How to embroider a shirt

See how embroidery is done by the professionals at Janome!

The team love to use the machines they sell. To highlight just what can be done with an embroidery machine, they’ve transformed a simple classic white shirt! See below the different methods they share with us on how to embroider a shirt.

How to embroider a shirt

Shirt 1
Appliqué flower embroidery by Ann White

The designs that Ann chose came from two different Janome machines.

The appliqué flower design came from the Janome Memory Craft 14000. By using Digitizer MBX V5 software the size has been adjusted.

On the machine itself, you can use the edit screen to adjust designs 20 per cent larger or smaller. This is done without altering the stitch count! By using the software it adjusts the stitch count in the design giving endless options for using the same design.

While the leaf design was taken from the new MC500E embroidery-only machine, the size has again been altered in the Digitizer MBX V5 Software.

Templates for the embroidery designs were created in the MBX software to help with the accurate positioning of designs these were printed onto vellum.

The pocket was removed from the shirt for the embroidery to allow this to fit into the hoop.

Ann placed Tearaway stabiliser in the hoop, and attached the pocket piece to the stabiliser using the basting stitch in the embroidery trace and baste function.

The template was then used to make sure that the design was paced in the correct position.

Shirt 2
Parisian Style by Ruth Cox

The shirt provided a great blank canvas, Ruth wanted a design that was bold but with clean lines and not too heavy in terms of stitches and colours.

Because the shirt is a classic tailored style in a crisp cotton fabric, she felt the overall look should be smart but also feminine.

The Parisian Girl design was initially selected as it evokes images of fashion and travel.

Ruth looked for designs in the machine that would work with this and selected the Redwork range by Y.Ganaha on the Janome MC15000. She loved the idea of swallows flying over the Eiffel Tower, and there was a good variety of shapes in the rest of the collection to create a pretty scalloped edge on the front band and embroidered cuffs.

The designs are quite open and delicate to balance the Parisian Girl design, and the touch of red in the shoes and lipstick helped bring the whole look together.

This Janome MC15000 embroidery/sewing machine was used to stitch the designs after editing them initially in Digitizer MBX software.

Ruth also used the Janome AcuSetter app as this is the perfect tool for embroidery placement on a ready-made item.

With AcuSetter, you can photograph the shirt using an iPad once it’s placed in the embroidery hoop, then you can manipulate the embroidery to ensure that it’s correctly aligned on each area of the shirt.

Once you’re happy with the positioning of the design, it can be transferred wirelessly to the MC15000. You can stitch out with the confidence knowing that the finished result will be successful!

Shirt 3
Blue lace butterflies by Jayne Brogan
Jayne used the Janome MC15000 for all the embroidery and machine stitching of the Blue Lace butterflies.

The inbuilt lace designs are beautiful and intricate although they’re not shown very often especially when demonstrating the machines as they take quite some time to stitch out.

Jayne felt that the design could be altered or added to future time if required as the motifs are removable.

The lace designs give a good opportunity to further embellish the motifs when they’re applied. In this case, she used some beads and a small crystal on each motif to add a little extra sparkle.

Jayne enlarged the butterfly design by the maximum 20 per cent in the machine itself and then duplicated the design to fit as many designs as she could into the hoop – five individual butterfly patterns could then be stitched out at one time!

A double layer of Janome Ultra Solvy was used as a stabiliser to ensure the design was stable throughout the stitching process.

The motifs were then soaked to remove all the Solvy and pressed flat. By leaving some residue of Solvy in the motifs, they could be also be shaped into 3D designs if required.

The motifs were placed on the shirt and stitched using a mono filament thread and a small zigzag stitch by stitching down each wing. The beading was attached by hand and the stitches down the centre of the bodies then held the butterfly flat against the shirt and added extra stability.

The big plus when using pre-sewn motifs is that you can easily rearrange them before finally stitching them onto the shirt to give the desired look and you can also remove them at a later date and re-use them!

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