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Alignment and Placement Embroidery Tips & Techniques Wearables

Last Minute Men’s Wear for Your Man

Tattoo Embroidery

Tattoo EmbroideryLooking for a last minute personalized gift for your man? Want to get your guy to wear embroidered duds? Think fast and subtle.  Embroidering on blanks is one the quickest tasks an embroiderer can do. The key to getting your guy to wear embellished clothing is stitching something classy and modern.  A plain, black button-down shirt can be elevated to a designer original just by adding a design to a trendy area.


When selecting embroidery designs for men, go for low stitch count designs – etched figures, sketchy motifs, and satin-stitched outlines.  Reserve the heavy fill stitch designs for jacket backs, camping and sporting gear and hats.  Plan on placing the embroidery over the side seam of the shirt.  Print a template of the design from embroidery software and place the template on the garment.  This will give you a heads up whether your design is going to work.  Keep an eye on the scale – too small and it looks like a postage stamp.  Too big and it’ll draw attention away from his masculine frame and great smile.  Think of tattoo embroidery as an accent, a complement to his frame.


Iron fusible cut-away polymesh stabilizer to the wrong side of the design area. Hoop the design area. Position the needle over the center of the template or target sticker and stitch the design.  Many masculine embroidery designs have few color changes if any, which makes your task easy! Just remember to select thread that separates slightly from the base fabric. Even though you’re going for subtle doesn’t mean the embroidery has to be invisible.


Once complete, remove the shirt from the hoop. Press the wrong side and release the excess stabilizer from the shirt.  Trim the stabilizer leaving about ¼” around all motifs.

Model - Tattoo Embroidery

See how easy it is to create this embroidery. Just click here to see me demonstrate the technique on It’s Sew Easy television show.  Season 300 is now up and ready – you’ll enjoy a new show every week.


Here’s your assignment this week:

The designers at the Sulky Embroidery Club want you to win a FREE Gold Membership. Just leave a comment below about why you’d like a membership in the Sulky Embroidery Club. To find out more about the Club and this $150 retail value, just click the ad. If you win, we’ll create an account for you, already loaded with 500 points, so you can begin shopping immediately. Choose from Joyce Drexler’s latest creations, called “Spoolies”, Carol Ingram’s new designs – just in time for the holidays, or the freshest embroidery designs from Team ES. There are hundreds of extraordinarily high-quality designs and projects to choose from, including fill, appliqué, outline, and 3-dimensional. New designs are added each month, so good luck!

Sulky Embroidery Club

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

Tell us the one machine embroidery item you’d like to have most this year for Christmas. One lucky winner will win a $25 gift certificate to spend on the Designs in Machine Embroidery website!

And the winner is… “Dear Santa, I would like a snap hoop, the Pal 2, More embroidery thread and stabilizers and one day without interruptions to finish my projects! Oh and of course peace on earth! Thanks” – Mercedes C.

Congratulations Mercedes! Thank you to everyone for sharing your wish lists with us.




  • Cindy McCarty

    I’d love to be a part of the Sulky Embroidery Club. I have had a Babylock Ellegante for over two years. I love Sulky threads and Sulky books, even the older ones on embroidery. They are just jammed packed full of information. I am an adventuresome embroiderer. I like to push the limits. I used to work as a fashion designer and I know that we can do just about anything. I like to challenge myself and others to produce beautiful, elegant and fashionable things. We can do it!

  • Karen U.

    I would love to win the Sulky Embroidery Club membership. I love machine embroidery (I guess 3 embroidery machines would be a clue). I always like to challenge myself with new projects.
    Thanks for all your ideas.

  • sue reiss

    Merry Christmas from the far North Alaska. I have a Husqvarna Quilt Desinger II. I have had a ball making things for my twin Granddaughters. I am up here and alone without a grooup of other ebroiders to ping ideas off of so I look on the internet for help and ideas.

  • Tammy

    Beautiful designs! Who wouldn’t want a membership to the Sulky Embroidery Club?!?!? I especially would like to download 3D Flower Set with the 500 points.

  • ann mitcham

    I would llove to win the Sulky Embroidery Club So much. I’ve just started learning all about machine embroidery .I’mm 66 years young and when I was growing up my Mom always had my sisters quilting and sewing (6 sisters) ,but work and life got in the way of my sewing untill just the last few years .So I’m back and boy do I have alot of catching up to do !! Omy all the new and wonderfull things that are out there for the home sewer .

  • Mitzi

    one can never have too many designs in their library!

