Embroidery Tips for Performance Fabric

Insert crinkle nose.

Was that not the most boringest title ever?!  You don’t even have to say anything, I know that it is… well, until you are faced with a 100% polyester fabric shirt that you need to get embroidered.  Then you will be all like, thank you Jessica!  Because of you, I had this seemingly worthless information in the back of my brain muscles.  Win-win.

Sooooo… some of you may know, but twice a year I do a bunch of embroidery and vinyl work on hats and jerseys for my kid’s baseball league.  It’s become quite a little money maker, and gives me a few months of moolah for the snack bar and cleaning lady.  Two things I’m VERY much about.  This season I’ve already done 20 team jerseys and hats, with 12-13 kids each, I’ll let you do the math.

Well, this season my friend was in charge of the actual uniforms for the whole league and asked me if I could embroider shirts for all the umpires.  Of course!  I’m awesome!  No problemo!!  (Give it a minute) Wait, what fabric are we talking about here?

100% polyester.  Slinky, stretchy, thin AF.  Oooobbbvvviiooouuussslllyyy.

Here’s how I got em done on my little SE400 step by step, with photos of my trial and error.  You can try these changes one at a time or all at once for the best result – Up to you!!


Like a size 10.  On my first attempt, I switched out needles and used a tear away stabilizer.

Yikes!!  So not good.  Actually, it’s REALLY scary.  It’s puckering all over the place.  That tear away stabilizer was a piece of crap and absolutely worthless.  Begone!


These two changes were game changers.  Finally, the fabric stayed put, without slipping and sliding all over the place.  The stabilizer I picked up was pretty thick and I just grabbed a temporary adhesive they had at Joann’s for embroidery.  The other change I made the 2nd time around was


Yes, I basted the design and I was able to do this easily on Embrilliance.  What this does is sews a little square around your design first, and it’s an extra measure to keep the fabric secure.

You can see that this is a very big improvement.  I still wasn’t thrilled though… do you see the fabric around the stars?  So, then I


You don’t want to go crazy here.  Just move the dial a few clicks.  And when you’re done, put ‘er back.  I hate playing with the tension because I have it right where I like it, but man, I had to fix that puckering some way.  Lastly,


I saved this for last because it’s the most drastic.  Usually, you’re buying a design and it’s not possible to even do this, but I ended up switching out the N.  I went from one that had over 4k stitches to something in the 2,500’s.  The original N was sent to me, but it was just way too thick for the material.

This was the final test before the show and take away my lousy trimming, this shizzzzz looks good, baby!!  Phew, I didn’t have to hang my head down at the field amongst my people.

It’s been a long time since I felt this triumphant.  Dang, I was damn near proud of myself.

Final product!!

THIS GIRL IS ON FIRRRREEEE!  Sorry. I was pretty stoked on this.

And I got to make a teensy bit o’cash.  I’m totally going to blow it on something fun and amazing and I don’t know, but I’ll let you know when I get it.  So. Excited.

Hope this helps one of you out there in the world!



Totally a Boys Bathroom

Hello world!

How is it freaking February already?!  Uck.

January has ffllloowwwnnnn by and I’ve not done too much.  Remember, when I had this goal of filling up my Chairish shop with 200+ items?  Well, I’ve been hunting and photographing (cleaning and fixing) like a beast, but I’m still a few short.  As of this morning I have 190 items for sale with 6 pending approval.  I’M SO CLOSE!!

But what that has meant, is that I haven’t been keeping up on anything in the house.  Mostly I’ve been doing maintenance which is the most boringest, tedious-est crap in the world.  You try keeping up with the stuff my 4 boys break/ruin and tell me if you don’t notice more grays popping in!!  The thing is, lately I’ve been feeling like I’m missing something…. selling and buying is REALLY fun, but I think it’s about time I got my hands dirty again.

Insert the room I try to avoid at all costs.

My boys bathroom.  Dun, dun, ddduuuunnnn!

Why do I avoid it?  As if you’re even asking me that… BECAUSE 5 GROSS DUDES USE IT!!  Regularly… If you know what I’m sayin’.  Very Regularly.

