hand embroidering on clothes
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How to Embroider Clothes – Easy DIY

Have you ever wondered how to embroider clothes? It’s really pretty simple! In this post, I’ll go over some tips and tricks to get you stitching in no time.

Hand embroidery on clothes is a fun way to give an old shirt or pants new life. It’s not too different from embroidering in a hoop. In fact, I recommend using a hoop when you are stitching to make sure the fabric stays nice and flat, and doesn’t tug or wrinkle the fabric.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you purchase a product through it. I only recommend products I would use/love!

Types of Fabric

The easiest fabric to embroider on is something that is medium weight and doesn’t contain much stretch. It will be easier to embroider on and it won’t have the tendency to shrink or warp as much over time. I recommend linen, linen blends, cotton canvas, and denim material.

However, if you’re set on a piece of clothing that has elastic in it, you can read this post that has some ways to make it easer to embroider on stretchy fabric.

Preparing Your Clothes

If you’ve never worn the clothes before and they’re brand new, I recommend washing them first, just in case they shrink a little bit. If you use the embroidery floss I recommend, DMC Floss, the colors shouldn’t bleed. This floss is really good quality, and in my experience can stand the test of time, so I wouldn’t use anything off brand for this project.

Embroidery Supplies You’ll Need

How to Embroider Onto Clothes

For this project, I used the Stick N Washaway Stabilizer because of how easy it is to print off your pattern and stick it onto the fabric! It can be hard to trace a pattern if you’re embroidering onto thick clothing, so this stuff makes my life a lot easier. Simply download the pattern you’d like to use, place the stabilizer in the printer, and print it off!

One additional thing I’d recommend you do before you start is to test out a piece of the printed stabilizer on the clothing. Stick it somewhere discreet like the inside of the clothing and rinse it off to make sure that the ink on the stabilizer doesn’t bleed and stain the fabric.

how to embroider onto clothes
  1. Print off and cut out your pattern. Peel off the backing of the stabilizer and place it onto the spot you want to embroider.
  2. Place your embroidery hoop around the design and pull the fabric tight.
  3. Depending on the clothing, the stabilizer may move when you first start stitching. It helps to do a basting stitch (a loose running stitch you can take out after) to keep the stabilizer extra secure.
  4. Now, you’re ready to stitch! I used this strawberry plant pattern that you can find in the shop. The three patterns below would be perfect to stitch onto clothes.

4. Make sure all your knots are tight – even double or triple knotted to make sure none of your stitches fall out while you’re wearing your clothes.

5. When you’re done with the pattern, simply run it under cool water and rub the stabilizer. It will dissolve in your hands, leaving only your embroidery!

Care of Embroidered Clothing

After you’ve embroidered onto the clothes, I recommend hand washing (or using the delicate/hand wash setting on your washing machine) and hang drying. As with anything that contains color, you should avoid bleach. Here are some tips for washing and caring for embroidered clothes.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial! Check out this tutorial on how to stitch words onto clothing.

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