Oh metallic lurex thread, how I love thee!! It adds so much dimension, so much Wintry sparkle, so much glamour to just plain old fabrics. But it’s a demon to clean.
Once I found a beautiful silvery sweater at H&M on the clearance rack for a mere $8.95. And it happened to be in my size, too. I wore it often for many years. I wore it here, for example.
And then while at work one day I dropped my lunch on it. A small mouthful of leftover Thai drunken noodles. In oily brown sauce. And my favorite sweater was ruined forever.
I washed it multiple times, in both cold and warm water, and tried every stain remover known to woman. But nothing got the stain out of acrylic. That brownish-yellow stain would not budge. I tried to wear it after the unfortunate incident, but the stain was too obvious, and I felt self-conscious. I thought about discarding the sweater (heck, I had only paid $8.95 for it so it wasn’t a huge investment)…but I wanted to save it if I could.
And then I had an epiphany…to combine that trend of one big word on your shirt…with my poor abused sweater…hence forever covering up that stain and allowing me to wear it again (or at least, until it got too pilled and stretched out to even resemble clothing anymore). Hence this DIY. Here’s how to cover up that horrible stain on your own shirt if it has befallen similar circumstances:
DIY Shine Word Sweater (or, How to Cover a Stain on Your Sweater)
sweater or top / black felt / fabric scissors / needle and matching thread / pins / graphic program to create your word if you’re not using the download below / printer (or print at an office store) / regular scissors
- Choose what word you’re going to put on your top. It took me forever to finally choose a word (and yes, I browsed Pinterest, blogs, and magazines for what seemed like ages). But I found it: Shine. Quite ironically literal. So I went with that, and typed it out in Photoshop using the Ballpark Weiner font and printed out a copy of the word to see if the spacing and font would indeed cover up the stain. It did so I went with that.
- Cut out the word using regular scissors. Don’t forget to cut out dots on i’s or punctuation as well. I didn’t cut out the negative space inside the letters at this point.
- Pin the word to your felt.
- Use fabric scissors to cut around your word carefully. You may need to make certain areas wider than the font so the felt doesn’t pull apart. For cutting the negative space out of the inside of loops, I just eyeballed it, cutting smaller than I needed to and then widening once I laid the cut-out on the original font.
- Place the the cut out felt word to the center of your top, and pin down so it is flat.
- Use a running stitch (looks like – – – – ) around the inside edges of the felt to secure the word to your top. This is long and tedious – make sure you have some Netflix or mindless TV to get you through. Also stitch on any i dots or punctuation as well. (If you’re dealing with a stretchy top like a sweater, be careful not to stretch the knit too much as you are sewing or else the finished word will pucker.)
And that’s it! A pretty upgrade to a soiled mistake…and I’ve just saved a major piece in my wardrobe. How to cover a stain on your sweater is really as easy as a bit of felt, time, and thread!
This is something you will need to hand-wash cold and lay flat to dry. You could also use suedecloth or any other fabric that doesn’t fray when you cut it – leather or vinyl I would think a little tough to hand-sew but you could always try it if you prefer that look.
Download my DIY Shine Word Sweater graphic here if you’d like to make your own “Shine” version (click below):
(77 KB PDF, sized at 300 dpi, for 8.5″ x 11″ paper)
Shine on, my friends!
Ever had a stain on your shirt where you did something creative to cover it up? Do tell!