Week 7


Although my actual gap is to identify a better process for decorating blank t-shirts than just machine embroidery my resulting product is an actual t-shirt.
I originally thought I would simply call it the flower T, but I changed my mind and have named it the MeT (say me-tee).

I had a blank brown t-shirt which wanted some more color. Using machine embroidery combined with reverse applique (sewing fabric behind the t-shirt and then cutting away the fabric of the t-shirt) I came up with this design. The key feature is that the design gains interest through the reverse applique when combined with the embroidery.

My gap was to give more added-value to the t-shirt design process by incorporating more unexpected types of decoration than just machine embroidery. After evaluating several possibilities I decided that I would try reverse applique (fabric under the original fabric) and was looking at a design that would appeal to women and girls. Plus, this could be produced in a variety of colors. The process is not so complicated as to be too pricey. And the flowers give the plain t-shirt a nice upgrade.

I would like to further refine this design – first of all by improving the embroidery itself – adding buds to the stems and putting points on the stems instead of just plain round ends. Plus, I would really like to experiment with fabric paint – incorporating this design in a larger design.
I would also like to reconsider placement of the design on the t-shirt. At the moment I think it would be better to place the design higher on the shoulder, however that may prove difficult to hoop for the machine embroidery.
While stitching out the desing I also noticed that there are some points in production that could be improved. When making a design it is sometimes difficult to know what should be stitched first. In this case the reverse applique adds a new challenge, particularly because the t-shirt needs to be reinforced by some type of stabilizer. Thus I am adding 1 or 2 layers to the t-shirt depending. These need to be done in a particular order so that the t-shirt does not get streched or too stiff. I would need to break up the red stitching into 2 sets – one just for the reverse applique and one for everything else.

I definitely learned a lot during this process. I am not sure if I would need such in-depth evalution for every design, but it certainly did get me thinking. Plus, I thought I wouldn’t have any problems moving from the design to the prototype and was surprised by a few challenges that actually ocurred when stitching on the shirt.
Nevertheless I am pleased with the result.


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