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It’s Time to Revamp Another T-shirt

Hmm, why another t-shirt? I must confess, I live in them, I’m always on the prowl for the perfect t-shirt. And recently I found one that I just love – for $6.99. Wore it one day, felt so comfortable I went back and bought 6 more. Well, half of them are for testing embellishment techniques. I spent last night sketching a few ideas on how to embellish it. Of course, some of the fabrics I want to play with were not in my home studio so the real fun had to wait until I got into the office. Sketching is easy, it’s the auditioning of the fabrics and fine tuning the techniques that takes time.

Of course, this whole project isn’t just for me – Designs needs a garment – print worthy – for our next photo shoot. And we need it now. So I have two techniques that I’ve been tweaking for a few months that I think are ready to share. One I call ‘squiggles’ and the other involves my Favorite Little Flower from the Posh Pincushion book.

I think the combination of the two techniques is what will make the t-shirt stand out from the crowd.

I’m starting with a plain, white v-neck t-shirt made from burn-out cotton. This t-shirt is cut on the bias and fits an aging figure very forgivingly. It skims the figure without stretching across every bump – love that! It does have a small breast pocket which will be easy to remove (I examined the stitching – no heavy bactacking to eliminate).

A stretch mesh in a lovely shade of crème brulee will add just enough contrast to draw attention to the new embellishment.

Thread color will be just a shade or two (ok, maybe three) darker than the stretch mesh. Or maybe not – after all the real star of this garment will be the stretch mesh fabric. The cutting, positioning and layering of this fabric will keep me challenged for the next few days. I’ll keep you posted on my progress and share the finished results in the September/October issue of Designs. Well, you’ll probably get to see it before then—especially if you’re a subscriber to the blog!

I just confessed to my weakness about t-shirts but that’s not my only one. I also am on the eternal mission of finding the perfect pair of black pants. Just ask my Stitching Sister how ridiculous this can be. In April, we spent a half hour laughing over how many pairs of black pants I took with me on a week long Stitching Sisters business trip. In the photo below, you can see two large black blobs on the floor in the foreground. That my friends, is nine pairs of black pants.

Tell me what’s you’re favorite go-to purchase. Do you have a tendency to buy the same thing over and over again?  Leave a comment and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a copy of Posh Pincushions.

Last week we asked if you were on Facebook or not.  The winner of the Five Star Fonts gift card is…Cathy Grace!

“Yes I am on Facebook. I mostly lurk, look at pictures of family, friends, etc but am enjoying that many of the websites I frequent are now on Facebook also! Its fun to see the “new” ideas along with messages from family and friends. I love seeing what others have made, embroidered ,sewn, etc along with messages from friends and family!”

Congratulations, Cathy!

p.s.  Are you subscribed to the blog?  If not, be sure to subscribe by July 10th because on July 11th we are emailing everyone that is subscribed by email a $5.00 coupon good towards any purchase at  Click here for more info and to subscribe.




  • Gail Beam

    Socks are my downfall! Love them in prints, solids, and all different styles! Then comes jeans, sweats, and pjs! I am all into comfort clothes!

  • Claudine Denn

    I do not do facebook, but am a subscriber to your blog. My passion is also black jeans, and black t shirts. It seems when I reach in my closet that is the first thing I pull out. My mature figure feels better in black, well it felt good in black when I was younger also. ha I do enjoy your blog and magazine. I always find something to learn from your magazine or blog.

  • Cindy McCord

    Hi Eileen!! My downfall is FLIP FLOPS. I just love them. I have them in different colors and with lots of “bling”.

    • Eileen Roche

      Flip flops! Very fun – and so appropriate for a San Antonio resident! Hope all is well with you, Cindy.

  • Tonia Jeffery

    we have a very tight budget so i have to keep myself in check, but i have to be extra careful in fabric stores and baby girl sections

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    My most often purchases are just like yours–black pants and tshirts. My lifestyle is mostly casual now that my husband and I are both retired. I love taking a plain tshirt and embellishing it exactly the way I want to. I have a mature figure and it likes to be in black.

  • Sara

    I am a sucker for hoodies. I don’t know why, but I have so many and tend to wear the same ones over and over. In Louisiana, we don’t need heavy winter coats, so hoodies serve this purpose. And they are perfect to have around when there is the little bit of a chill at night.

  • marie zinno

    I can’t imagine how many t-shirts you will bring on the cruise in a few weeks!!
    Loved the blog…make me a shirt if you have some spare time LOL.

  • Aimee Berger

    I must confess…. you live in T-shirts, I live in sweat shirts. Temperature seems to not matter. I can wear them at 80 degrees or 2 degrees. My favorite? Gildan Havy blend hoodie. Yep, I own a few. And as an embroiderer, and a printer of sublimation (and I can to shirt vinyl too), I have come up with some very cool, all be it edgy, stuff that I love.

