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Celtic Embroidery Shirts
In this project, we decorated ready-made shirts with knotwork designs from the Celtic Set.

Both designs are for the Commercial size hoop (8" x 12").
The first embroidery is made on the back of a man's shirt. Please note that before you make an embroidery on a ready item, you should always make a test stitch of the design!
Celtic embroidery on the back of a man's shirt

You will need :
  • embroidery threads either polyester or rayon -the choice of colors is yours,
  • a shirt, cotton or cotton blend,
  • light-weight cut-away embroidery stabilizer,
  • chalk pencil, or any disappearing fabric marker (check the marker before using it!)
  • ruler,
  • printer and embroidery software (optional).
Mark the position of the embroidery on the shirt. If you have a printer and embroidery software, print-out of the design are very helpful. If you do not, you can cut out a rectangle of the same size as the design, with the ruler and chalk pencil mark the central vertical line of the shirt's back. Determine the position of the embroidery. Mark the center of the embroidery.
Stabilize the chosen area. Hoop the fabric tightly. Using the hoop's grid, hoop so that the center of the hoop stays on the vertical chalk line.
A template of the embroidery design helps to find the best position of the embroidery on the shirt.

Make the embroidery.
Finished embroidery still in the hoop.

Cut away the excess stabilizer. Remove all markings.
Finished embroidery after removing the markings.

In the second method, the embroidery is made on netting and then attached to a ready item. This method is more time-consuming, but there is less risk of ruining the item. This is actually the preferred method used by professional tailors.

Here we used a woman's blouse which we embellished with the second design from the set.
Embroidery of the Celtic design appliqued on a woman's blouse

You will need :
  • embroidery threads either polyester or rayon -the choice of colors is yours,
  • a blouse or a T-shirt,
  • polyester netting matching the color of the blouse,
  • water-soluble mesh stabilizer,
  • for attaching the ready embroidery you might need a sewing machine, or sewing needle if you prefer to stitch by hand,
  • sewing pins or temporary adhesive for fabric,
  • (optional) Stitch-Witchery (the fusible web for bonding fabric together without stitching) or Steam-a Seam
Hoop a layer of netting with 1-2 layers of watersoluble mesh. Embroider the design.

Embroidery made on a layer of netting and watersoluble mesh.

Wash-away the stabilizer and neatly lay out the stitch-out to air dry on an even surface.
Embroidery on the netting with the stabilizer washed-away

Cut away the excess netting around the outer edge of the embroidery, do not remove it from the interior edges of the design.
Close-up of the embroidery.

Place the stitch-out on the blouse/t-shirt. Please notice that we arranged the stitch-out to fit the neckline of our blouse by slightly moving the long parts of the embroidery apart.
Embroidery of the Celtic design appliqued on a woman's blouse

You can use different methods to fix the stitch-out in place

You can either pin the stitch-out in place, or use a temporary fabric adhesive, or use Stitch-Witchery web or similar product to fix the the embroidery in place. Then sew it to the item either by hand or on your sewing machine with short zig-zag stitch. Use the same thread, or thread of the same color, with which you made the embroidery.
Have fun!

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