Since I first laid my eyes on embroidered pockets with cats by Japanese artist Hiroko Kubota on Bored Panda I knew I want something like that for myself. While these almost photographic quality embroidered cats look super awesome I like being realistic and realize such skills are way out of my league. As someone who tries embroidery once a year (or even less) I needed quick and easy solution for my I-want-such-shirt-so-badly problem. I mean, just because I’m not super skilled at embroidery doesn’t mean I can’t try some simple design right? I’ve also got inspired by Julie from Sum of Their Stories, she refashioned her shirt in a very similar manner. While searching for nice pictures to embroider I also gathered some free designs which are available at Polka Craft’s newsletter subscriber’s freebies section, so don’t forget to check it out!
TOOLS AND MATERIALS:
- Plain shirt or blouse with pockets. I found mine at local thrift store for 2$.
- Carbon paper or any other kind of transfer paper. Should be available at any office supply store.
- Embroidery floss. I already had some bits end ends from past projects. But I saw some great deals on AliExpress, lik this whole 100 pieces set for less than 10$:
- Needle, scissors.
Technical Part (or how to resize digital picture to fit your pocket)
This part is for those who wish to use custom picture for embroidered pockets. Since you are using them strictly for personal use the sky is the limit really. There are tons of sites with graphics for every taste so just google along. For this specific project I am using simple plant motif I found on freepik.
Some pictures come as specific Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop files, so if you’re not sure how to use them, look for pictures in .png or .svg file formats which can be opened directly in Word. If you’re using pictures I created for you, skip this part entirely and just download and print .pdf file which you will find at the end of this post. And if you already have the design you desire, let’s move along.
Start by opening new blank document in Microsoft Word. Then draw a line in any length (Insert – Shapes – Line)
Right click on your line to bring menu and select More Layout Options…
Now in this settings panel click on Size tab. Fill the Width field with the number that represents the width of your pocket. In this case I measured that my pocket is 8 cm.
So now you have a line which represents the top line of your pocket. This is your guideline to resize the picture you want to embroider. Play around until you’re satisfied and print your design.
Now To The Embroidery Part
Transfer your picture to fabric using carbon paper or any similar transferring paper. Put the carbon paper so the shiny side touches with fabric, then put the printed picture and trace over the lines with pen pressing firmly.
Start embroidering. There’s not much to say about this part since I’m assuming you already have some basic skills. Use any stitches and colors that you like. I used a so called back stitch for my embroidered pockets.
It took me around 1 hour to finish this simple plant motif.
But I’m really happy with the final result!
Can’t wait to head out!
As I said in the beginning of this post I gathered a few simple designs from freepik.com and converted them into print friendly .pdf file. These are designed for standard pocket size – 10 cm.
To download embroidery templates for free I would like to invite you to subscribe to my newsletter. I will write you no more than twice a week informing about new DIY craft projects, special offers (like 50% off my Etsy store’s digital goods) and other great stuff. You will also get a password to enter secret page to get all the site’s freebies in one place! Nice, huh? So what are you waiting for?
I was so inspired one morning that I even drawn some designs by hand and converted them into digital printable files. You can get them for a few bucks on my Etsy Store.
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Have you already decided which shirt you would like to refashion? Let me know in the comments section below! Also don’t forget to share what you make using #polkacrafts on Instagram. I love leaving nice comments!
Sarune from Polka Crafts