From the Hoop: Children's Gifts

How is it that I haven't shared any embroidery projects since November? I guess I didn't want to show anything on which I worked in December since most of those projects were Christmas presents.

I never thought I'd be someone who could make gifts, but I started thinking of all the pretty things I wanted to make for my family almost immediately after buying my Husqvarna Viking sewing/embroidery machine last summer. One of my early projects was making the table linens for the styled shoot on which I worked in the fall. That shoot wound up being published on Style Me Pretty and one of Jen Fariello's images of my embroidered chair banner got pinnned on Pinterest 339 times!

Once that shoot was over, I started making all the Christmas gifts that were in my head. One of my brothers and his wife have four little boys. They have always used a team in their family (their baby announcements always announce a new player or draft cute!), so I decided to make the boys "jerseys." Since the Boston Red Sox has just won the World Series, I thought a baseball theme would be fun. I embroidered their last name in an athletic-style font across the top of each shirt's back and added an applique number (1 for the oldest, 4 for the youngest) using a baseball fabric.

I didn't find this applique work easy at all. In fact, I ruined four shirts while trying to make a set of four for the boys. I've come to realize that the quality of embroidery designs vary dramatically from one designer to the next. The designer from whom I bought my number files used pretty thin satin stitching, so there was almost no room for error when trimming the fabric.

I wasn't thrilled with how the shirts turned out (I'm not posting a final image since there are names on them), so I bought some toys for the smallest boys and got gift cards for the older boys. I wanted to do something cute with the gift cards, so I made drawstring bags with the Boston College mascot on them (my brother's undergrad Alma Mater and my graduate Alma Mater). The boys are huge eagles fans.

The heavy stitch caused some puckering on the lightweight, broadcloth I used. Lesson learned. Broadcloth needs heavy stabilizer underneath when embroidering on it and a dense design like the one above is better used on heavier fabric.

One of the boys had a birthday after Christmas, so I decided to make a few more shirts for him. I really love how the first one came out. I bought a cute, button down shirt from Lands End and embroidered his monogram on the pocket (some people say it's best to keep first names off children's clothes for safety reasons). That little guy has a really cute nickname and I embroidered that under the collar, on the back of the shirt.

I decided to try to use the Boston College design one more time to see if I could successfully get it on something without puckering. I bought a fairly heavy weight, white t-shirt and the designer stitched out pretty well this time! I took this before trimming the loose threads, but you get the idea...

I'm still many hours away from having 10,000 hours on my machine (the point at which some people say you are an expert), but my work is quite different now, even though just a few weeks have passed.

Next time, I'll share some of the adult gifts I made.


  1. I think i have saved pics of all your work in my "someday" file! I'm just so obsessed with this machine and all it can do, I want one so bad!

  2. The little checkered shirt with the initials is just too cute! You have some lucky little ones in your life!

  3. That checked shirt is too cute!

  4. When are you going to put one in the yard? Any plans to have one of your own?


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