Adding hand embroidery to clothes you already own is a fantastic way to make something old look new again. Designing hand embroidery on clothes takes substantial sewing skills, so be sure you are comfortable with sewing and embroidering before taking on this project.
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Choose where the embroidery will go. By deciding where it will go on the garment, you can design embroidery that fits the space. Be sure the size of the embroidery isn't too small or large. Be sure you know how to adjust the proportions accordingly.
Sketch out ideas. Because embroidery is a difficult task that must be perfect on the first try, be sure to sketch your ideas first. Get comfortable moving your hand in the direction of the design by tracing the design. Once you create one you like enough to place on your clothes, practice sketching it again and studying it with your eyes before you begin embroidering your apparel. Alternatively, you can also use a pattern that has already been created.
Start embroidering. Because this task may take a few hours or even days, depending on how much time you have to devote to it, be sure you have clear stopping points in the design of the embroidery. A long embroidery design that encompasses the entire hemline of a dress or blouse can be broken down into four parts to ensure you stay interested and the quality of the embroidery is consistent throughout the garment.
Check your work. Be sure you are checking your work as you move along with the hand embroidery to make sure it is matching up to your original design. The embroidery may not always be 100 percent identical to the design because freehand embroidery designs are difficult to maneuver. Consider using an embroidery pattern as opposed to doing the embroidery freehand from a homemade design.
Add reinforcement. To be sure the embroidery holds up while being washed and dried, add reinforcement. You can pick up fabric or use scrap fabric you may have around the house to create a buffer on the backside of the embroidered material. This should be applied with a sewing machine to guarantee it is secure.