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Alignment and Placement Wearables

Spring Roses By Lorraine Allen

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Note from Eileen:

A big welcome to guest blogger Lorraine Allen! Many of you may remember Lorraine when she worked in customer service here at Designs.  Now she’s living in Utah and is definitely missed in Dallas. Since I’m on my honeymoon I thought I’d let Lorraine share an easy t-shirt makeover. It’s so simple you can do this right now and wear it tonight! Just grab a tee from your closet, your favorite outline embroidery design and some crystals and you’re on your way to a creative way to spend the day.  This is an opportunity to master a technique—whether it’s growing in confidence with layout and design, placing templates, stitching on knits—or all of the above!  The whole point of machine embroidery is to have fun.

Embroidery Products

Inky Rose Border (#3629) from Embroidery Library

Embroidery editing software


Printed template of design

Polymesh fusible stabilizer

Water soluble adhesive stabilizer

Pink cotton t-shirt – or color of your choice

Straight pins

Repositionable tape

4” embroidery hoop

12” of yellow ribbon for embellishment

Hot fix crystals (optional)

Step 1. Print Design Templates

Open the design in editing software. Print several templates of the design. I used 6 templates for a size medium shirt.

Step 2. Arrange Templates on T-Shirt

Use removable tape to arrange the templates on your t-shirt so they cascade from the right shoulder to the left hip. When you are pleased with the layout, put pins in the center of each template to hold it more securely during hooping.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Step 3. Fabric Preparation

Turn the t-shirt inside out. Cut and place strips of no-show fusible mesh stabilizer over the templates on the wrong side of the t-shirt. Following manufacturer’s directions, press stabilizer to secure it in place.

Step 4. Embroidery

Load the embroidery design into the machine.

Leave the t-shirt inside out. This will make it easier to hoop and handle while embroidering.

Hoop pressure-sensitive stabilizer, keeping the paper side up. Use a pin to score the paper. Remove the paper from the center of the embroidery hoop.

Starting with the design on the right shoulder, position the t-shirt wrong side down the hooped stabilizer so that the cross hair on the first template aligns with the center of the hoop. Use your hands to smooth and adhere the t-shirt to the hooped stabilizer.

Nest the t-shirt around the template to make a little donut. Below is a picture of a different t-shirt to illustrate the tech­nique.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Attach the hoop to the machine. Center the needle over the crosshair and make necessary adjustments.

Remove the template from the design being stitched. Fold back and secure the remaining templates to keep them out of the sewing field. Stitch the first design.

Once the design is stitched, remove the hoop from the machine. Remove the stabilizer from the hoop. Gently tear away the pressure sensitive stabilizer. To avoid breaking stitches, hold onto the stitched design as you tear away the stabilizer.

To stitch the next design, smooth the next template back into position and make sure it is aligned with the stitched design.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

When you are satisfied with the alignment, turn the shirt inside out again. Hoop another piece of pressure-sensitive stabilizer and repeat the steps above to embroider the second design.

Repeat this process until all designs are stitched.

To give the illusion that the embroidery goes across the body and ties at the side, I added a ribbon at the bottom left side seam.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Add crystal or silver stud embellishments to complete the look.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

This week’s assignment:

We LOVE bling and we want to hear from all of you that also LOVE bling!  This week we will give away FOUR Crystal Eye Candy kits courtesy of Design by Dawn.  Tell us what you would embellish with your own set of crystals.  Four random winners will be drawn and will win one Kit listed below.

Prizes include:
Tropical Kit
Light Kit
Winter Kit
Sweet Kit

Each kit includes 480 crystals– all neatly organized in a handy container.  Talk about beautiful, sparkly eye-candy!  Plus, you’re getting nothing but the best!  All crystals are Crystallized(TM) Swarovski Elements.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

What an inspiring individual we have in this week’s winner!  Linda Turner took an idea (the “Read” bags featured in Volume 64 Sept/Oct 2010) then put the idea into action.  She inspired others to join in a unique endeavor to stitch hundreds of “Read” bags for a children’s reading program.

Share your stories of how you have put your sewing, machine embroidery or crafting skills into action for someone in need.  Post a comment for a chance to win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

 The winner is…Connie W.

“A couple years ago our Friday night craft class took on the project of sewing pillowcases and donating them to childrens’ hospitals. It was lots of fun putting them together, using all kinds of fun fabrics for kids of all ages. Being able to give to others is always a great feeling!”





  • cheryl long

    That is gorgeous!

    • Carol Morrow

      I love embellishing. I’m thinking of making Eileen’s positive negative handbag and embellishg it with crystals etc.

    • Carol S

      I loved the t-shirt! I would put blink on a pair of jeans that I embroided a design on the side of each pant leg. Also, on a jacket. I have used blink when I embroided a design on a wedding veil for my daughter in law.

