How to decorate your denim jacket with embroidery
With this guide, you will learn the basics of how to make a denim jacket embroidery that your girlfriends will envy.
Embroidered clothes are a huge trend these days. The most popular is the embroidered denim jackets. When I was a small child (in the ’90s), denim jackets were trending. As a child, I didn’t like them because they were restricting me from free movement and playing. I felt like a robot when I was wearing it.
But these past years I’ve been considering getting a denim jacket. Lucky me, manufacturers use softer jean fabrics then they used to. When I saw embroidered jackets, I instantly fell in love, and I decided that this summer, I will get that jacket and stitch it! I’ve been a tremendous fan of hand embroidery lately.
Jeans fabrics are one of my favorites to add embroidery because they are sturdy and keeps the pattern neat. Although, it is hard to embroider on a piece of thick denim fabric. But this wouldn’t scare me.
I’ve been researching and looking around the internet to find the best embroidery idea for this project. So, here are the results of the best ideas I could find. I promise I will share my embroidered denim jacket as soon as I finish it.
Let’s dive in!
Where to add the denim jacket embroidery?
The simple answer is: anywhere you like it because it will look awesome!
The more complicated answer is: it’s up to your style and the motifs or patterns you want to use.
You can add embroidery on the:
- The top part of the back
- The center of the back
- The top part of the front
- All over the jacket
- Random small design
Check out this collage with my favorite denim jacket embroidery ideas based on placing the embroidery.
My favorite placings are the top part on the front/back, the center of the back, pockets, and the collar.
What to embroider?
It’s totally up to you, and the possibilities are endless. I gathered some ideas to get you started; these designs are modern and fashionable.
You can also draw a unique pattern, colorful abstract designs, bohemian designs like mandalas, choose your favorite logo, cartoon character, your child’s drawing, anything you wish.
If you still can’t decide what to embroider, check out my Pinterest board on Embroidered clothes and accessories or search in Google/Pinterest for embroidered denim jackets.
Pssst! You can find so many beautiful embroidered clothes that you will end up with several project ideas and not a single embroidery jacket.
How to transfer the embroidery pattern?
You can transfer your design on denim with multiple methods: a washable fabric pen (a standard sharpened pencil will also work) or using a water-soluble, sticky stabilizer (Sulky Sticky Fabry Solvy).
Transfer patterns using a pen
Use the pen if you’d like to free draw a pattern. Wash the jacket, and the traces are gone. If you want to use a regular pencil, choose a similar color (not too dark) and trace the pattern lightly.
You can also transfer the design with a Hot Iron Transfer Pencil and tracing paper. Copy the pattern on the tracing paper, flip it (the drawing facing towards the fabric) and iron it. Easy peasy!
Tranfer the design with Fabry Solvy
If you have a specific pattern you want to embroider, print it on the stabilizer and iron it on the jacket. Make your embroidery punching through the fabric. Wash and slightly rub it under running warm water to remove the stabilizer. Be gentle because you don’t want to ruin the embroidery.
What I love about the Sulky Sticky Fabry Solvy is that it makes transferring easy and also adds extra strength and stability to the fabric, which is a big help during stitching (prevents stretching).
You can find other design transferring methods in this blog post: Methods for Marking an Embroidery Pattern on Fabric by The Spruce Crafts.
Use protective backing to protect your work from unraveling and warping!
What embroidery stitches to use?
It depends on your design. To create lines use basic stitches like the running stitch, back stitch, chain stitch or split stitch. Use the satin stitch to fill in small areas. Also, you can use the satin stitch for embroidery ideas that look like paintings.
To decorate or to create a detailed and unique pattern, use the french knot or the lazy daisy stitch.
Check out this tutorial. It’ll show you how to embroider these stitches, and it also shows other beautiful stitches.
Choose one embroidery stitch (split stitch for line art, satin stitch for large flowers) or experiment with multiple (to create a detailed mandala).
What thread to use for embroidery?
I like to use two types of embroidery thread: fine pearl thread and embroidery floss (stranded cotton). They are available in a variety of stunning colors.
I usually decorate with both of them.
If you aim for a more sophisticated, elegant, or delicate look, choose the pearl thread. For large, colorful, or prominent patterns, use the embroidery floss.
Do you need an embroidery hoop?
Not necessarily. For smaller and subtle embroidery designs (for example, line art of a cat, butterfly, heart, etc.), you don’t need an embroidery hoop.
If you’re making a detailed, complicated, and extensive pattern, you will need an embroidery hoop. Yes, you can make it without it, but you don’t want to. Believe me!
Embroidered parts will loosen, and bulge. It will look messy. You will end up wasting a lot of time, for something that you won’t want to wear.
Other tips and tricks
- Use thimbles or finger pads to protect your fingers during stitching.
- Wash and dry your denim before you do anything. Fabric may shrink when you wash it for the first time, to ensure that your design will stay the same (no warping, tangling or shrinking), wash your jeans, especially when they are new.
- Don’t use too large needles. They leave big holes, and the embroidery will look sloppy.
- Guide the thread during embroidery because they tend to tangle. The strands in the embroidery floss will separate, and you will have to replace the thread because you won’t be able to create neat designs. Try to prevent tangles and knots (it’s hard to untie these knots).
- Stitches on the underside rub against the skin during wearing, they snag and unravel. To avoid these inconveniences finish your piece with an iron-on protective backing.
- Wash embroidered clothes on a gentle washing cycle. You don’t want to ruin your craft with the first wash.
Recommended products for these projects
Without these tools, you can’t do embroidery. Opt for quality tools and materials. The cheap stuff will ruin the design. You can’t work with them properly. Cheap threads tangle and warp. Unsharp scissors tear and pull the thread, that will mess up the embroidered design. Blunt needles rip the thread and damage the fabric. You will end up angry and disappointed, throwing the jacket in the corner.
- Embroidery floss
- Embroidery needles
- Sharp scissors
These tools will make your life so much easier. If you plan to make other embroidery projects or crafts in the future, you should lay them up.
- Embroidery hoop
- Washable pen
- Sulky Sticky Fabry Solvy
- Iron-on Protective Backing
Final thougths on denim jacket embroidery
Embroidery is a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to refashion a denim jacket or any other clothing.
With these easy tips and hacks, you can turn your dull denim jacket quickly into a trendy, feminine, and gorgeous garment you will wear for years.
- How to Upcycle a Shirt: 20 Refashioning Tips
- The Best Men’s Shirts Refashion Ideas
- The Best Sweater Refashion Ideas
- How to Go Thrift Shopping for Upcycling
Which idea is your favorite?
Do you have embroidered clothes or accessories?