  • Valerie Brown

    Dear Santa,

    For Christmas, I’d love to win the Sulky Embroidery Club Gold membership. I’m new to machine embroidery and have just purchased my first embroidery machine. I’ve already outgrown it and am ready for the next step. Winning would help me learn more and be more creative. I’m super excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to my new membership!

    Oh, and I’ve been good this year, too!

  • Susan Novak

    It would be really terrific if I won the Sulky Embroidery Club Gold membership. I am an embroidery design junkie and would be overjoyed with this. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • Jeanne Loving

    I would LOVE a membership in the SULKY Embroidery Club so I can have access to Sulky’s Latest and Greatest, Freshest designs. I am sure that my friends are planning an intervention for me as I type this….as I am so so so ADDICTED to Embroidery Designs! Friends and family repeatedly tell me that I can never stitch out all those designs and why do you need more? I stopped counting when my design count went over 100,000! Don’t think I should win because I already have too many…Oh Wait One Minute..I could NEVER have too many…at least you won’t be able to convince me of that…just ask my better half! (LOL!) My husband would be the first to congratulate me as he wouldn’t have to buy them ~Ha! I hope I win ;o)

  • Susan J

    i think Sulky Embroidery Gold Membership is an awesome prize especially right before Christmas! I have two embroidery machines and love trying new designs and threads. Sulky products have been with me since I got my first Deco embroidery machine many years ago.

  • Berenice

    So many beautiful designs… I spent about $500 in my mind just now! Really liked the flowers.

  • Donna G.

    Wow! A membership to the Sulky Embroidery club would be awesome to win! Sulky threads are the best, and I know the designs would be great as well. Would love to add their designs to my design “stash”!

  • Pam

    I would love to win a membership as I love sulky thread and is all I use. I just got a new Brother machine for a retirement present and am starting a whole new part of my life with a lot of time to sew

  • Paula Somers

    I would like to win a membership – I love their designs, threads, and stabilizers. Everything I stitch out have been successful when I use Sulky. I especially love the spoolies. What a wonderful Christmas gift the membership would make.

    • Patty

      Artleics like this are an example of quick, helpful answers.

  • Gail Beam

    What fun it would be to win a membership to the SulkyEmbroidery Club !! Love their designs! They have some Fabulous free designs on the site and Miss Spooly is one of them! She is Really, Really, Cute!!!!! A must have for everyone!

  • Jean

    So many cute designs available through Sulky Membership – would make a wonderful addition to anyone’s design “stash”!!

  • maureen mcgraw

    I would be a thrill to have a gold Sulky Embroidery Club Membership. I retired 2 years ago after 25 years in the Dept. of Corrections and purchased a Desinger Diamond to provide fun, a new challenge and direction in my life and make gifts for my family. I love Sulky threads and am still slowly amassing a versatile collection of designs for use in creating fabulous projects. I have all of the Sulky books and use them constantly as a resource and inspiration. maureen

  • Martie Dutro

    I was just now looking at the fabulous designs on the Sulky Embroidery Club website. They are stunning! The projects are so Cute. I would love to try them all. The tissue holders are just what I need for delightful gifts for my friends. I love all Sulky products too so I know that the designs will sew out perfectly first time. Martie

  • JudiC

    I would love to win a Sulky Emb Club Membership! I have quite a lot of Sulky stabilizers & thread but until today I never knew about the Sulky Emb Club. I have 2 young girls that would LOVE the fairy doll collection :o)


    A membership in the embroidery club would be as wonderful as all Sulky products and books are wonderful. The designs are so detailed and look so perfect.

  • Diane Covington

    After embroidering dozens of towels, pillow cases, and children’s p.j.’s my first year as a machine embroiderer, I’ve recently discovered the wonderous world of Sulky products! And, boy, what a discovery it’s been! I would love a Sulky Embroidery Club membership. Then, I’d be making even more discoveries as I learn to perfect this art.

  • Margaret

    I would love to win a Sulky Embroidery Club Membership; but first I would like to congratulate Sulky on their 25th Anniversary! What a wonderful accomplishment for them and a super treat for all machine embroiderers and sewers who use their wonderful products. Keep up the good work and quality products.
    I would love to win a Sulky Embroidery Club Membership for the shear fun it would bring me.
    Merry Christmas everyone!

  • Barb Vine

    Hi – I am just new to the embroidery world and just got a new machine.
    I am learning slowly and making mistakes along the way BUT learning!
    I would love a membership that would teach me and help me to gain confidence in my projects.