    • Paula Roney

      I’ve always loved to sparkle! I bling almost everything I embroider,as well as tennis shoes, the arms of my glasses and all of my purses. I can’t think of many things that wouldn’t benefit from a little bling!!!

    • Penny Kitzmiller

      I use crystals to embellish shirts and I also use them on handmade cards.

  • Tina Sitz

    I love embellishing things. I have been thinking about embellishing a pair of jeans and shirt and then if it turns out ok, i would love to do a set for my daughter and granddaughter.

  • Susanne Ascue

    Beautiful design

  • Pat Brooks

    Both of my granddaughters enjoy the things I make for them, so I would do matching embellished shirts for all three of us. It would be fun to take them places and have all of us look the “same”!

  • Terry

    Omigosh, but that is beautiful! Can’t wait to give it a try!

  • Jorga

    I would ‘bling up’ all my spring gardening shirts & gloves!

  • Glenda

    I embroidery for my granddaughter, who is graduating from nursing school in May, she loves eye candy. I embroidered her name on a bag that she carries to the hospital with all her “stuff”. If I won the crystals I would add bling to her bag.

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    I love using crystals and use them in anything except for baby gifts. I would love to embroider and embellish a pair of jeans if I won one of these.

  • Jan Waker

    What a great and simple way to explain what seems to be a complicated technique. Many thanks. I alway enjoy your website and blog.

  • Linda Sorensen

    I love using crystals and bling on all the small things I make: sun visores, napking rings, coin purses, cosmetic bags, etc. I also appreciated this tutorial. Thank you Lorraine

  • Kay Skramstad

    I love putting going on my three granddaughters shirts and jeans. Of course their “babies”have to have some blunt on their things!

  • Pat Villere

    Last month I began teaching sewing to the young ladies at the local recovery center for Women (a residential recovery program to overcome all addictions). Learning to sew is teaching them a skill they can use in their future and also serves as community service They have started making pillowcases for the local hospital and the local children’s services organizations. We are all having a lot of fun learning, teaching and sharing.

  • Colleen Bunner

    Beautiful, I just love how crystals make embroidery pop! Dawn’s crystals are the best.

  • Caroline Weber

    The crystals would look great on the legs of jeans and on a tee shirt plus, maybe a few, on a purse.

  • Marlene Hovagimian

    Great idea, I”m going to have to give this a try. The design placement is right on!

  • Michelle Rasmussen

    I just bought my first tiny bag of crystals and a heat wand yesterday! I am adding them to my embroidered can koozies for an up coming bachelorette party! I didn’t think they would be so easy to use. I love adding a little or a LOT of bling to my embroidery. My next project will be on an embroidered top that I am making for my mom for mother’s day. Would love to add some bling to that!

  • Jill H

    What a clever idea!

  • Joyce Cloud

    I would bling up some shirts for my teenage granddaughter and my small granddaughters. Love the design its gorgeous

  • Kathy

    I would spice up my jeans. I love to embroider on jeans to make them mine and bling would be the sparkle.

  • Virginia

    I love the designs “Spring Roses” and what a great way to attach templates with your suggestion of using temporary tape. I never would of thought that.

  • Bernice Keller

    I love using crystals to add shine and sparkle to things I’ve made or even store-bought items that need some added interest. Would love to win these to do even more.

  • Carolyn H

    I look for excuses to add bling! The Spring Roses design is very pretty. I think it would look great on a pair of jeans.

  • LeAnne L

    Bling goes on just about anything: blouses, wall hangings, tote bags, jeans, jackets….

  • Sue F

    I would bling up some jeans!!! Love my bling!!!

  • Janet K

    I love using the crystals when I make quilts. It really dresses up the quilt when used in strategic places. I used them in a wholecloth quilt I made and that quilt really sparkled. Sometimes I use the crystals to add bling on purchased t-shirts.

  • Cathy

    I would embellish a shirt like Lorraine’s! Just love it!

  • Gail Beam

    My granddaughters love bling! I would love to bling up some jean jackets for them. Crystals add glamour and fun to any item!

  • Linda S

    I am working on a fabric challenge project and would use the crystals to embellish the jacket once it is completely embroidered and sewn together.The crystals would give it the final touch!

  • Sharon Aiken

    I would put crystals on anything that will stand still long enough.
    I just love, love, love bling.

  • Peggy Schroeder

    Hi, I love bling!!! I love putting them on jeans that I have embroidered, it really makes a cheap pair of jeans look expensive. I have a bunch of grandkids, and great grands, and they love it when I embroider something for them and add crystals, beads, or what ever makes it shine.

    Eileen, Congratulations on your marriage, I wish you all the best; does it mean you won’t be traveling so much? It is ok if it does, as long as you still come out this way again! My friends and I are looking forward to coming to another one of your Stitching Sisters week-end.

