13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome

Often when we grab a new embroidery design, the first thing that comes to mind is where we’re going to stitch it. Will it be on a pillow? A tee? Maybe it will make an awesome wall hanging. The world has a serious shortage of awesome wall hangings. What we think about a little less is how the designs themselves can be used in all kinds of new ways, whatever you decide to stitch them on. To pull these off, you don’t need any extra equipment, or even any real sewing skills, and they can be used for hand and machine embroidery alike. All these trends just use the awesome potential of embroidery you might not have thought of until now. We’re sure this is what MacGyver would do when confronted with an embroidery design challenge equipped with just the design itself. We’re pretty sure MacGyver does embroidery.

Today these new design trends are modeled by our lovely digitizing diva Danielle. Danielle is the head of our digitizing department, makes a fantastic model, and is likely totally bonkers (Exhibit A). Luckily, we’re all crazy around here. She’s going to showcase 13 of our favorite ways of making your embroidery more awesome, just by using the design itself.

So, next time you grab a new design for stitching, why not try…


The Warhol

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The Warhol

Duplicate a single design in a four square pattern, all in different colors. Crazy sixties glasses, career in art and white hair optional.

Design: Astroman


The 3D Glasses

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The 3D Glasses

Give your design an update and your friends a headache by offset-stitching a design in red and blue. Find your favorite pair of retro 3D glasses and and rock your look in all dimensions.

Design: Lonely Robot


The New Black

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The New Black

Tone on tone is always king, and black is the new, well black. And the old black. Black is awesome all around. You can never go wrong by combining these two, with a solid stitched black design on a black tee. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you stitching pink on pink, or white on white (we call that one The Ghost). We just love black.

Design: Baroque Punk Skull


The Layer Cake

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The Layer Cake

Take your embroidery designs to the next level by layering. Light stitching designs can be embroidered right on top of each other for a totally psychedelic effect that takes two designs and merges them into one brand new amazing composition.

Designs: Tribal Deer Skull, Nautical Rose


The Mirror

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The Mirror

Designs repeated are twice as nice! Get a cool symmetrical effect by taking a design and flipping it on it’s axis for a great look on the back of shirts and jackets.

Design: Baroque Punk Swallow


The Painter

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The Painter

Dig up that old tie dye kit, or just grab some regular fabric paint, and splash it on a light tee. Then pick your favorite scribbly or light stitching design and stitch it on top for a painterly effect perfect for artists and retro fashionistas alike. It’s the perfect way to add a pop of color to your favorite one color running stitch designs.

Design: New Heights


The Dubstep

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The Dub Step

Grab a black tee and some glow-in-the-dark thread and you’re ready to rock the club all night long, whether it’s to dubstep, or old school techno. Heck, you could rock this while doing the polka. In fact, that might just be the coolest way to wear this one. Just tell them to turn off the lights have have plenty of glow sticks about. Want to see glow-in-the-dark thread in action? Check out this tutorial.

Design: Womp Womp


The Jewelry Box

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The Jewelry Box

You can turn any dangling design into a “charm” just by freestyle stitching a necklace with the design! You can see an example of how we did it with our Charmed Tee tutorial. Once you know how to freestyle stitch the chain, any design fit for it can become a stunning accessory just by adding a draping line in stitches.

Designs: Flock Together Feathers  23 & 4


The Not-So-Freestanding Lace

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The Not-So-Freestanding Lace

Just because it’s freestanding lace doesn’t mean you have to stitch it all by its lonesome. You can hoop a piece of fabric and stabilizer, and stitch it just like regular embroidery! It will be a little thicker than a regular design, but will give your shirt some awesome dimension. You can also stitch it on sheer fabrics like organza to “float” the effect, like we did with regular designs on this dress.

Designs: Antique Lock, Antique Key


The Runaway

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The Runaway

Did you know you can stitch some designs right off the edge? It’s mostly recommended for very light designs with mostly running stitch. If it’s super light, you can just let the design stitch right off the edge, onto the excess stabilizer. We did it on a men’s front shirt pocket in this tutorial. Once it’s stitched you trim off the excess, and you can add some patch glue to keep the thread from fraying. Design too heavy? Embroider it near an edge, then just fold the bottom under and stitch a new seam.

Design: Painted Roses


The Mini-Me

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The Mini-Me

Do you have a hoop that can stitch bigger than a 4″x4″ design? Well, why not grab two sizes of a design, a big and a small, and use a mirrored version of the other size to create a cute pairing! After all, you can never have too many flying monkeys, no matter what size they are.