With that in mind, I want to update it but not put anything too precious in it.  You see that teal Ikea bath mat that was probably like $5?  That is the perfect thing in here… They can ruin it and mama won’t even care.  For the last year or so I’ve been hoarding things that could work.  I have a few mirrors that I didn’t use in the powder room, a new light, a toilet paper holder, etc… My goal is to update it for less than $100.

I will give you all the juicy details – Promise!!

The tile in the room is a chocolate brown with gray grout – it’s not the fanciest, but I really love it in here.  I’ll get a shot of the shower for next time, since I forgot to take one – duh.  Right now it has these bamboo decals on it, which were fun for baby stuff, but now that the boys are older, those will go.

Here’s what’s in my head…

I have it in my mind to paint the room the green color you have seen 100 times already.  I could do a blue… but green would nicely with the room.  We’ll see, it’ll be fun.  I’ve picked up a few samples to make sure that it won’t be too dark with the brown floors and the teal vanity and black granite.  The ceiling will stay gray, but a new coat will go up… For the life of me, I can’t find the original gray that I used in here and I need to do a bunch of touch ups.  Painting ceilings.  My favorite.


I picked up some sample pots last week, so I’ll snap a few photos of ’em to see what y’all think.

Any ideas on how to remove that granite?  Seemed like a good idea at the time… Oopsie.

I think that’s it for now!  I’m off to patch!!

Peek of the Dining Room

Happy New Year, my peeps!!

Today is officially the first real week of the year… the kids are back in school, sports are starting up and wow, people are actually working.  Yup.  It’s a little sad, since the break has been so nice and having the kids home for 3 weeks did not put me into the cuckoo house, as suspected.  Not this year boys!  Not. this. year.  The only negative is that I didn’t get as much done around the house as I’d hoped to – I wanted to clean out their closets, toys and clothes, and I wanted to list a bunch more goodies on Chairish – Instead, I made a zillion meals a day (the insatiable hunger of 4 boys is ASTOUNDING), washed way more dishes than I cared to, and mostly piddled around… not accomplishing much, but having an immense aspiration to.

Oh well.

It was a GREAT holiday and end to the year.  I’ll take it.

Around the end of November I decided to actually clean off my dining table to use for (who’da thought?!?) dining.  Normally, I just pile up my special little finds, clean them, and photograph them here, so it’s a hoarders DREAM but not the prettiest sight to see.  You guys, I hid things in places you wouldn’t believe to achieve a clean table.  I envisioned my family, shaking their head when they found a chandelier where the toilet paper is stored.  Ahhhh, that Jessica is an odd bird, they would think and love me all the more.  Wink.  At least that’s how it will go in my Lifetime reenactment.

So, here’s the dining room as it stands now…

Wait!  Hold the phone!  Here it was the last time I showed it to you

Gah, my shelves have really gotten full.  Hmm… do I like that?  I need to ponder.  I sold my grandmother’s chairs, but kept the table.  I also, changed out the chandelier and rug.  Sadly, that plant died llllooooonnnngggg ago.

On the table I added an antique Japanese obi, which are used to tie a kimono.  The gold flecked candles and holders are from the 50’s, which I was supposed to sell, but didn’t.  On the wall you can see one of my new paintings.  It was painted by Annette Sabbah, and I love it!  I was able to get two of her pieces for my aspiring art collection, but this one is by far my favorite.

I’m happy… I like it… I’m just, well, I’m thinking about selling the 80’s chrome chairs (I recovered these) and there’s a 30% part of me that wishes I’d gone for the black finish on the chandelier vs the brass.  I could paint it – Or is that just CRAZY?!?

One of these days I’ll change out the rug for the vintage Persian I currently have in my bedroom.  It has the same vibe, but this one up here is a knock and the other is the real deal.

What do you think about that MCM Moroccan inspired side table?  I have had it for about 6 months and just can’t seem to list it for sale.  ARG.  Why do I have to like everything?!?

I also started to recover the brown leatherette benches (that I bought here) but had to take a break since the leather I purchased was much harder to work with than I originally anticipated.  Have any of you recovered with leather??  I need to pick your brain!

So that’s about it, y’all!

Happy New Year and all that.  I loves ya.