Knit Top Transformations that will WOW You!

Simple to Chic T-Shirt Remakes, Nancy Zieman, Eileen Roche

Knit Top Transformations that will WOW You!

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Simple to Chic T-Shirt Remakes, Nancy Zieman, Eileen RocheMy favorite part of sewing is the process. I enjoy watching the progression unfold and then savor what my sewing efforts produce. Today you’ll see that machine embroidery is the star of the process and the end result!  

The machine embroidery designs you’ll see below not only decorate, but transform an everyday knit shirt into a wow shirt. Eileen Roche, the brainchild of this technique, joins me on Sewing With Nancy to take embroidery to the next level. The second of a 2-part series, Simple to Chic T-shirt Remakes, focuses on in-the-hoop T-shirt remakes, using a two-part design. 

Prepare a T-shirt for a Remake

It’s incredible what an embroidery machine can do, once you give it instructions! Start with a basic knit T-shirt. Then, stitch creative embroideries, plus embroideries that modify the neckline shape. The result is so chic.

  • Fold the shirt front in half, matching the shoulder seams.
  • Mark the center front with tape or pins. (Tape is featured in the photo below. Later I’ll show you the option of using pins to mark the center front. Use whichever technique is best for you.)

How to remake a T-shirt with machine embroidery Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Hoop a water-soluble adhesive stabilizer 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.

How to remake a T-shirt with machine embroidery Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Stitch color 1, a placement guide, directly on the stabilizer. The T-shaped stitches indicate the neckline and center front of the T-shirt. The placement guide is offset to accommodate the larger embroidery design.

How to remake a T-shirt with machine embroidery Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Remove the hoop from the machine and place it on the narrow end of an ironing board, with the top of hoop at the point of the ironing board.
  • First, place the shirt hem over the board and hoop. Align the shirt center with the vertical stitch line and the neckline at the horizontal line.
  • Carefully smooth the fabric onto the sticky-backed stabilizer.

Note from Nancy: You can easily release and reposition the fabric if there are wrinkles. Ask me how I know this!

How to remake a T-shirt with machine embroidery Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Nest the shirt above the hoop and transport the hoop to the machine.
  • Attach the hoop to the embroidery machine.

Stitch the Decorative Embroidery

  • Stitch color 2, the tack down stitch, a basting stitch that temporarily holds the stitching field in place. After the embroidery is complete, it will be easy to remove.
  • Stitch the decorative elements, the design and eyelets—colors 2–7.
  • Stitch the second to the last color—color 8—placement marks. Notice the placement marks to the left side of the T-shirt’s center front. These marks are temporary, yet vital to aligning the next design.

Simple to Chic T-Shirt transformations/Nancy Zieman/Eileen Roche/Sewing With Nancy

Note from Nancy: At this point the center of the design is embroidered with additional design motifs on the left-shirt front. A second hooping is needed in order to stitch the design motifs on the right-shirt front. Not to worry, it will be easier that you think!

Stitch the Neckline Transformation

  • Place a 6” x 8” rectangle of prewashed tricot interfacing fusible side UP over the center of the shirt, extending the interfacing ½” above the ribbing.
  • Stitch the next thread color, which is the neckline transformation. The stitching will be spot-on!

How to transform a t-shirt with machine embroidery Nancy Zieman Eileen RocheRehoop the Shirt and Line Up the Design

  • Remove the hoop from the machine; then remove the shirt from the hoop. Trim away the excess stabilizer
  • Hoop another layer of water-soluble adhesive stabilizer in the hoop.
  • Score the paper of the stabilizer within the hooped area with the tip of a pin or seam ripper. Remote the paper covering.
  • Select the second design of this embroidery; it’s a separate file.
  • Stitch color 1 directly onto the stabilizer, this time the embroidery stitches two placement marks.

How to remake a t-shirt with machine embroidery Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • To achieve perfect placement, use PAL, the Perfect Alignment Laser. Place the hoop on a flat surface and turn on PAL. Align the beams with the top horizontal mark and the vertical markings.

How to remake a t-shirt with machine embroidery Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Place the shirt over the stabilizer.
  • Align the alignment marks on the shirt, using the beam of the laser as a guide.