Design: Flying Monkey


The Ransom Note

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The Ransom Note

Who says you always have to use the same alphabet series when making a design? Throw caution (and perfect alignment) to the wind and mix and match two alphabet series to make a punk rock text-only design. Best yet, you can make it say whatever you want.

Designs: Cirque Alphabet Pack, Handwriting Alphabet Pack


The Evil Twin

13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome - The Evil Twin

Embroidery has a dark side… or at least it does when you can pick the colors. Found a design that’s just a little too cheerful to stand in its current form? Switch the colors around for a laugh. It works both ways; gothic stuff stitched in rainbows is pretty hilarious too. Every design has an evil twin just waiting to come out.

Design: You Are My Sunshine


So, there you have it … no fancy hoop tricks, no magic sewing skills required. All you need to rock that embroidery design is the design itself, and a little imagination. Got a design trend idea for us we didn’t cover? Share it in the comments!

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24 Responses to “13 Design Trends To Make Your Embroidery More Awesome”

  1. 1
    zimmerjon says:

    I love the information of this site.I like text only designs.

  2. 2
    m says:

    I love the 3d robot tshirt! That is awesome!

  3. 3
    Jerri Dyke says:

    You guys get me creative juices a great kick in the rear! Thank you. Your designs are so wonderful! YOu rock!! 🙂

  4. 4
    Chelle Copley says:

    OMG how have I NOT ran across this before! LOL Everytime I am at the UT site I always end up finding something new (to me anyway) and I am here droolin…I mean window shopping ALOT

  5. 5
    Carolyn says:

    Can’t wait to try these neat ideas.

  6. 6
    Mary G says:

    More inspiration! I love your ideas and plan to use some of them for Christmas gifts. You always manage to look at things differently and that makes it wonderful.

  7. 7
    joanna atilana lovato says:

    I uploaded some pictures awhile ago and when I looked through everyone else’s pictures I was amazed at all the innovative things people have done with the designs. It’s inspiring. Now if I can just get motivated?

  8. 8
    Cherrylmaree says:

    Great ideas.thank you for saving me from being a ‘boring’ grand-mother. Love your designs and tutorials.

  9. 9
    Rosie says:

    Love the ideas, but they’ve been here a year. Time to give us some cool new ideas!

  10. 10

    Wow! these are freakin’ awesome! <3

  11. 11
    Sylvia says:

    Your designs are awesome! beautiful! Just what I have been looking for! Such awesome talent!

  12. 12
    Melva Lenzen says:

    Promote Your SoundCloud FREE – http://goo.gl/IGdrv

  13. 13
    Pam M says:

    Where has this little Tutorial been hiding all my life? How could I have missed one of the most awesome tutorials ever (admittedly amongst a heap of awesome tutorials)? Thanks, Niamh and Danielle – keep ’em coming.

  14. 14
    Jna says:

    wouaaaahhh Merci pour ces idées , Super!

  15. 15

    Really cool and fun ideas! Definitely going to try one, today! Keep them coming. I love your stuff!!

  16. 16
    riza ryzn says:

    awesome work, salam kreatif

  17. 17
    caroline says:

    you have gotten my creative juices flowing with your amazing designs. I am constantly thinking what I can do with your designs and what I want to work on next. It has brought embroidering to a whole new level!!! Thank you!!!

  18. 18
    Silvia says:

    You are pure genious. I’ve been embroidering for 10 years and now I’ve just discovered a new dimension with you. You made my decision of buying the jumbo hoop for my Bernina 750… and fill my house of pillows!



  19. 19
    mona says:

    Love your designs! best on the internet universe!

  20. 20
    Debi Patrick says:

    Could you please send me the link to the “charmed Tee” tutorial so I too can learn to stitch the necklace. The link has been disabled, so maybe the tute moved….?

    Thank you

  21. 21
    Vicky says:

    FB Owl Sew It
    Girls, I LOVE these ideas. Fiesta is HUGE here in San Antonio, TX. I am making sashes now, for Fiesta collectible pins. I’m going to try your tie dye idea, and add 4 designs. The brighter, the better in south TX. I’ll send pics!
    I’d L O V E some chili peppers or anything MEXICO?????!!!!!!~
    Thanks Everyone!

  22. 22
    Daniel Shawn says:

    You are Good I’ve been embroidering for 12 years your dimensions are good. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. I’ll give you a link on your web blog.

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