Update an Old Shirt with Embroidery

Old Shirt with Embroidery-01

Hello everyone. Laura here from Trash to Couture. For this post, I will share with you how to embroider onto a collared shirt with the Brother SE625 Sewing and Embroidery Machine. This is a great way to update old or boring clothing. The SE625 has a set of built in floral patterns that I will be using on this denim shirt. Get the details below on how to embroider you own custom look.


  • Brother SE625 Sewing and Embroidery Machine
  • Stabilizer: Choose the best one for your material
  • Embroidery thread
  • Embroidery pattern
  • Shirt to embroider
  • Marking tool
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  1. Begin by pressing your garment. Then use the template to mark where you want your design to be. I mark both right and wrong sides with a fabric marking tool. Choose an area of the shirt that is flat. For this design, I will be using the yoke and the back panel.

Tip: Use a stabilizer that works with your fabric and place at least 1 inch over the markings. I love the ones that you can cut to measurement, peel and stick it right on.

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2. Hoop it. Hooping Tip: You don’t want it too tight or too loose. It should sound like a drum when tapping it.

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3. Set up your machine to embroider. You can adjust the size and placement of the pattern which makes it easy to place the design exactly where you want it.

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4. Once the first set of embroideries is complete, continue to repeat the previous steps for more designs wherever you’d like. The SE625 makes it easy to mirror images to create patterns like I did on the yoke.

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5. If the yoke isn’t enough, the back panel is another great place to embroider.

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The options and ideas are endless on what you can add embroidery too! Watch my video to get the steps on how to embellish your shirt with embroidery:

Watch Video:

Speed simulated for demonstrative purposes. Actual speeds will vary.

This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA. The original article can be seen here: http://blog.brothersews.com/embroidery/embroider-shirt/

Quick Tip: Exploring Options for Elongation Stitches

Elongation style stitches are much more fun than their rather technical name implies. The term elongation simply means that patterns in this category of decorative stitches can be re-sized in a range from 1 to 5. As they are re-sized, the pattern or shape of the stitch is maintained. Examples in the photo above show patterns stitched out in all the different sizes. Although the size varies, the density remains the same and the general shape of the stitch does as well. Depending on the size and the stitch selected, different sizes can produce interesting variations. In addition, changing the length of the stitch makes the pattern denser but also shortens the length of the pattern. One of my favorite tricks is to select a larger size pattern and then shorten the stitch length. This results in a fuller looking stitch that is a bit shorter than the original pattern. See examples of sizes below in Figure #1b:

Figure #1b

You’ll find these 7mm satin style elongation stitches built into many Brother machine models. They’re located in the Character/Decorative stitch menu of the machine. See examples of stitch menus below in Figure #2a and #2b:

Figure #2a
Figure #2b

The size key allows for elongating the stitch in a range from 1 to 5.

Some machine models include an additional feature for creating step stitch patterns. This technique allows for moving stitch patterns left and right to sew wide patterns with multi-directional stitching. See Figure#3 below:

Figure #3

Remember to change to presser foot “N” when sewing these decorative stitches. This foot has a groove on the underside, so it flows easily across bulky satin stitches. See Figure #4.

Figure #4

It’s also important to be sure fabric is firm and well stabilized before sewing these decorative stitches. A layer of tear-away stabilizer is a good choice for many situations. Be sure to test stitches on scraps before sewing your actual project. Have fun experimenting with elongation stitches, trying different sizes, patterns, and combinations. Enjoy!

This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA. The original article can be seen here: http://blog.brothersews.com/tips-tricks/elongation-stitches/

Get Creative with a Customized Cell Phone Case

Need a little pizazz? Time to get busy and dial in your own cool style with a customized cell phone case!


Note: Smartphone sizes change so quickly, so we recommend basing measurements to the size of your
preferred phone model. This sleeve is supposed to fit very snugly to keep the phone from falling out. If you want to make it larger so it does not fit so tightly (or to accommodate a larger phone in the future), you could add a tab closure to the top.


1. Choose 3 different types of fabric—one will serve as the main pocket of your phone case and the 2 layers will be for your cards and earbuds. You will want to cut the main pocket to be twice as wide as your phone (with case if you keep it in a case) plus about 2-3 inches. For example, the phone we used here is 2.5 inches wide, so we cut the fabric to be 8-9 inches wide. The other 2 pocket layers will be 2-3 inches plus your phone size.

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2. Cut 3 piece of felt the same size as your phone and pin one to the back of each piece of fabric, with the long edges pinned over. This will add an extra layer of protection.

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3. For what will be the 2 smaller front pieces, fold the 2 layers on a diagonal and sew along the top edges. Keep the larger back piece unfolded for now.

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4. Sew the two front-pieces along each side at one edge of the back piece. Then, fold over the back piece to
cover the entire case.

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5. Sew along the bottom and sides, then cut off any extra fabric from the sides after you’re finished sewing. Turn inside out to reveal!

