Simple to Chic T-shirt Remakes Part One

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

Simple to Chic T-shirt Remakes Part One

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Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

Most of us live in our comfortable knit tops and T-shirts. Let’s spice them up a bit with designer embroidery touches. Welcome to Simple to Chic T-shirt Remakes, a Sewing With Nancy two-part TV series—Watch online or on PBS. During this first episode, learn how to transform the common knit shirt into a fresh and smart-looking fashion. Embroidery machine designs are the key to adding embellishment and also the neckline transformation. It’s rather marvelous how it all happens.

Machine embroidery expert Eileen Roche, who uses her embroidery machine to transform off-the-rack tops, will share her techniques with us.

Embroidery Designs Create The Transformation

Embroidery designs can be functional and creative at the same time. The magic combo of functionality and creativity take the guesswork out of these T-shirt remakes. There are eight neckline designs to choose from. Use a 5″ x 7″ embroidery hoop—the most common hoop size—to stitch the magic. Here’s a summary of the process:

  • Fold the T-shirt in half, matching the shoulder seams. Mark the center front with a pin.
  • Hoop a water-soluble adhesive stabilizer, cloth type in a 5″ x 7″ hoop. Score the paper of the stabilizer within the hooped area with the tip of a pin or seam ripper. Remove the paper covering.

Simple to Chic T-Shirt Remakes with Machine Embroidery, Nancy Zieman, Eileen Roche, Sewing With Nancy

  • Set-up the machine with the embroidery unit. Import the neckline design of your choice.
  • Stitch color 1 directly onto the stabilizer. This is the functional part of the embroidery, a placement guide.

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Remove the hoop from the machine and place it on the narrow end of the ironing board, with the top of the hoop at the narrow end. 
  • Place the shirt, hem first, over the ironing board and hoop. Align the center marking of the shirt with the vertical stitch line on the hoop.
  • Align the top of the ribbing with the horizontal placement line. Gently smooth the shirt flat over the stabilizer.
  • Nest the shirt above the hoop and transport the hoop to the machine.

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Attach the hoop to the machine.
  • Use painter’s tape to hold the fabric in place if needed.
  • Stitch color 2, the tack-down; this temporary stitching will be removed when the embroidery is complete.
  • Embroider the decorative elements—the eyelets and the design.

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Place the 6″ x 8″ rectangle of prewashed tricot interfacing fusible side up over the embroidery, extending the interfacing 1/2″ above the ribbing.

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Stitch the final color, which is the stitching for the neckline opening—the transformation!
  • Remove hoop from machine and release the garment from the hoop. Trim away the excess water-soluble stabilizer.
  • Slide the shirt over a sleeve board. Cut the shirt between the center stitched lines.

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Turn the shirt wrong side out and slip it over the sleeve board. Slightly pull the interfacing from the front to the back.
  • Trim the interfacing even with the ribbing. Fold in the ribbing 1/4″. (Watch the online video to see Eileen demonstrate this unique finish.)
  • Press the interfacing from the wrong side.

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Remove the tack-down stitching. (It will come out easily!)
  • Insert the tip of a sharp scissors in the center of each eyelet. Gently clip through the fabric.
  • Lacing: Use a yarn needle to thread the lace/cording, and then thread the lace/cording through each eyelet.

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen RocheThree of the Eight Designs to Embroider—Do You Have a Favorite?

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

Chic Sleeve Remakes

Our transformed shirts have a surprise, a tasteful repeat of the neckline design at the sleeve hem. Here’s how to add thread accents to your sleeve.

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Stitch color 1 of the sleeve embroidery directly onto the stabilizer. Featured is the placement guide for the right sleeve—notice the “R” stitched on the stabilizer. (There are two sleeve embroideries—one for the left sleeve and the other for the right sleeve.)

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Open the side seam of the sleeve and position the center of the sleeve with the center marking stitched on the stabilizer.

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Stitch color 2, the tack-down stitch.
  • Stitch the embroidery design.

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Repeat the process for the left sleeve. Then, remove the tack-down stitching and restitch the side seams. Ta dah!

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen RocheSimple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

Create Exciting T-shirt Transformations with this Unique Embroidery Collection

Simple to Chic Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche T-shirt remakes Sewing With Nancy

Simple to Chic T-shirt Remakes Package contains:

  • 8 neckline designs
  • 7 sleeve designs
  • 9 hemline side seam designs
  • Step-by-step instructions for T-shirt remakes.
  • 24 designs that fit in 5″ x 7″ hoop and two bonus jumbo designs

Watch Simple to Chic T-shirt Remakes on Sewing With Nancy online.

For a chance to win a copy of the Simple to Chic T-shirt Remakes DVD from Nancy’s Notions, leave a comment sharing which style of T-shirt you most often purchase. (For example: Long sleeve V-neck, printed jersey, short sleeve crew neck, etc.)

