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Use a Teeny-Tiny Embroidery Pattern to Stitch a Great Big T-shirt

Want to learn the basics of hand embroidery with an easy online workshop – totally free?

Sign up for Embroidery 101 here. You’ll learn how to get started, the tools and supplies you’ll need, the four most basic stitches, how to transfer your pattern and how to display your work.

If you already know the basics – sign up for Embroidery 201. It’s also free! You’ll learn how to stitch on specialty fabrics like felt and stretchy T-shirts. Plus you’ll learn lots and lots and LOTS more stitches – all my favorites!

You know how I’m always saying you can play with the size of your embroidery patterns? Well – here’s a prime example. As soon as she saw the finished dogs my daughter squealed, “Ooooooh! That one is soooooo cute! Will you please stitch it on a T-shirt for me?”

Before I could even answer her she had pulled a blank T-shirt out of her closet and chosen the thread color she wanted for the dog.

I enlarged the pattern on the computer (you could use a copy machine if that’s more convenient). 6″ tall seems to be a great size for all T-shirt embroidery.

This post has some instructions for enlarging an embroidery pattern.

It’s important to NOT skip the stabilizer step with any embroidery on stretchy fabric — there’s a how and why video here.

The Magical Embroidery Stuff is what I use for all T-shirt embroidery. Pattern transfer and stabilize in one easy step – you’ve got to love that! See how it works in this video.

Enlarging the pattern made the lines really thick (remember – I was sizing up from a pattern that was less than 2 inches tall). I used a full 6 strands of thread to get a nice heavy backstitched line. I satin stitched the eyes and attached a little fleece nose with simple running stitches. An hour and a half later I had one finished T-shirt and one very happy daughter. 🙂

Applique Wendi (with fabulous hat)


Try my new embroidery book! Over 500 fun motifs – all embroidered using the easiest, most basic stitches. Get the book here.


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