This is an idea for a handmade man-gift. Monogrammed shirts are great and proper, but what my Dad needed were swimsuit shorts. Why let that stop me?
My utter inexperience on embroidery didn’t stop me, either. Let that be known first hand.
I found two RTW swimsuit trunks, one black and one navy, in my Dad’s size. Here is the little 1-2-3 on what I did with them:
1. Get some pretty lettering inspiration. I wanted it to be personal, so I rummaged through my Dad stuff and asked him for some ‘hand writing for a calligraphy study’*, more specifically, his initials. Of course, there is abundant inspiration on the Web, so get soaked on that.
2. Scribble to your heart’s desire. Now to make it into a monogram you have to arrange the lettering in size and spacing. I went for a sports brand logo vibe, since the piece was destined for water sports. I also wanted a personal touch, so I tried to replicate my Dad’s calligraphy.
3. Hoop it and trace it. The embroidery hoop helps stabilizing the tension on the fabric and on the thread, and it was a great help. Probably interfacing would be a good idea, too, but I skipped it. Then I traced the letters with tailor’s chalk, eyeballing my drawings. With the second pair of shorts, though, I layered it over the first pair and colored the whole area with chalk – this way, the embossing of the first monogram became clearer and the logos seem pretty similar.
4. Embroider (or something like it). I faked through it and got out happy with the results – 3 ply of white thread, on something like a back-stitch. Used smaller spacing on places where the ‘pen’ would trace heavier, and larger spacing for thinner lines.
5. Weave and secure the ends. Apparently knots are a no-no in embroidery, so I left at least 5 cm tails to weave in the end, through the back of the stitches. As the pieces will have a lot of wear, I also covered the back stitches with glue, twice.** Hope the monograms will last as much as the shorts! Which is to say, at least a season.
6. Admire your finished pieces and give them away. I find the trick here is to choose the right recipient – a parent, a spouse, etc. These will be the most forgiving of your attempt, and maybe even give you a compliment or two 😀
* Was it weird that my Dad did not question this request? Not in my family, no.
** If knots are a no-no, what can be said of glue?…
Would you venture out of your comfort-craft-zone? It is an extreme sport.