Simple to Chic DVD Sewing With Nancy with Host Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway Winner

The random winner of a copy of the new book, Change-Up Patchwork, from Nancy’s Notions is Lois Taber.

Her comment was, “Nancy, watching you perform the step-by-step method for a scrappy quilt really helps me visualize how to do it on my own. So, when I sit down and begin sewing, I run the camera of your steps in my mind to help me sew in a easy, simple manner. It increases my confidence!”

How to Sew Easy Four-Patch Quits by Nancy Zieman on the TV Show Sewing With Nancy TV Show  Bye for now,

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67 Comments

  • Clovis
    July 13, 2017

    The long sleeve would be perfect for winter and the short crew neck for the summer.

  • Liz
    July 13, 2017

    A boat or crew neck with 3/4 or long sleeves. Your designs and instructions to embroider and split the neck would give me a whole new look. The sleeve/hem designs are special.

  • Diane C
    July 13, 2017

    long sleeve crew neck — but with this DVD, I can see buying a lot more shirts just to remake them

  • Dawn
    July 13, 2017

    I usually buy long sleeve, crew neck T-shirts. Perfect for this idea!

  • priscilla cochran
    July 13, 2017

    Long sleeve crew neck for winter and short sleeve v-neck for summer.

  • Cathy
    July 13, 2017

    I usually purchase long sleeve, v-neck t-shirts.

  • Nan
    July 13, 2017

    I get both long sleeve and short sleeve T-shirts, depending on the season. I love this idea!

  • Sharon Assisi
    July 13, 2017

    I don’t purchase a lot of t-shirts as I think they are just to plain but this idea would encourage me to buy more. I usually buy crew neck. This is a great idea! I love it! It seems very simple. Thanks for all your great ideas!

    Sharon

  • Loren McCoy
    July 13, 2017

    I usually purchase short sleeve crew neck tees. I have wanted to create these new necklines for a long time. Lovely!

  • Noreen
    July 13, 2017

    I usually buy a short sleeve Tshirt with either a vee neck or rounded neck. I love the Tshirts you’ve embroidered, and I particularly like the way the embroidery looks at the wrist. I may have to get some long sleeved shirts!

  • Linda E in AZ
    July 13, 2017

    I most commonly buy crewneck short sleeve T-shirts. Since I have spread a bit commercial T-shirts are nearly all too tight around the butt and have to be shortened, and long sleeve T-shirts seem to fit less often.. Bummer. Guess I need to go back to making my own (like I did many years ago).
    These designs are lovely and I’d like to give it a try, more advanced than anything I’ve embroidered.
    Thanks!

  • Martha
    July 13, 2017

    I’m a crew neck kinda girl. Long sleeve for winter, short sleeve and tank tops for summer. Love this idea for making a simple plain T shirt fabulous.

  • brenda
    July 13, 2017

    lovely. as a tall woman who has dealt with things not being long enough and when purchasing tall sizes having the tall portion of a garment being tall in the wrong areas, i am looking for some remakes/alterations that would lengthen some tops without making it appear like i have added a few inches to the bottom of my tops. I keep watching you and Mary M with your remakes looking for some magic in that department. Any suggestions or shows that address this challenge in the works ???

  • Sunni
    July 13, 2017

    Simply amazing how a little embroidery transforms a plain garment to eye catching. Most often I wear a long sleeved crew neck. The embroidery on the sleeves changes mass produced t shirts into something “up-town”. Thanks for the step by step.

  • Patty Foster
    July 13, 2017

    I usually buy short sleeve with a round neck, but use long sleeve for winter. As I am a teacher, this would be perfect to use to add more flair to my wardrobe.

  • Donna G.
    July 13, 2017

    I usually purchase short sleeve crew necks. Perfect for this embroidery!

  • Fran
    July 13, 2017

    Can hardly wait to make these – designs are gorgeous. Figure I can use the sleeve designs on short sleeve shirts (if I resize them), as well. FL is hot for long sleeve shirts in summer, fall, and spring, but cool enough in the winter.
    Would be great if my entry were chosen because I really like this and seems easy enough to do following the detailed instructions. Love machine embroidery, especially with Eileen Roche and Nancy Zieman. I’ve watched Nancy for years on PBS, even met her in Sarasota, FL, and had my picture taken with her (have it proudly displayed in my sewing room). Nancy’s presentation was outstanding!!! All those attending enjoyed a marvelous evening with her because she is so down-to-earth, kind and gracious.

  • Bonnie
    July 13, 2017

    What beautiful designs! I usually buy short sleeve crew neck T-shirts and would love to try this embellishment technique. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  • Shirley Clark
    July 13, 2017

    I wear a lot of tee shirts, and I prefer a V neck especially to help hide my scars from tongue cancer surgery. It’s hard to find shirts to fit me without them having a very wide neckline so most of the time I buy regular tees.
    This would be a great idea for making them look more feminine.

