Saving signatures with machine embroidery

Paavo's signature on one of my two Apocalyptica t-shirts

Paavo’s signature on one of my two Apocalyptica t-shirts

This is mostly a photo post today…

Apocalyptica is one of my favourite bands – they play metal and hard rock with cellos, adding in a drummer and sometimes a vocalist.  Over the years I’ve had the chance to meet them after the show or during Meet & Greets a few times, and the last time I was able to get all of the artist’s signatures on the tour shirt.

The reverse side of the machine embroidery - including the tear-and-wash away stabilizer for machine embroidery.

The reverse side of the machine embroidery – including the tear-and-wash away stabilizer for machine embroidery.

However… I don’t totally trust the silver sharpie they used to last through washes… so I decided to preserve the signatures with machine embroidery.

I used a tear/wash away stabilizer on the back side, and followed the writing in red thread using the free-motion feature on my machine and dropping the feed dogs.

Work in progress- stitching over the Sharpie signature with red thread

Work in progress- stitching over the Sharpie signature with red thread

I also needed to put my fabric in a hoop to be able to maintain tension. I DID try this out on a scrap of t-shirt knit before hand…to make sure my tensions were right, and all of that.

Finished machine embroidered signatures - still need to trim those threads...

Finished machine embroidered signatures – still need to trim those threads…

Once it was done I needed to trim all of the extra threads, trim away the stabilizer, and sealed the ends of the threads with fray stop. From there I could soak the t-shirt to dissolve the remaining stabilizer.

About to secure the ends of the threads of the machine-embroidered signatures with Unique's Fray Stop.

About to secure the ends of the threads of the machine-embroidered signatures with Unique’s Fray Stop.

4 comments on “Saving signatures with machine embroidery

  1. We do something a little like this when people come have a meal in our home. We get them to sign the tablecloth (plain muslin/calico) with a soft dark pencil, then I embroider over it. By hand, since my only sewing machine is a post-WWII hand-crank that only does straight-stitch.

    • Dawn says:

      that sounds lovely! I don’t do much hand embroidery anymore… there are some stitches I’m ok with (Holbein, split, satin) but I can’t figure out how to get stem stitch to look right….

  2. Millie says:

    This is such a great idea! Our youngest has a couple of hockey jerseys that USA women’s players signed for her. I will have to ask her if she wants me to do something similar. Never occurred to me!

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