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Gallery Connection July ’07 – Monogram Placement

I’ve been traveling a lot lately, meeting many of you in towns such as Phoenix, Beaver Dam, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Chicago and many other wonderful places. While making new friends and sharing experiences, I’ve learned that some time-worn techniques get forgotten by a lot of us, and are new to many people who’ve only recently joined our hobby. For instance in Nashville recently we were discussing monogramming a man’s shirt cuff. This leads to a couple discussions, which I pass along to you here:


One of the most challenging things about embroidery is placement of a design on a garment. Now, I know you saved that article some years ago on placement, but in case it has been misplaced, here are a few reminders:


Monogram on a man’s cuff.

The place to put this is opposite the button, about 1 1/2” from the buttonhole. The reason is that when someone shakes hands, the monogram should be on top, facing them. You can get it right by having him wear the shirt (buttoned up or it’ll be wrong – ask me how I know) and extend his hand. The monogram is usually small and located near the end of the cuff. The color is typically a match to the shirt.

About ¼” (6mm) block letters are usually the chosen ‘manly’ fonts; however some may like a more personalized style. As I am in the embroidery profession, I want mine to stand out a bit more, so I use a left-handed script, about 5/8”. The script was originally vertical (sans italic), but in LetterWorks I shifted the top corners to make it appear lefty. Normal italics lean right, but the reason I did this left was because it added the illusion of motion. Neat-O!


            Another place to put a monogram or a simple letter is a collar tip. For ladies’ tops, a delicate script letter on one side (usually the left) is very elegant. The color is typically tone-on-tone. However this might leave you feeling out of balance, so add a very small floral touch on the other collar tip. The trick here is to use a design that has similar satin stitch widths as your letter of the other side. These are easy to digitize, but if you’re not feeling up to it, find a small floral design like something from Floral Accents and take just a small piece or two of the leaves. Even a delicate pattern of French knots will balance nicely. If you’re in a pinch, just mirror the design letter! It’s a way to personalize a garment that came from one of the –Mart stores and have it appear to be custom.


Now, you might ask, “How do you embroider those?”

Glad you did!


In both cases the piece you’re embroidering is generally stable because there are multiple layers of fabric already sewn together. Helping this is the pleasant fact that you’re not pounding a lot of stitches into the fabric. What this adds up to is an enjoyable and easy embroidering experience.

The way I do it is to hoop up some sticky tear-away stabilizer in your small hoop. You’ve probably done this before. Hoop it with the paper on, paper up in the hoop. Once hooped, score the paper with a needle and tear it away, exposing the sticky up. Next, put your cuff or collar into the hoop, with the design roughly center top-to-bottom, but a little left or right. Get the fabric near the edge of the hoop, but remember it has to be able to sew out. The reason for doing it this way is to get multiple stitch-outs from one piece of stabilizer. (Hey that stuff doesn’t grow on trees! Well, er, the paper does, sort of.) Once the first design is done, carefully remove the collar/cuff, leaving as small a hole on the stabilizer as you can. Now here you have two options: 1.) Repair the hole with a ‘patch’ of more sticky. 2.) Don’t worry about it. I usually take the easy road, and have yet for it to be a problem. Put the next collar (or another shirt) into the hoop on the other side and go for it.

Don’t forget to support the weight of the garment while you’re embroidering! Also, make sure that there isn’t anything else that gets trapped under the hoop – again, ask me how I know!


These items are easy, fun, fast and enable all your friends to see some of what you do with your wonderful embroidery machine. Now isn’t that nice?


Until next time, happy embroidering!



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Posted in Brian's Articles and News 11 years, 8 months ago at 12:35 am.

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