  • Karen simpson
    July 13, 2017

    Love your step by step pictures and explanations. I am new to embroidering. I find this very helpful. I enjoy Mrs. Short sleeve tees in summer and London sleeved in winter.

  • Jan H
    July 13, 2017

    I love the added embroidery to add chic style to plain t-shirts. I usually buy round neck shirts with short sleeves for summer. In the winter long-sleeved, mock turtle neck shirts are cozy. These embroidered shirts would make fabulous Christmas gifts!

  • elaine
    July 13, 2017

    What a great way to turn an ordinary t-shirt into something special! I usually buy long & short sleeve v-neck t-shirts for the various seasons. Wonderful gift idea.

  • Kelly Sas
    July 13, 2017

    I must tell you that I purchased this and made two different designs on a tee. I am newto machine embroidery. Both shirts turned out perfect and I love them!!! Please don’t enter me as I would love someone else to win and try these

  • cheryl
    July 13, 2017

    I wear mostly short sleeve t-shirts all year around as I live in the south and long sleeves get in my way of crafting and sewing. I prefer boat neck so if I can’t find any, I recut the necklines of the v neck t-shirts.

  • Janice King
    July 13, 2017

    Love, love, love these designs! They take an ordinary tee and turn it into a fashion garment! I am a crew neck, short sleeve girl pretty much year round. I’ve entered into the time of my life when long sleeve wearing is just too warm….oh, well! Usually, I change out of my comfy tees when going to the store, etc; but these designs would dress them up for everywhere. Thank you for the opportunity to win them!

  • Penny Hammack
    July 13, 2017

    I wear my tees with jumpers and always wear crew necks. Short or long sleeve depending on the weather. I’ve coveted this package ever since I saw it.

  • Bonnye
    July 13, 2017

    I usually wear short sleeve crew neck t shirts. These designs change an ordinary t shirt into something special and unique.

  • Pat
    July 13, 2017

    I usually prefer short sleeved tee with a slightly rounded neckline referred to as a french neckline. Seeing the wonderful embroideries for the cuff of long sleeve may make me change my mind.

  • CHARLOTTE KEY
    July 13, 2017

    V-neck for me.

  • Anita Goodwin
    July 13, 2017

    Long sleeve v neck is my favorite t-shirt.

  • Susan Spiers
    July 13, 2017

    I love all these neckline patterns-so sweet! I live in the very HOT south Mississippi, so short-sleeved crew neck is my choice!

  • Barb
    July 13, 2017

    I can see me making several of these! How perfect to dress up tyhose plain t-shirts! For long sleeves this can add a perfect amount of style!! Can’t wait to try!!

  • Teri Ralph
    July 13, 2017

    Nancy, I purchase short-sleeve crew neck t-shirts pretty consistently. I do buy blanks so I can embroider designs on the front and/or back. I would love to win your “Simple to Chic T-Shirt Remakes” book to give me another great option to change up a blank t-shirt. Thank you for the opportunity!

  • Doreen Linehan
    July 13, 2017

    I do a combination of short & long sleeves. I prefer a v neck if I can find them. I try to get ones that are shaped rather then just straight side seams.

  • Erika Y
    July 13, 2017

    I always get long sleeve T-shirts to layer in the fall & winter! Love your projects and ideas! Thanks for being so awesome!

  • Lee Pierce
    July 13, 2017

    I now wear lots of tees…all kinds. After years of wearing business and dressy styles to work, I now enjoy being casual and comfortable. But, I still want to be feminine and stylish. Your t-shirt additions would make all four possible. It would also be a great reason to spend more time at my sewing machine!!!!!

  • Diane Kettleson
    July 13, 2017

    I usually buy rounded neck long and short sleeve t-shirts. Would love to try these designs on my shirts. My husband will actually remind me on Saturday morning that I will be missing Nancy if I don’t sit down and watch PBS.

  • Jeanne L. De Lanois
    July 13, 2017

    I love these designs for up-styling my tee shirts! I usually buy crew neck, short-sleeved tees, but I prefer the embellished neckline your design provides. I hope you pick me! Either way, I’m going to have to get this book!

  • Edna Marks
    July 13, 2017

    I usually buy v neck, short and long sleeved, don’t like the high crew neck, but these patterns have changed my mind.

  • Mary Wagener
    July 13, 2017

    I saw this on Sewing With Nancy and Eileen Roche. I had to buy the CD. I made a shirt and loved it, had tons of compliments. I would recommend this to any embroiderer. Need to make a few more, its addicting.

  • Donna Ohl
    July 13, 2017

    Nancy, What a terrific way to dress up a t-shirt! I don’t have an embroidery machine, but I can see how to make it work for hand embroidery. I get so many ideas from your programs!

