Sewing, Personalized

Sewing, Personalized
The practice of imprinting initials onto objects to signify original ownership or announce a brand, of objects or belongings, sends out a powerful message. Some consider monograming to be the essence of elegance, while others a vain, personalized obsession. Still, when it comes to gift giving for weddings, commemorative occasions, or showcasing memories, monograming provides an unmatched traditional sophistication.

Monograming continues today as identifying initials are seen on towels, handkerchiefs, baby blankets, shirts, cufflinks, pens, front doors, doormats, vintage keepsakes, and so much more.

For sewers who want to further show an exclusive personalization of the item they are crafting, monograming the intended wearer’s initials is one of the charming ways to apply a stylized decorative touch. Monograms can be applied to clothing using a machine’s close narrow zigzag stitch, also known as a satin stitch. Draw the initials onto the item first with a water soluble or disappearing ink pen, dressmaker’s carbon, thread basting, or tailor’s chalk then cover with the machine satin stitch. Best to practice first on a similar fabric scrap.

Hand Embroidery - can produce beautiful monogram letter designs using a traditional satin stitch, padded satin stitch, shadow worked, or simple outline stitch, long and short stitch, and more. Most embroidery monograms are embellished with decorative filigree and or flowers. Many free to print monograms can be found online.

Machine Embroidery - of course for those fortunate, a home embroidery machine can apply monograms with ease. Or, consider that commercial embroidery businesses will monogram just about anything - prices vary. A local embroidery business often utilizes the latest technology and most innovative machines to ensure consistent quality and individualized customer attention.

Stencils - essentially painting on fabric can casually mimic thread embroidery monograms and are great for personalizing many items such as pillow covers, tote bags, linen-like kitchen towels, and even T-shirts.

Applique is another technique used to apply monogram letters to fabric. Fabric letters can be quickly fused to the fabric body, then machine or hand stitch the edges to secure. Great for gift-giving personalized items. MS Word is one text editor that can produce individual letters for monograms of many different designs that can be printed, cut out, and used for appliqueing onto a variety of items.

Some items to consider monograming:

Baby Items - baby blanket, bib, onsie or dressing gown for new baby or for baby’s first birthday endearingly personalized with baby’s name and or birthdate.

Linen Guest Towels - make great housewarming gifts. And an elegance to the guest bathroom.

Beach and Bath Towels - ideal for personalizing towels with a monogram for the beach goer or for the new high school graduate going away to college.

Kids Clothing - it is important to label some items of children's clothing so daycare providers, classroom teachers, or other caregivers can identify a child's backpack, jacket or other personal items. For safety reasons do so discreetly by stitching a monogram label to the inside of clothing where it cannot be cut out easily.

Monograms often have specific rules of order for multiple vs. single initials as to what initials in an individual's name should appear first, second and last and what initial should be larger and more prominent when the initials are of varying size. Monograming is an exquisite and pleasurable art form.

Monograms found on

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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This content was written by Cheryl Ellex. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.