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Roadtested: DIY Word Embroidery Two Ways

DIY Fashion Jun 28, 2016

DIY Word Embroidery

If denim is as close to a second skin for you as it is for me, then embroidering your jeans is the needle and thread equivalent of getting inked up – only without the lifetime commitment. We’ve been seeing this word embroidered trend pop up everywhere and love being able to personalise your style in this way.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect, because Grana have just released a whole bunch of new colours and styles in their denim including black jeans, the mom jean and  flares, all of which make the perfect canvas for a little word play. The cherry on top is their new A line skirt, the type of piece I’ll be wearing all summer! (psst grab 10% off using the code ‘apasxgrana’).  To celebrate, today we’re showing you two methods to embroider your denim. Read on to see how.

Wearing: Grana denim A-line skirt in stone wash (left) and resin rinse wash (right).

There are two popular methods for embroidering words on your clothes, both similar in terms of end result but quite different in terms of how you go about it. We wanted to test out the two to decide the best of the best. Read on for more!

Machine Embroidery

You need

How to

  1. Using a pen or fabric chalk, write or draw your design on the denim. We did it free hand in a cursive script, but you can do a simple block letter if that’s easier.
  2. Place the free-motion foot onto the machine.
  3. Set the machine to the smallest stitch length.
  4. Lower the feed dog (these are the teeth that would normally move the fabric forward but for free-motion we won’t be needing them because we want to move the fabric in all directions).
  5. Place the denim under the needle and trace the pen or chalk lines by directing the fabric with your hands.
  6. Depending on how thick you want the lines, you may need to go over it 2 to 3 times.
  7. Once you’re finished, clip off any lose threads.

Hand Embroidery

You need

  • Hand needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors or thread clippers

How to

  1. Similar to the sewing machine method, write or draw on your denim.
  2. Thread your needle with two lengths of thread (this will allow you to create a thicker line).
  3. Using a basic running stitch, follow the outline of the writing or drawing.
  4. Knot the thread on the inside of the jeans to secure it each time you finish off a length of thread.

Wearing: Grana denim A-line skirt in resin rinse wash.

Our verdict?

If you’re on friendly terms with your sewing machine then the free-motion method is a lot faster and neater, and also gives a more regular stitch which makes it appear more professionally done. We loved it so much and got so carried away we even embroidered a couple of t-shirts along the way! That said though, hand sewing gives a more organic result and provided you have a couple of extra minutes to spare, it requires far less equipment and can be done relaxing on the couch with a glass of wine.

In either case, we found that when we were drawing on our designs, it was best to use a pen or chalk in a colour as close to the shade of denim as possible (without being invisible to the naked eye) so that it doesn’t show through. The most difficult part of it all was deciding what to write!

In case you’re wondering? ‘Geneva’ embroidered by machine, ‘Smile’ embroidered by hand, ‘AH’ initials embroidered by machine, ‘Ouch’ embroidered by hand, ‘Blue jean baby’ embroidered by machine. Not shown but the cactus design was embroidered by hand.

Wearing: Grana denim A-line skirt in stone wash.

How cute are these denim skirts? Definitely the type of thing you want to go twinning in. I love Annie’s little cacti! What would you put on your denim guys?

Photos by Bryant Lee.

This post is in collaboration with Grana.

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Tags Denim DIY embroidery Instructionals sewing Summer DIY Top Tops Tutorials

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