  • Susan Nicol
    July 13, 2017

    Generally I purchase long sleeves with either a crew or v neck.

  • Gail Beam
    July 13, 2017

    I love the designs and the idea of transforming ordinary T’s to a dressier look with embroidery. I think I would like to try the sleeve idea for jean jackets and maybe on the pant legs of jeans.

  • Nyla Schaefer
    July 13, 2017

    I normally like v neck t-shirts. Sure do like these ideas and the sleeves were really a cute idea

  • Nyla Schaefer
    July 13, 2017

    Loved these designs and especially the sleeve ideas. I usually buy v-neck.

  • BevM
    July 13, 2017

    I usually purchase crew neck shirts, but often add a collar or second row of ribbing to make them more flattering. I prefer 3/4 length sleeves now. These designs would be great to use in changing the necklines!

  • Coralee
    July 13, 2017

    I usually buy long and short sleeve shirts. I would love to try these designs.

  • Jane J
    July 13, 2017

    I love V and boat neck with long sleeves. This would be so fun to do on my new embroidery machine.

  • Louise Cruden
    July 13, 2017

    I love this idea! My preference is actually 3/4 length sleeves, but that should work easily too.
    I would love to win this set!

  • Lisa W
    July 13, 2017

    I love to wear more of a scoop neck with 3/4 sleeves. I can see adapting this to that style of knit shirt. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Kathleen Sergas
    July 13, 2017

    I love how you can embellish a plain t-shirt

  • Joan Long
    July 13, 2017

    I buy a short sleeve t-shirt from every county we visit on our cruises. Now I have ideas to make them more special with these great instructions.

  • kathy
    July 13, 2017

    I usually purchase short sleeve and a crew neck shirt. Love these designs

  • Donna Lee
    July 13, 2017

    I love long sleeve turtleneck shirts. Perfect for when the weather’s cold!

  • Sharon
    July 13, 2017

    I usually wear short sleeve crew neck tee shirts. I find them just as comfortable in the winter as well as in the summer.
    These designs really dress them up. Very Nice.
    Sharon

  • Jolanda Ingram
    July 14, 2017

    I usually buy a v-neck t-shirt as I always feel that the round necks are to tight around the neck – This transformation of A round neck into an open neck is a wonderful idea I am will surely give this a go. I love changing my bought stuff to my own “designer thing”

  • Sandy
    July 14, 2017

    I’ve been looking at sewing machines…whether to buy one with embroidery capabilities or not. This idea of embellishment for t-shirts may be the game changer for me. Great ideas!

  • Marcie
    July 14, 2017

    These designs are so lovely and really elevate the ordinary T-shirt. Such a great idea!

  • Peg Sullivan
    July 14, 2017

    Love the idea of remake. I would also use on sewn tees before finishing. Very elegant looks.

  • Helen Semrau
    July 14, 2017

    These are wonderful ideas. Being a woman of “a certain age”, I find it increasingly difficult to find t’s with a real sleeve. All seem to have a cap sleeve which does not adequately cover the upper arm which is full to put is nicely (a bat wing if you will). I buy men’s t-shirts in a medium or small if I can find them without pockets or collars and shape them a little and shorten them. At least the sleeve will cover my arm comfortably. This is a wonderful way to feminize the shirts since I can’t always get them in pinks, aqua, etc. (real men wear pink, don’t they know that?). Can’t wait to try. I’m in the process of remaking a sweatshirt right now. Thanks for helping we amateurs in the sewing community with new ideas.
    Helen

  • Val
    July 16, 2017

    Lovely designs! I mostly buy long sleeve crew neck T-shirts and wear them all year. This would definitely dress those shirts up a lot.

  • Linda P
    July 16, 2017

    I prefer rounded necklines. Would love to try these projects as they would be an extra nice addition to my professional wardrobe

  • Donna Fecteau
    July 18, 2017

    I usually buy round neck short sleeve t’s with some sort of design at the neckline. Being able to buy plain ones and put my own design on will be amazing. Also nice to be able to put the design on the shirt and possibly on the leg of my capris or side of skirt to make a set. Thank you!

  • Lea Ann
    July 20, 2017

    I usually buy short sleeve crew or v necks – I don’t know where to get long sleeve plain t’s in MS. 3/4 of the year you need short sleeves down here anyway! I love this idea.

  • Joanne
    July 20, 2017

    I like crew neckline and long sleeve for cold months your designs are great

  • Allison Long
    July 20, 2017

    I usually buy short-sleeved V neck tees, but crew becks are less expensive and would look great with this embroidery!

  • Karen Tucker
    July 22, 2017

    Love these designs! They will make a wonderful addition to my tee-shirt wardrobe!!!!

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