By Barbara Bonner

Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Summer Quarantine Wardrobe

We’ve been thinking a lot about DIY projects that can be completed in an afternoon. When we recently added Sublime Stitching's iron-on transfers to the shop, we knew exactly what we wanted to do.

Embroidered t-shirts, totes, and hats are trending, but instead of buying new, we’ll walk you through the steps of making this project at home. Spruce up existing items in your wardrobe with a fun quarantine project. It's a lot easier than you think!

Materials Needed

Let's get started!

Step 1: Select an article of clothing or tote bag that you’d like to embellish. We recommend choosing a piece that has been pre-washed and that’s made out of 100% cotton or 100% linen to avoid shrinkage in the future.

Step 2: Choose the embroidery iron-on transfer design from the sheet and cut the transfer out. These transfers are amazing because they can be used multiple times.

Step 3: Heat your iron (without steam) to the temperature needed depending on your article of clothing/tote bag’s fabric content.

Step 4: Place your iron-on transfer ink-side face down on the fabric and press firmly with the iron for 5 seconds. One thing to note here is that the iron-on transfer ink is permanent. You will not be able to wash this off later, so try not to wiggle the iron too much during this step to avoid moving the iron-on transfer around. (We purposely tested these iron-on transfers using dark-colored fabric to show how nicely the contrast of the transfer still shows up.) 

Step 5: Secure the fabric with the ironed-on design within the embroidery hoop. Make sure to pull taut on the fabric to avoid having loose sections. Prepping the fabric in the hoop will make pulling embroidery floss through the fabric easier in the next step.

OPTIONAL STEP: If you feel that your fabric knit is too loose and that your embroidery floss may pull through the weave, cut a piece of lightweight fabric interfacing measuring about 1/2” larger than the dimensions of the iron-on transfer design. Use this as a backing (on the inside/non-visible side of your shirt or tote) to help keep your embroidery design from pulling through the knit of the fabric.

Step 6: Stitch along the iron-on transfer lines. In this example, we used a simple chain stitch. There are no right or wrong stitches to use. Get creative! We love this list of stitches to get you started.

Step 7: Once you’ve finished embroidering the design, remove the embroidery hoop and enjoy! (PS: If your hoop left creases in your fabric you can gently iron it flat, or wash the item to get rid of the creases.)

As mentioned above, these iron-on transfers can be used more than once. You can get creative by using more than one design on an article of clothing or a tote bag to create a little scene or cluster of mix and matched designs. The creative possibilities are endless!

Looking for more traditional embroidery art for your wall? Check out these incredible kits in our shop with designs like a blooming cactus, adorable narwhal, and even a sasquatch!