Personalized gifts are always a hit for the Holidays. Having the right tools and fun items to embroider will make gift creation a joy! Below are my favorite tips for quick personalized gifts:
Adding a name, monogram or design to a purchased item or garment:
- A side seam may need to be unstitched (opened up). This will give you more access to the area you want to embroider.
- Purchased items are already cut to a specific shape and size and they are often nearly impossible to fit into the hoop completely. This is is where a sticky stabilizer, like Floriani Perfect Stick (tearaway) or Wet N Gone Tacky (washaway) can be useful. They will hold the embroidery area securely in the hoop.
- Use pink tape like Floriani Embroidery Perfection Tape to hold the excess fabric out of the way. Plus it will keep you from sewing your fingers. :)
- Use the built-in lettering on your machine or your software to create and add the desired custom lettering.
- Control the nap. Water soluble topping like Floriani's will work great on all of your embroidery projects. It will keep your stitches above the nap. When working with a fabric that has a nap or long fibers, a topper is a must!
- For items that will be washed often like towels consider using a heat away topping like Floriani Heat N Gone. This product needs the direct contact with an iron's sole plate to be removed and therefore, where covered with thread, will always be there holding the nap of the fabric down.
If your gift item is nearly impossible to hoop and won't stick well to the sticky mentioned above, try Wet N Stick from Floriani. This is perfect for holding the unholdable! Even socks if you can believe it! Wet N Stick is a tearaway with a water-activated adhesive.
- Hoop stabilizer shiny side up.
- Place hoop on a flat surface.
- Using a sponge that has been well rung out, lightly dampen the area of the stabilizer that you intend on using.
- Place item over damp area and hold in place for a minute so it can dry and set. If wanting to embroider a sock or other stretchy item, stretch the item as needed and place on damp area, hold as desired for a minute. When the stabilizer is dry it will hold your project in place like nothing else! It is also very easy to needle through and the needle is not gummed up by the adhesive.
- Add other embellishments, like ribbon and trims on tea towels. The best results are achieved by using a glue stick instead of pins. I prefer the Quilter's Select Glue stick because it does not distort the shape of your trim like pins do, the yellow color can be seen on both light and dark fabrics, it dries quickly (and clear), it will wash out, and it is needle friendly.
Having specialty tools at an arms reach will make your quick Holiday gifts go smoother and result in a beautiful finished project!
Enjoy a happy Holiday sewing season!