Monogrammed shirt? No, shorts! Yes, by hand.

Hello peoples!

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?

Monogrammed shirts? No, shorts! Yes, by hand. | Catdoesit.

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 Monogrammed shirts? No, shorts! Yes, by hand. | Catdoesit.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.

Monogrammed shirts? No, shorts! Yes, by hand. | Catdoesit.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 Monogrammed shirts? No, shorts! Yes, by hand. | 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 😀


Monogrammed shirts? No, shorts! Yes, by hand. | Catdoesit.

* 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.


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