    • eileenroche

      Hi Peggy! Thanks for the good wishes! Marie and I are still planning on doing the events – no worries.

      • Peggy Schroeder

        Great, do you have any plans yet for out here in our great California sun? If it is near our area, we would like to attend another event. I don’t think going three times is overkill, do you? It is just a lot of fun!

  • Mary Haggenmaker

    This old great grandma just happens to have a pair of jeans that need some bling up the leg. Creating like this is just so much fun!

  • Barbara Rowlan Wong

    I love bling! Until I got my embroidery machine I made crystal designs on all of my tee shirts, jeans, etc. I have a professional heat seal machine just waiting for me to fire it up again. What a pleasure it would be to combine my new hobby of embroidery and embellishing those projects with crystals.

  • Pat Silvernell

    For a friends surprise birthday last week we all brought something inexpensive with bling. I got a duck bill visor and embroidered 2 free standing butterflies. I glued them on either side with bling on top. Then had bought an iron on bling butterfly at Joann’s to iron on the middle. My friend loved it.

  • jeanne

    I would embellish butterflies on a T-shirt. I haven’t used any “bling” yet.

  • Mary Catherine

    I love bling and think that it can be used on all articles of clothing. Since my granddaughter think that everything I make in my sewing room is for her, I would probably embellish a pair of jeans for her.Something she would get a lot of use out of. She is becoming such a big fashionista.

  • Shirley R

    I would use the crystals to place on one of Embroidery Library’s peacock designs that I purchased. It’s designed especially for crystals. I’d use the design and crystals on either a t-shirt or on the back of a sweatshirt jacket.

  • Carol Jenks

    I have made a pair of cowgirl boots for my 1st great granddaughter. They come in size 0-3 months. I would embellish them with glitzy chrystals around all of the embroidery.

  • Whitney H

    I just tried on a pair of jeans with some bling on the back pockets. I think I’d probably use the crystals to make myself some blingy jeans, and a shirt to match!

  • Flora T

    My daughter who is 11 has started to design tops that she and I sew together. She loves all things sparkly, and loves being able to be an individual in her clothing. I would use the crystals to help her take her designs up a notch!!

  • karen

    I love bling and think everything looks better with a little sparkle.

  • Nancy N

    I would bling the 50 reunion favors I am making for the summer get together.

  • Donna Coffey

    I am thinking some bling on throw pillows for my granddaughters bedroom would be a hit! Great tutorial on the T-Shirt… thanks very much.

  • JoAnn Shipp

    I would love to add bling to a jean jacket!!!

  • Jean Guenther

    I really like what you did on the T-Shirt. Would love to do one for myself. The bling is just enough!

  • Cathy Chalk

    Eileen, I am using an Anita Goodesign to make Tree-mendous. These crystals will add a fabulous touch to that! I love putting them on my bags and quilts. It makes them sparkle, and when I show them off, the crowd is sure to go…”AHHHH!”

  • Dale Fedor

    I’ve made July 4th shirts for my grandkids & myself using bing to highlight the embroidered fireworks.

  • Ruby Ridgeway

    I am just learning to embroider on my new machine. This is one design I think I can do without my instructor. I already have a t-shirt so will try this desighn this afternoon. I’d been worrying how to aline the designs now I know to make a template . Thanks Ruby

  • Berenice

    OHHH, sparkly is one of my favorite colors! With three girls active in a service organization with 11 other girls, there are lots of opportunities to add a little flash to everything from hoop dresses to matching totes & tees. Those girls love sparkly too!

  • Wanda Weese

    If I won a package of the crystals I would incorporate it in one of my Designer Neckline patterns.

  • Lynda Davey

    I have been wanting to make and embroider a denim jean jacket. The design would be a gorgeous fern and the crystals would make the perfect dew drops.

  • Chantal Vercruysse

    Very beautifull design, i will try i to.

  • Jean

    I add bling to the Dance Team Duffel Bags I embroidery for a local dance studio. It really makes the design stand out at dance competitions and the girls love it.

  • Kathy Martin

    Jeans for my grand daughters!!!

  • Anna Cameron

    Hi there, I love to make the fsl snowflakes, icicles and angels and adding crystals to them gives a real WOW! Love your magazine!!

  • Joanna Mackintosh

    I have a very plain, boring, long-sleeved black t-shirt crying out for some bling! Also, some 70’s style denim jeans need some decoration too 🙂

  • Patty Sack

    I want to make a spring denim jacket with crystals and flowers! Something light and open.

  • Sharyn

    If I won the Crystal kits I would cover my granddaughter’s lab glasses. She asked me to embellish her lab safety glasses the other day and I didn’t have enough to do them. I have the hot set to attach them.

