Friday, June 17, 2011

Applique Troop Tees [Mission Complete]

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I didn't get a chance to drool over fabrics this week *le sigh*, so Fabulous Fabric Friday will be back next week.  You can check out last week's Fab. Fab. Friday, here.

Instead, I'm going to share the project I recently finished for Trista's Girl Scout Troop. Woot!  If you follow on facebook, you've seen my posts about being consumed by this project, but I enjoyed every minute of it, well, mostly. :-)  Along with making pretty handbags and accessories, I enjoy machine embroidery... like, I really enjoy it.  I've got quite the collection of designs, though nothing compared to my Mother-in-law, and am almost as quick to buy new ones as I am to indulge in new fabric....I'll admit fabric does win this battle more often than not, though.

The project was to applique tees for the Troop to wear at camp.

I started with Old Navy basic tees.  I prefer the way they wash and wear, they also hold the stitches nicely.

I marked the shirts with water soluble pen, backed them with soft cut-away stabilizer and hooped them for the machine.  I already had the design loaded into my embroidery software because I had stitched a Troop shirt for T earlier in the year... that saved a lot of time.  The total time, per shirt, from hooping to finishing stitching, not including trimming jump stitches, is one hour... I did 12 shirts... whew!

My Futura... generally a nice gal.
I do all of my work on my Singer Futura CE-150, she's a bit touchy at times, but generally a nice gal... we've been through quite a bit together. :-)  

In case you are wondering what Applique is, Google breaks it down like this:


Noun: Ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric are sewn or stuck onto a large piece of fabric to form pictures or patterns.
Verb: Decorate (a piece of fabric) in such a way: "the coat is appliquéd with exotic-looking cloth".

The fabric I used was Girl Scouts by Robert Kaufman.  I purchased a fat quarter bundle to give me the whole range of the basic colorway.  I have enough left over that probably I will make a bunting (I'm obsessed!!) for the Troop's meeting room.  Seriously, there's fabric with Thin Mints AND Samoa cookies printed on it... yummy! 

I cut out all of my fabric ahead of time... 12 groups of the "Troop 1747"... That's 12 T's, 12 r's, 24 o's... you get it... lots of cutting.
Snip, snip, snip... this is why it pays to have good scissors!

My machine stitches a die-line for each letter/number; this shows me where to place my corresponding piece of fabric.  I spray my pieces with some Awesome 505 temporary adhesive spray, and stick it onto the die-line.  Next, a tacking stitch is done over all of the fabric pieces, to hold them in place.  That's followed by a satin stitch (a very dense zig-zag stitch) and topped with a final set of decorative stitches, in this particular design.

Satin stitches, in Girl Scout Green
Once finished, I snip the jump stitches (this part is bor-ing) to clean up the design and trim the excess stabilizer from behind the design.
The finished shirt:

Lots of finished shirts!
I enjoyed making these for the girls... I bet they looked super cute in them at camp!  Have you tried machine embroidery?  What about embroidery by hand, or applique?  I'd love to know your thoughts and have you share by leaving a comment!

XxOo~ Melissa


  1. I love the pictures! You can see all the detail really well! And your description really helps explain what all goes into it!
    Thanks for sharing:)

  2. The shirts look lovely! Trista's a lucky girl :)
    I haven't tried machine embroidery yet. But hand embroidery, yes and its so addictive! My mom's been trying to get me into it for years, and she's finally succeeded. She's got quite the collection and i'm waiting for when i can hijack it all! ;)

    PS- i stumbled upon ur blog while i was browsing, and the name was enough to get me interested :D your designs are great!

  3. Thanks Michelle! And Sabin, glad you found me and happy to have you! My mother-in-law turned me on to machine embroidery. :-)

  4. Thank you so much for this post. Do you have any other post with this machine? I have owned this machine for 1 year and have not had a good experience with it so far glad that I know it's possible. Thank you I am going to try this today:)

  5. What size letters did you use? what font?

    1. Wendee, I believe I used the letters/numbers included in a Planet Applique design called Snowflake 2 Alpha. You can find it, here:

      Happy Stitching!!


Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts, this chick LOVES hearing from you!

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