type Font)
Then you will select which True Type Font you want to use.
2. Select a font that is fat and thick for this technique so that you will be able to cut fabric from the center in a later step. You can also choose a BOLD type to get the thickness of letter you need.
3. Type in the words that you want to embroider and select OK
4. Now you have somplified True Type Font artwork on your screen, at this point the art is JUST art that you can modifiy, stretch and make bigger.
5. Use your mouse to pull the corners of the artwork to make it the size you want it. Be sure to keep in mind the size of your embroidery hoop and do not go over those dimensions. (I made my example larger so you can see it.)
6. Now we will need to turn our artwork into stitches. Make sure your artwork is selected on the screen and find the running stitch command on your program. Click the Run button and that should turn your artwork into stitched lines. (Do not select the column or satin stitch options because that will fill in the entire letter with stitches and that isn't what you want)
7. Your artwork is now a single row of stitches! Yeah, but we're not done yet...
8. So your artwork is stitches now but you are not ready to sew yet. You COULD sew now but your stitch line would be hard to see as it is just a basic single line of stitching around each letter. You need to BEEF it up a little so we're going to change those "single run" stitches into "bean" stitches. "bean" stitching is two stitches sewn side by side to make a line of stitches more bold. So select your "bean" stitch option and "apply" to highlighted stitching on your screen.
9. You can now see your stitches on the screen if you zoom in.
On to the next step...