  • Barbara King

    I’d use them to put a little glitz in summer T-shirts or maybe awall hanging and then frame it. I’ve been doing sweatshirts all winter and using crystals on some of the designs. Also have done some bags and used the crystals there.

  • Pamela Beeth

    The perfect outfit for Easter. After church we have a swimming and barbecue family party and I was searching for something to wear. This is the perfect idea! Thanks

  • Linda Lynch

    I like to use bling on cosmetic bags I make and fill for women’s shelters.

  • Karen

    I would add bling to some jeans a jacket and some things for my niece.

  • Toni Melton

    I am making denim handbags with various designs, but mostly paisley. They would be especially awesome with some of Dawn’s crystals!

  • MargaretAnnB

    Right now I’m thinking of making an evening bag to use at my niece’s wedding. Crystals would be just the thing to jazz it up.

  • Tina Williams

    I am making totes and denim jacket that I would bling up!!!

  • Lila Smith

    I like the tee shirt, hadn’t thought about doing a design on an angle. Lorraine, you are missed! It was always a pleasure to talk with you. Hope your new location is wonderful.

    Ilene, congratulations. I wish you happiness and only the best in the years to come. I look forward to receiving your magazine and can hardly wait for a new one to arrive.
    I want to make some purses with bling on them.

  • Freda Falldorf

    I also love to “bling” by putting crystals on t shirts, embroideries, and I used them with embroidery on my granddaughters wedding dress 2 years ago. It was a white dress she made, with a lavender triangle
    inset on the left front. I did stipple all over the triangle (took me 14 hours) and embroidery designs on the white skirt beside the panel and all around the bottom of the dress. We together also put crystals at various locations and on the border of her veil. It turned out beautiful and somewhat glitzy.

  • Alice M

    Bling would be so cute on a dressy little summer apron for my daughter who loves to bake cakes.

  • Anita McDaniel

    I would love to win the crystal sets and then get Dawn’s designs for her quilt and use them on it. So beautiful.

  • Judy Wentz

    I would put bling on the tiaras I embroidered with metallic thread for my friends to wear at quilt retreat. we all look so good in our pajamas and tiaras!

  • Lois

    I can see a little sparkle on a tee, migrating to a tote, further migrating to the leg of a capri and ending up at my toes.

  • Paule-Marie

    I’m trying to do more ‘arty’ quilts and would use the crystal on my small quilts. the Tropical ones are especially pretty.

  • Donna G.

    This is a great T-shirt makeover! Thanks for the detailed instructions. I love adding bling to denim: jackets, jeans, vests, skirts, all of it!

  • Kathy Schmidt

    there are so many things I would love to embellish but the first thing I can think of is my saddle blanket, love to ride in local gymkhanas (barrels etc.) & my flashy paint Lily deserves a flashy saddle blanket

  • Alo

    I would like to embelish the designs I am digitizing as a part of the BOM from

  • Sue G

    Wow, what a wonderful idea. I make beach tote bags with beach towels attached and I embroider on them. These embelishments would just add so much more to them. It would add that special bling that it needs.

  • Doreen

    I would put crystals on a t-shirt, pullover and a tote bag

  • Marge Geraci

    I am fairly new to the machne embroidery family. I have gotten the bug right now that all I want to do is different projects. Boy, most of them would realy look cool to have some bling on them. That’s what I’D Do! I’d just make everything sparkle, sparkly! What Fun!!!

  • Minerva Rios

    I would embellish t-shirts and a blouse I plan to embroider. Also, a summer hat with an embroidered ribbon w/flowers and bees attached to it and a handbag to match!Last time I used hot fix cyrstals was to decorate three ceramic Kings Men I painted for my brother. They looked beautiful w/their jewels! I use them on everything, cards, clothes, crochet, ect.

  • Clem

    One of my granddaughters is into “fairies” I would embroider several t-shirts and add the bling to bring the fairies to life… she loves bling too… We make a great team. 😉

  • Mary Lou

    I’m going to be making this shirt tomorrow. I have all my supplies ready and waiting for me. I’m so excited to add some “Bling” to it. The hardest part is to decide what color to do the embroidery on a white Tee. Black is always classy looking with the “Bling”, but thinking of doing it in another color though. What should I do, what should I do? LOL It’s going to be pretty whatever I decide. Thank you for such a pretty and unique design I also purchased from Embroidery Library, my favorite place to go.

  • Mary Lou

    I just made this Tee and it turned out beautiful. I also put some bling on it and can’t wait to wear it. My shirt is white, and I used a pretty light goldish/tan thread. It has silver bling beads, and small goldish looking beads which I hand sewed with invisable thread. I going to get a turquous shirt next and make the same shirt with the same design and more “Bling.” Can’t wait to get started on that one.

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