Note From Nancy: If you do not have PAL, manually align the placement marks. Either way works, but the “laser-liner upper” is an easy and exact way of aligning designs. 
How to remake a t-shirt with machine embroidery Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Insert the hooped shirt back onto the embroidery unit.
  • Tape the interfacing toward the stitched design to keep it out of the way of the embroidery.
  • Stitch the remainder of the second design.

How to remake a t-shirt with machine embroidery Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

  • Remove the hoop from the embroidery unit and the hoop from the stabilizer.
  • Trim away the excess stabilizer. Remove the basting stitches of the tack down and placement guides.

How to remake a t-shirt with machine embroidery Nancy Zieman Eileen RocheFinish the Neckline

Last week, I detailed how to transform and finish the neckline. Watch online (the first episode of this series) as Eileen and I demonstrate this technique or refer to last week’s blog postingHow to remake a t-shirt with machine embroidery, Nancy Zieman, Eileen Roche

Side Hemline Makeovers

Necklines aren’t the only area where makeovers can occur. Using comparable processes, watch how side hemlines can make a fashion statement. The embroidery and transformation are comparable to the neckline technique.

How to remake a t-shirt with machine embroidery Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

How to remake a t-shirt with machine embroidery Nancy Zieman Eileen Roche

 

Simple To Chic T-shirt Remakes, How to Embroider a T-Shirt, Nancy Zieman Eileen RocheWatch Simple to Chic T-Shirt Remakes Part One and Part Two on Sewing With Nancy online.

To watch Sewing With Nancy on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, download the app.

Simple to Chic T-Shirt Remakes Part Two as Seen on Sewing With Nancy

 

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

Designs in Machine Embroidery (DIME) is giving away a copy of the CD, which includes a printable PDF instruction book. Nancy’s Notions is giving away a Simple to Chic T-Shirt Remakes DVD. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below telling us which of these designs is your favorite.

Screen shot 2016 01 04 at 2.40.22 PM

Nancy Zieman's Giveaway Winner

The random winner of the book, The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew, graciously provided by Nancy’s Notions, is Betty Gilreath. She said: I’ve been sewing off and on for 49 years, and I learned 3 tips in this tutorial today—I love it, and love all you do, Nancy! I thank God for the gifts He has given you, and I thank you for your life’s work of sharing them with the world.

The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew Book and DVD by Nancy Zieman

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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82 Comments

  • Sharon Kirby
    January 14, 2016

    Love to find new ways to use my embroidery machine. These make something unique from something very common which is always interesting and takes little time to produce such a great effect.

  • E. Ann
    January 14, 2016

    This is so neat!! I love all of them especially the swirls used in the blog post. Remind me of paisleys which I love. Gotta have this. Thanks so much!!

  • Nj Herron
    January 14, 2016

    I love the design on the front of the knit shirt. It is elegant, yet not too complicated. I would love to be able to use that on a number of knit blouses that I have. I imagine the process would be the same as demonstrated in the example. I would also love to see all the designs on all my clothing. Thank you for sharing.

  • Rebeccca
    January 14, 2016

    they’re all lovely. I like the geometric squares the most. I’d love to in the CD and be able to make T-shirts from my daughter and me 🙂

  • pat peruski
    January 14, 2016

    I love the black one on the cover of the dvd…haven’t seen anything like that with the lacing. I love the freshness of the design, using a retro-looking paisley design!

  • Andrea Smith
    January 14, 2016

    I love them all! It’s so hard to choose. I could have a new t-shirt nearly every day of the week.

  • Marie Williams
    January 14, 2016

    I’ve embroidered the neckline of shirts as I made them, but I’ve never tried anything like this. What a great idea for ready-made shirts. I love the greek key design on the sleeve. I have several shirts that I’d like to try with this technique.

  • Nancy Rosetto
    January 14, 2016

    I love these and especially the hem detail. I like the square one and the one that reminds me of a peacock. I would use all of them. I make a lot of t shirts.

  • Carole Buerman
    January 14, 2016

    This is such a great idea. I have been want to change turtle necks to different necklines and this is perfect. I love the design shown in the booklet that is the green on the dark colored shirt. Thank you Nancy and Ellen.