  • Sue Fox

    Merry Christmas – I am fairly new to embroidery, purchased an embroidery machine this year. A Sulky Embroidery Club Membership would be just the ticket to assist me in my education through threads, stabilizers, and so many beautiful designs.

    Merry Christmas to all!!!

  • gayle

    I would love to win membership to the sulky embroidery club, because I love machine embroidery and in 2013 I am going to try to expand my knowledge on machine embroidery and do more by combining designs and adding bits and pieces..

  • Cheryl

    I love Sulky designs. They are fresh and creative–I always seem to be able to find what I need. I have 3 grandchildren, 2 in Scouts and 1 in competetive gymnastics. They create a lot of embroidery opportunities both for themselves and for their troop and team mates. A Sulky Embroidery Club membership would be great!

  • Judy

    A Sulky membership would provide many embroidery options for repurposing children’s jeans jackets- I love mixing fabrics with embroidery designs on my one of a kind jackets.

  • Diane

    I am so new to embroidery; and winning the Sulky Embroidery Club Membership would be an awesome Christmas Gift!! It would really bring out my creativity! Sulky is the only brand I use in my machine.

  • Barbara

    It would be so exciting to have a membership in the Sulky Embroidery Club! When I saw the first Spoolie, I wanted her for my own! To think that she (and her sisters) could be mine makes my heart beat a little bit faster (which will warm me up on this cold December morning:-) )!

  • Jean Lowenberger

    Sulky Embroidery Club would be another wonderful source of information. Living in Canada sometimes puts me at a disadvantage, because some of your products are not easily accessible, or I am paying large import fees or duty. If I can get the information via the Internet it is always a great help.

  • Bea Yuill

    Merry Christmas everyone!………….what an awesome opportunity for one lucky person (hope it’s me) to win a membership into the Sulky Embroidery Club which I never knew about!…….Winning a membership would only make sense for me as I’m fairly new to embroidery. Through my adventures, I have found my favorite thread is sulky and plus using all the sulky products helps create beautiful stitched out designs.
    Good Luck everyone!

  • Glenda

    Would I like a Sulky Embroidery Club Membership? You bet! I have had embroidery machines for ten years and have always used Sulky threads exclusively. I love the shine from Sulky threads.

  • Genene

    I would LOVE to be a Gold level member of the Sulky Embroidery Club because I am addicted to Sulky blendables and holoshimmer threads, so obviously I NEED more Sulky designs to use them with, right?

    Sulky certification class got me addicted to the Sulky line- threads and designs and I have such fun teaching others how to have success with their embroidery using the Sulky threads.


  • Rosalyn

    Until today I did not know about the Sulky Embroidery Club. Would love to try it out.

  • Carol Howell

    I love my Sulky threads!! I would love to have a chance to win the membership in the Embroidery Club so that i could embroider, embroider those beautiful designs!!

  • Donna F

    I would love a membership to the Sulky Embroidery club. I’m always wanting to try new techniques and designs and would love to have more of their fabulous products.

  • Shirley Simmons

    I would love to have a sulky embroidery club membership.I have two lovely great granddaughters that I make things for. I could use some more designs.

  • Ann

    Sulky Embroidery Club! I really enjoy all of projects that Sulky
    has in the books and own a bunch of Sulky Embroidery Thread. The club would just be icing on the cake.

  • hanne

    With my luck I will not win, but if I not try….. I never will :O)
    I love to embroidery, and are spending a lot of time in my sewing room and with friends, who has the same interest. So maybe I am luck anyway.
    I wold love to try this tread, I have never tried it so this is the time.
    Have a nice Christmas from hannek in Norway.

  • cindy leazer

    I just love your new men’s design !! I just wish I had a big enough machine to sew it out. 🙁 I can only do 4×4. I hope one day to at least be able to get a machine that does 5×7 designs. I am unfortuality on disablity and have been for the last 11yrs. And that does not pay real well. But on has to keep themselve busy or one would go crazy crazy, lol !!!! And I do LOVE MACHINE EMBROIDERY !!!!!!!!

  • Denise Hitchman

    I would LOVE to win a Sulky Gold membership. If I had more information I feel as though I might do more embroidery. I have a machine that I bought many years ago with almost NO mileage on it!! I want to get embroidering!

  • Linda Burwick

    I would love to win the gold membership to the Sulky Embroidery Club. I bought an embroidery machine when I retired so am fairly new at it. I am always looking for ideas and ways to improve!