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6. Grab your cards, phone and earbuds. You’re ready to go!

Make Your Own Bucket Hat!

As a mother of 3 boys who love being outdoors, I’ve had my fair share of sewing bucket hats. In the Summer we spend most of our time outside near the water, at various sports, or just playing in the yard. I’ve made so many for my children but never really made one for myself. Seeing they’re on trend lately (90’s cool) I thought it would be fun to make one for myself this time. I even made it so it’s reversible. You can have so much fun with these! Get the details below and sew your own.


  • 45” 5/8 yd. 60” 1/2 yd exterior fabric (I’m using a medium weight canvas)
  • ½ yard liner fabric (I’m using a medium weight cotton
  • 1/2 yard medium to heavy weight interfacing for brim. (*I did not use interfacing on the other parts because my fabric was sturdy, if you want you can stabilize the crown and the top).
  • Thread
  • Pattern (you can use this or any pattern)
  • Brother A80

*I drafted this pattern and it fit my head well. I am sharing the pattern but understand you may have to adjust to fit your measurements. I also suggest making a sample first to make the adjustments necessary before the main one. I had to do a couple at first. Feel free to use your own pattern as well. 

Cut out pattern for main, liner, and interfacing.

Press interfacing to liner of brim (mine are the same material).


Stitch crown ends right sides together with a ½” seam allowance.

Press seam allowance flat.

Pin crown to top (circle) right sides together, easing to fit if necessary.

Sew with 1/4” seam allowance all the way around.

Clip curve seam allowance if necessary.


Repeat for the liner.

Topstitch if you’d like around the top of the crown and the center seam.


For the brim.

Stitch side seams (RST) on both main and liner (1/4” seam allowance).

Place liner and main (RST) matching seams and stitch along bottom edge (1/4” seam allowance).

Clip seam allowance.


Flip right side out and press.

Baste stitch along top edge to keep raw edges together.


Start at seam and topstitch outer edge of brim. Stitch as many rows as it takes to get to the top. Spacing rows ¼” apart. (*use a medium weight thread for extra detail).


Pin brim to crown (RST). I had the seam of the crown in the center and the seams of the brim on the sides.


Stitch the brim to the crown (1/4” seam allowance).

Place main hat (brim included inside the liner (RST) and pin


Stitch the liner and main together leaving a 3” opening (1/4” seam allowance)

Flip right sides out through the opening.


Stitch the opening closed with a slipstitch or topstitch all the way around the edge to finish it.

This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA. The original article can be seen here: http://blog.brothersews.com/projects/make-your-own-bucket-hat/

Fashionable Custom Eyeglass Case

Want a quick project to try over the weekend? This eyeglasses case is it! I love how you can customize it with anyone’s initials. This eyeglass case makes for a great gift for your friends and family. Customize your DIY eyeglass case with your favorite colors and prints. The sky’s the limit! I know that you will enjoy this project. Have fun!


  • Fat Quarter Cotton Fabric or ¼ yard of Cotton Fabric
  • Double Fold Bias Tape
  • ¼ yard Two-sided Fusible Flex Foam
  • Fabric Vinyl
  • Brother ScanNCut

Sew Eyeglasses Case:

  1. Cut two rectangles out of your fabric at 8” x 13.5”. On the bottom end of one corner, cut a curved corner.

2. Cut one rectangle of your flex foam at the same measurement, 8” x 13.5”.
3. Adhere the fabrics to both sides of your flex foam with your iron. Make sure the right side of your fabric is facing out.


4. On the long side, pin your bias tape in place. On each end, the bias should extend about ½”.


5. Stitch bias tape in place. As you are sewing, don’t forget to fold the ends of the bias tape inside the bias tape.


6. Fold your DIY eyeglass case in half and attach the bias tape on the outer edge.


Cut Letters with Your ScanNCut:

  1. Place vinyl with shiny side down.
  2. On the ScanNCut, press on pattern

3. Press on the letters and choose your font. I chose FO-A001.


4. Type in your letters and press ok.


5. Adjust size to 1.74” height and pre-set.


6. Press Edit, then Edit Object.
7. Press on the duplicate button. You want to create two of the same image so adjust the number to 2.


8. Now, press the mirror button. Be sure to mirror both sets of letters.


9. Click ‘OK’ three times to pass through the menu. Then, press ‘Please Select’ and ‘Cut’.


10. Click on the wrench to edit your cut to half cut
11. Before making your final cut, test your cut first.
12. If your letters come out clean, proceed with your cut. If not, adjust the pressure and test again until it comes out clean.
13. Once you’re finished cutting, press ok.


Press Your Letters onto Case:

  1. Center your first set of letters in the middle of your case. Press in place.
  2. Place your second set of letters on top but, move it slightly over to create a shadow effect. Press in place.


This article has been republished from Brother Sews USA. The original article can be seen here: http://blog.brothersews.com/sewing/fashionable-custom-eyeglass-case/