  • Darlene Jacolik

    I purchase many, many magazines and books, including books to listem to on my MP3 player. I love, love to read and browsing through magazines.

    • Eileen Roche

      Oh well, books and magazines. I’m not willing to confess to how many I own…I’ll just leave that alone for now!

  • Linda

    I never have too many (or, so it seems) white capri length pants. I grew up in south Florida, and even though I’m further north now, still love wearing white. And to go with those, I can never have too many turqoise or coral t-shirts. In winter I switch my compulsion to black pants.

    • Eileen Roche

      Black pants! See, I’m not the only one – we could share!

  • Cynthia Dooley

    Black pants and white cotton shirts are my downfall. I go shopping for new clothes and tell myself to look at colors. But, more than likely, I will come home with black pants and a white shirt.

    • Eileen Roche

      Oh me, too, Cynthia. I swear my wardrobe looks like it belongs to a waistress!

  • kathy myers

    I loveto shop for items that I can embellish. My family laugh at me that I can’t buy something with out changing it!!!!

  • Beth Rowan

    I also go for the black pants, but love to pair them with tee shirts and tank tops in bright colors. I love the contrast between the black and bright jewel tones – blues, greens, yellows, reds. Give me a tropical theme on a shirt any day!

  • Denice

    I love sweaters, cardigans, pullovers, all shapes and styles. These are something I cannot make for myself which justifies the need to shop. The more unique and colourfull they are the better. Of course they never wear out so I have lots of them.

  • karin

    I used to collect T-shirts from all each of our vacation spots and from every event I volunteered in – when we sold our house to go on the road full-time, I had about a hundred t-shirts – all colors, all themes, and a few different sizes. I wasn’t quilting at the time, but what a memory quilt that would have made!!

    Tonight, when I realized I would need a new swimsuit (I begin hydro-therapy 3 times a week next week!!), I began to regret that I hadn’t bought TWO last time I found one that fit & I loved the color & design. Next time, I will, that’s for sure!!!

  • Myrna Metz

    I can’t pass up a baseball cap. Love to decorate and wear them and since I have more bad hair day’s than good hair days, I use them a lot. I have a wall full, and keep several in each car.

  • Carol Seavitt

    Since the ownership of my embroidery machine … my closet looks like it needs a revamp. This is due to my purchase of so many ‘blanks’ lately. Just bought two market baskets and embroidered logos for my daughter and her soon-to-be college roommate. Now off to buy some dorm towels and embroider their initials. Help me! I can’t stop:)

    • Eileen Roche

      Oh don’t stop, keep having fun!

  • Betty McGovern

    I seem to gravitate toward T-shirts and jeans when I go shopping. I love the Designer Necklines packet I purchased at the recent Stitchin’ Sisters workshop at Puyallup, WA. My plain T’s are transforming into designer originals.

    • Eileen Roche

      Good for you Betty. I’m glad you’re enjoying Designer Necklines!

  • Barbie

    Fabric, fabric, fabric. I can’t resist anything cool, cute, or unique. I don’t just buy at fabric and quilt stores…I buy at yard sales, auctions and thrift stores, too! I have 3 large cabinets full but sometimes that the perfect piece I visualize is still waiting to be found.

  • Marti

    When I get to get out I love to go to the fabric store or craft store. I usually pick up a new pattern of somekind or some thread! I just love to browse the isles I don’t have to buy.

  • Peggy Schroeder

    I, too, love the black pants, and I don’t think there can be too many of them…..that’s like saying there is a limit on how much gold, diamonds or money one should have! I have lots and lots of tee shirt blanks, (all sizes), and towels to embroider, so when I want to do a quick gift, I don’t have to run to the store. Besides, when the grandkids come, they love to pick out a shirt or towel for me to “do” for them; they also love to pick out their own thread colors.

    Something to make it easier—-I use the little squiggly foam pencil protectors on my curved, squeeze little embroidery scissors. I simply open the end, and slide the foam protectors on both sides of the handle part and then hook them back together. It sure makes it easier on these old arthritic hands when I have a lot of threads to clip.
    I have a thread stand made out of wood a friend made for me, it has round holes cut out, two rows of ten each, and I set it all up with the threads I need for whatever design I am doing. If I need to use a color again, I simple put an old empty thread spool in that space. I used an ice cube tray for a long time, then was given the wonderful gift of the thread stand.

    Then to clean the sticky residue from adhesive spray off of my hoops, I lay them in the kitchen sink, and spray them really good with Dawn Power Dissolve. Let them sit for about 15 minutes, then simply wipe them off with a rag, and rinse with water. They will be sparkly clean!!!

    Hope these little hints help, I am all for saving time to get to the best part—-the embroidering!!

  • Shelagh

    My best wear at the moment are fine fleece jumpers to keep me warm. Only wish I could find the same fabric in the UK so I could make my own. Have to reline on Millet’s for them and they are going bust!!


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