  • Lynne
    January 14, 2016

    These are all so beautiful. I like the side hem design that looks like a flower the best I think. Thanks for all your wonderful ideas and inspiration!

  • Diane C
    January 14, 2016

    I think I would like to try the hemline makeover.

  • Cyndi
    January 14, 2016

    Oh it’s so hard to make a decision. But, if I have to choose, I choose the design on the gray shirt. It was the first one to catch my eye! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful work.

  • Adecia
    January 14, 2016

    I like both the neckline and hemline designs, but think I would try the hemline first. It would be great for adjusting the circumference of a t-shirt that was a little snug!

  • Bessie Curran
    January 14, 2016

    I have not been embroidering many things lately but these designs have got me interested in starting up again. I think I need to either make a few t-shirts or go out and buy some so I will be ready to start if I am the lucky winner. My favorite design is the one on the white t-shirt.

  • Liz Jefferys
    January 14, 2016

    The first t-shirt (off-white or gray?) is the best. I would love to get this set of patterns!

  • Jacqueline Bunting
    January 14, 2016

    I truly love every design, however the Greek Key design on the navy blue shirt that has the embroidery at the neckline, sleeves & sides of the hemline was outstanding! It really had a creative, custom look to it. I would LOVE to try all of the designs out on my shirts, skirts, jackets, Just Everything! Thank you for your wonderful ideas here at Sewing with Nancy. Sincerely, Jacqueline B. Richmond, VA.

  • Nancy Johnson
    January 14, 2016

    Love the neckline designs!

  • Deb
    January 14, 2016

    I love the side vent square designs and the cuff square designs!! What a cool way to re-fashion an “old” shirt! I would love to do this!

  • Deb Rosol
    January 14, 2016

    I love the side vent square designs and the design on the cuff is very sharp looking!! What a cool way to re-fashion an “old” shirt! I would love to do this!

  • Anna
    January 14, 2016

    My favorite is the blue t-shirt with white embroidery. I like the idea of completely remaking the neckline in the hoop.

  • Pandora
    January 14, 2016

    The side openins are great especially if you are using a man’s because they are always a little snug there at the hips. Problem solved beautifully .

  • Rose
    January 14, 2016

    I think this is such a nice way to change up a tee. I like all of the designs and would love to try them.

  • Kathleen
    January 14, 2016

    What a great way to give pretty and personalized T-shirts to my Grand-daughter, daughter, and for me. Each design a winner!

  • Linda Ladner
    January 14, 2016

    In the photo of Nancy and Eileen, there is a white t-shirt on the table. The embroidery thread looks turquoise on my screen. I would like to try that one.

  • Beverly Smith
    January 14, 2016

    Great addition to Eileen’s other T-shirt embroidery projects. I especially like the sleeve and hem additions. I am interested to find if a knit piece could be added beneath the neck opening for reasons of modesty. We shorter gals sometime find that necklines are too low. Maybe Eileen could approach this in her next designs.

  • Kelly Sasman
    January 14, 2016

    I am signed up for your presentation on this and a few other things in May at your annual Sewing Weekend. I can’t wait!

  • Audrey Dlugosz
    January 14, 2016

    Great Designs. I want to use all of them (5×7’s).

  • Donna
    January 14, 2016

    I have several T shirts just waiting for this technique! I want to try them all!

  • Suzie Henderson
    January 14, 2016

    I like them all.

  • Delores Junior
    January 14, 2016

    this is great, I am a plus size woman, so I buy plain tops and make over so it looks right on me plus I’m short also so sounds like this will help with the selves and the hem. love that this will update my tops and also can see using it on some of my other wears . Been watching your shows for years like chips just cant take one want more thanks again love the little squares designs

  • Lisa Atwell
    January 14, 2016

    I adore this. I am a stay at home woman and cannot justify spending excessive money on clothing. This will allow me to make my existing shirts something new. I just wonder if anyone has considered making these dvd designs available for instant download and to purchase individual designs that we feel appeal to us. This would allow us to customize what our uses would be without the full out go for the design pack. Just a thought, for those who know there are designs on a disk that they won’t use.