  • Patty Sack

    I would love to win this prizse because I love Sulky. I have all of the sulky books and a lot of Joyce’s and Carol’s designs! This would be the icing on the cake!

  • Penny

    I once said “who could possibly need all that thread?” ME! I am so addicted to machine embroidery its not funny. Its like every color I see I want, I need, its fun, exciting and I want learn and try new methods, Sulky offers that. Those that don’t sew, don’t know what they are missing.

  • Beth R

    I’d love to win a membership because I LOVE Sulky products – and love to learn from the projects and designs!

  • Pat

    A membership would be wonderful. My BabyLock machine loves Sulky thread. With six grandkids you can never have enough designs.

  • Jenni

    Oh wow! It would be totally awesome to win a Sulky Embroidery Membership! Tons of awesome designs to add to my ever growing catalog! Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  • LeAnne L

    That sounds like a lot of fun to belong to for new ideas.

  • Donna

    I would like to be a member of the Sulky Embroidery Club. I have looked at designs digitized by many people and companies. The Sulky designs look like they are top quality and will not cause problems when being stitched out.

  • Doreen

    I would love to win the Sulky Embroidery Club membership. I have taken three Sulky Teacher Certification courses and this year I did the Sulky Embroidery Zen class. The designs and the ideas would be great to have and add to my collection.

  • Teri Shiflett

    Oh my, what a dream come true — a Sulky Gold membership! My husband bought me a Janome MC 11000 & blew me away. This would be the icing on the cake. My 17 year old granddaughter (we’re raising two granddaughters) loves choosing designs and making things for her friends. This would add so many more designs for her to choose from!

    Thanks for offering this prize.

  • denise

    How fun is this! I would love to be a member. I have a 6 needle embroidery machine and a small etsy shop going. It is my dream to have enough of a business for my family to participate in one day. With 9 children and 5 grandchildren so far it would be great to learn, create and give to others together. Right now I am enjoying learning and creating for them and others. I am so glad I found this! Even if I don’t win I noticed there will be sulky training very close to me in June 2013! How great is that?

    • R. Budy

      Sounds like you & your family certainly are enjoying embroidery with your 6 needle machine. Wondered how long you’ve had your machine?

  • Denise Z. G.

    Fresh, great designs from Sulky! What’s not to love?! A Sulky Gold Membership would be a great addition to enhance my machine embroidery skills & abilities. I would truly appreciate winning.

  • R. Budy

    Recently,my husband was kind enough to purchase a Viking Diamond for me & previously I’d been practising embroidery on another Viking for about 3 years. I’d so appreciate an opportunity for a Sulky embroidery gold membership to use for furthering my embroidery skills as I prepare various gift items for family,charity, friends& my home. My son plans to be married in November 2013& it would be wonderful to have various designs to choose from in preparation for the event also.

  • Karen W

    A Sulky Gold membership would be like going to heaven!! Last summer my husband came home from nearly a decade of working overseas (without me) & bought me a new Viking Designer Diamond (my 3rd upgrade) & all I can say is: “So many projects, So little time!”. The lists of projects (for family & friends) grows faster than I can possibly keep up! Besides ME, I quilt (machine piece & hand quilt), sew & craft & love to try out new techniques all the time — mixing various fabrics & styles — never follow a pattern/instructions exactly (they’re just guidelines, right?) and rarely make the same thing twice, unless it’s a set.

  • Kimberly

    Where can I find this cross design, so that I may buy it? I can not find it.

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  • Glenda

    Dear Santa,

    I am not a women of privilege if privilege is defined by money. However, I am a women of privilege if privilege is defined by having a very talented mother to teach me all sorts of different things. My mother died in 2009 and I was lucky enough to inherit her embroidery machine. However, my learning of embroidery techniques ended much to soon with her death, and I find myself searching every resource I can get my hands on to continue to learn what she would have undoubtedly taught me had she won her battle with lung cancer. I also inherited her computer and software to run my embroidery machine and I have found that this is a great source for my continued learning. Her computer is packed with an abundance of designs that she has created. I look through her library and try to dissect these designs so that I can learn new techniques that I apply to other projects that I am working on, so in that way I am a women of privilege because she has left these for me to continue my learning.

    If I would be fortunate enough to win the Sulky Gold Membership, I would use the windfall to purchase new designs so I can examine and dissect them to learn new techniques. I would be ecstatic to win the Sulky Gold membership to continue where my mother left off.