Wednesday, September 27, 2006

How to Use a Transfer Pencil

So, you have a design or a drawing you want to embroider... but how do you get it from a piece of paper onto your fabric? What's a transfer pencil? I remember how confused I was when I started embroidering, too - so I hope this helps!

1. Find a transfer pencil and tracing paper - I bought my pencils online at Colonial Patterns, but they're also available at most big craft stores... The tracing paper is just regular old tracing paper!

2. Put your tracing paper over the drawing or pattern, and trace with the transfer pencil. Important: see how the letters in "Sew" are not facing the right way? This is the right way to do it! When you flip it over it will be facing the right way!
re-tracing "Sew" carefully

3. Flip the tracing paper over (image side down), pin into place and iron the tracing paper with a dry iron:
ironing the tracing paper

4. Presto! Your image has now been transferred to your fabric! Stick it in a hoop, and stitch away:
waiting to be stitched

See the completed shirt

A few free pattern sources:

Buy embroidery transfers (skip the pencil method):

How do I work that embroidery transfer, you may be asking? That's the easiest! Just iron it right on your fabric and you're ready to go - your pattern should come with ironing instructions...

So whip out that pencil and happy stitching, guys! (And I mean that in a totally gender-neutral way, too) :)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

the Shopping Cats t-shirt

all the little details

I embroidered this shirt for a friend who requested a cutesy Mother's Day t-shirt. The two cats come from two different sources - the first is a Days of the Week cat from The second little cat was a Task-a-Day free pattern from

closeup on the shopping bag

I'm pretty happy with my stitching on this - although it took days to finish and I started getting impatient... :)

Monday, March 27, 2006

the Sew Kitty t-shirt

Sew Kitty facing the right way

This was one of my first embroidered tees and it's still my favorite. I should post an updated picture - I've stuck this tee in the wash some 20 times and it still looks lovely... :) I've even collected a few compliments on the street for this shirt, which always makes me smile. I used no more than 2-3 strands of DMC floss for all the stitching, since the shirt is rather thin and stretchy.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

the yummy - tasty cat bib

And here it is on the wonderful model :)
Tasty Bib, originally uploaded by sir fanceepants.

Monday, March 13, 2006

the Señorita t-shirt

I like these flowers

I found a fabulous Señorita on and stitched her on a t-shirt. Here's a blurry pic of me sporting the Señorita...

ready to wear

Thursday, March 9, 2006

the Delicious shirt

silliness complete
The cat is an Aunt Martha's Kittens transfer, and one of my favorites of the whole book. I traced the chicken from clip art, and the lettering is a fun font called "Giddyup." The shirt was the product of a very silly collaboration with a dear Flickr friend, Olivia. I drew this up after an inspired session of photoshop on one of her beach pics:

silly idea developing..
Delicious Kitty lives with Olivia now - more on her adventures to come... :)

Sunday, March 5, 2006

bowl lapping kitty

bowl lapping kitty ;), originally uploaded by floresita.

Another Aunt Martha's kitten, worked on an old tank top.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

the first embroidered shirt

This was my very first embroidered t-shirt, done from an Aunt Martha's Kittens transfer. The material was pretty stretchy, and I worked with no interfacing, but I had no problems. Just took time to get used to the tension, and the way the stretchy fabric kind of "eats up" your stitches...