  • Kathe Mayer
    January 14, 2016

    This comes at the perfect time as I messed up a T-shirt and your instructions give me a way of rescuing it and making it into a wearable shirt by redoing the neckline with embroidery!

  • Pat
    January 14, 2016

    I especially like the designs for the sleeves and the side seams of the T shirts. Using just a sleeve or side seam embroidery would make a nice embellishment for a T shirt as well as the new necklines. Looks like a very useful product. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Judy
    January 14, 2016

    I love the sleeve and hem coordinating designs. I have a lot of plain T-shirts that would look great with these designs added.

  • Joy Joslin
    January 14, 2016

    I only learned to sew on the machines after retiring. I am 73 and retired; so I typically live in t shirts. I love the side hemline designs as it allows me to open the seam and have more space around my “pot”; as well as help “hide” it and yet add “class” to a plain T shirt! Now I know how to go about it!

  • Joy Joslin
    January 14, 2016

    I only learned to sew on the machines after retiring. I am 73 and retired; so I typically live in t shirts. I love the side hemline designs as it allows me to open the seam and have more space around my “pot”; as well as help “hide” it and yet add “class” to a plain T shirt! Now I know how to go about it!
    P>S> it is not a duplicate!!!!!

  • Barbara
    January 14, 2016

    I love the V neckline. It is so pretty. It looks a little complicated but I think I could figure it out.

  • Eileen Laurette
    January 14, 2016

    I’m a sucker for anything paisley, but that geometric square set of designs…love refashioning things and this gives me so many ideas! Of course, I’d need to win a copy of this…

  • Gail Beam
    January 14, 2016

    They are all Awesome, but I think I like the design on the black shirt the best.

  • Joyce Bunt
    January 14, 2016

    I love all of the designs. It is hard to choose one. I can’t wait to try one.

  • Jackie Branscum
    January 14, 2016

    I would love to win, I like the blue shirt in the example but I love the paisley too.

  • Cindy Schultz
    January 14, 2016

    I love the t-shirt design that Nancy is wearing in part 2.

  • Pat Scull
    January 14, 2016

    I like all of these designs, but I beleive my favorite is the one on the cover of the design disk folder. Very Classy.

  • Ell
    January 14, 2016

    The square-looking design on the cuffs and hem is fantastic. I would do that one right away.

  • Peggy
    January 14, 2016

    I love the blue one in the example above but love the hemline design also. They would all be great to try. Thanks for giving us again, great ideas.

  • Peggy
    January 14, 2016

    I love the blue one in the example above and I also love the hemline example. All of them would be great to try and lively up some dull t-shirts. Thanks again for your great ability to share with all of us.

  • Karen Nelson
    January 14, 2016

    Great to make these changes!! I have plain t-shirts and these really dress them up ! Great idea!!

  • Susan Slovinsky
    January 14, 2016

    Of the ones shown, I like the paisley design best. Love the idea of creating a vent in knit shirts – would give the too wide hips some extra room.

  • Mary Ann Kiefer
    January 14, 2016

    I love the first t-shirt, white with a lovely design. I like classic clothes with simple but elegant emblishments This design fits the bill.

  • Diana G.
    January 14, 2016

    Love the side hems. Thanks for the chance to win…

  • Tammy W.
    January 14, 2016

    I love the black T. The possibilities are endless.

  • Pat Scull
    January 14, 2016

    I like them all, but my favorite is the one on the cover of the DVD. It looks so smart.

  • Karen P
    January 14, 2016

    I love that the same designs are though out the shirt, I really like the blue shirt you showed in the video. Really creative, Nancy and Eileen work great together.

  • Donna G.
    January 14, 2016

    They’re all so nice! I especially like the blue with white stitching. More great, creative ideas from Nancy and Eileen!

  • Delores
    January 14, 2016

    Love the designs, especially that we can embellish the sleeves and hemlines. I like them all, but really love the black with orange.

  • Rhoda Keegan
    January 14, 2016

    The DIME CDs are so complete, they give the confidence one needs to tackle the projects. Hope I win the CD so I can put these techniques into production. Love the first one (blue and white).

