In case you haven’t noticed, we’re a tad denim obsessed right now! From cutoff shorts to mid-washed overalls to these high-waisted skinnies we’re featuring in today’s tutorial, we’ve got denim for days and days. If you’re looking for a fun and simple project to subtly transform your favorite pair, might we suggest a little embroidery action? It’s as simple as printing out a fun phrase and sewing away to your favorite jams. Let’s get started!
What You Need:
- A Pair of Jeans (washed at least once)
- Water Soluble Stabilizer Sheets
- Embroidery Thread
- Sewing Hoop
- Thimble (optional)
Step One: Prep Your Design
We brainstormed a bit before deciding on what to embroider onto our jeans and opted for the cheeky “Life’s Better With Pockets” that was, naturally, placed atop a pocket. Some other ideas we threw around included “Do Amazing Things,” “I’m Pure Magic,” “Hello, Lovely,” and “Jeans Sweet Jeans.”
Simply type out your favorite saying in either Word or InDesign, making sure there’s enough space between each letter so you’ll be able to sew without a problem. We used a size 30 font with a space between each letter. Print the text onto a Water Soluble Stabilizer sheet and then cut around it. Peel off the back, and, after securing your sewing hoop, place it wherever desired. The sewing hoop will make the denim flat and slightly stretched so it’s easier to embroider.
Step Two: Start Sewing
Prepare your needle and thread. We recommend a fine needle over a thick one since it’ll glide through the denim more efficiently. We broke down the embroidery thread so that it was two strands thick, then looped them through the eye. Next, we knotted one end and began stitching from the back to conceal the knot.
Now, there are a handful of embroidery techniques you can use as you embark upon this sewing project. We’re using what’s called a split stitch, which creates a braided, “handmade” effect. There are some wonderful tutorials on YouTube you can check out, which may help you visualize this technique better. Essentially, it involves making one stitch, then looping the thread back through the middle of the stitch and overlapping it slightly.
Step Three: Stitch Away
Now that you’re all set up, it’s just a matter of following your text. Put on some good music or your favorite TV show and have at it! Depending on how much you have to sew, this process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. This particular project took us about one hour.
Feel free to add a little bit of flair if you’re feeling confident. We decided to switch up the thread color and turn our “O” into a heart. For this, we just drew a heart over the “O” and stitched accordingly.
Once you’re finished sewing, cut the thread as close to the needle as possible and tie several knots to secure. You may need to repeat this process several times if you run out of thread while stitching, or if you switch colors.
Step Four: Remove the Stabilizer
Finally, remove the sewing hoop and cut away any excess stabilizer. Place it under the water and gently begin rubbing around your embroidery. The stabilizer will melt away. Note that the text is now spaced more closely together, too! Pop your denim into the dryer and it’ll be ready to go.
Step Five: Show It Off
And that’s it! Make sure to tag us on Instagram with #MyModCloth if you end up making your own embroidered denim. We want to see what you create!
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