  • Catherine B
    January 14, 2016

    I love pretty t-shirts! I want to try them all!

  • Brenda L. Pedersen
    January 15, 2016

    My favorite design is the brown embroidery on the ecru shirt. If I won the Simple to Chic dvd, I would use the designs on shirts for both my daughter and myself. She is a new teacher and would appreciate some custom designs in her professional wardrobe. ;D

  • Michelle Hall
    January 15, 2016

    I really like the blue shirt with the white embroidery but they are all pretty

  • Elaine
    January 15, 2016

    Thank you so much for sharing the ideas with the T-shirts. But, since I must choose a favorite it would be the dark shirt with the eye-popping design and lacing. It can be quite dressy. And, just gotta say, your human model is beautiful!

  • Patty Sack
    January 15, 2016

    I like the design on the black shirt. Can’t wait to try these out!

  • Bronda
    January 15, 2016

    I love the navy geometrics with matching side and sleeve designs. I would love to win. Since I am retired, I wear t-shirts a whole lot more than I used to.

  • Ann S
    January 15, 2016

    The first one I finish will be my absolute favorite shirt until I finish my second… Then I won’t be able to decide.

  • Linnie Middleton
    January 15, 2016

    I really like the one that lets me let out the side seam for a little more breathing room. Both are lovely and I would love to have either one.

  • Debe
    January 15, 2016

    I really like the black 1 Eileen is wearing & really like the matching sleeve & side detail on all of them. I like the designs that are done on the shirt in Show 1. Great designs. Thanks.

  • Judy H
    January 15, 2016

    Love all the designs and options for changing boring T-shirts. Thanks for another great creative project to add to my endless sewing/embroidery Bucket List and the opportunity to win a giveaway.

  • Deanna
    January 15, 2016

    I love the paisley design. They’re all cute. Make nice addition to shirts.

  • faith king
    January 15, 2016

    How can you pick just one? I’d make several of each in a multitude of colors!

  • Brenda F.
    January 15, 2016

    I like both designs. Having a sewing/embroidery machine do all the work is fantastic. The PAL is something I need to look into to purchase. I’m sure I would embroider more items if I have one.

  • robert
    January 16, 2016

    ou trouver le CD en france marsi

  • Camille
    January 16, 2016

    I like all the designs but am most intrigued by the adaptation of the necklines in conjunction with the embroidery.

  • Kathy M.
    January 16, 2016

    I am so excited about this technique, and can’t wait to try it. I think I like the ecru t-shirt with the dark brown embroidery.

  • Linda
    January 16, 2016

    I love all the designs and love decorating T-shirts for my friends and family. Thanks for all the new ideas to use in 2016!!

  • Nancy McKenzie
    January 17, 2016

    I like the paisley sort of design – black on white. However, it seems you have 8 to choose from, so who knows?

  • Rebecca Branch
    January 18, 2016

    I like the side designs the best but they are all so pretty. The imagination has no ending!

  • Karrie Smith
    January 19, 2016

    I like how the split side seams are embroidered!

  • Theresa cussimanio
    January 20, 2016

    I think they all dress up a plain Tshirt, I have been wanting to do some in my new baby lock spirit this would be great way to start. Thanks for all you do for the sewing world.

  • alvena roulston
    January 20, 2016

    Hi there!
    I find your embroidered t-shirt charming. I have tried other designs for doing this on practice t’s, and find I love them and wear them anyway. this would be a very nice project, and a fun one. I find Nancy Zieman endorsed designs are a treasure, and ones that I will keep!!!

  • Toni Powell
    January 23, 2016

    I will be buying the CD. I love to wear t-shirts but they never fit the way I want, this will make a difference and look classy at the same time.

  • Patsy Rowland
    February 4, 2016

    I wear t shirts all the time would like to make some changes love the design

  • Susan Moore
    September 24, 2016

    I love these designs. I just upgraded my machine to the Babylock Enterprise and would love to get these designs

  • Sue Booth
    November 29, 2016

    I truly love the t-shirt remakes. What a great, hip idea!

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