Mother's day craft. April 12 2021

Mothers’s day is coming! Make your mom a hand crafted gift! 

I wanted to design something fun and whimsical for Mother’s Day. This new embroidery motif was inspired by the classic “MOM” tattoos from the early 1900’s, a little bit reminiscent of Popeye The Sailor. I decided to embroider this fun tattoo on the sleeve of a white blouse and the back pocket of blue jeans. If you don’t want to embroider on clothes, how about a pillowcase, tea towel or handkerchief?

These simple designs stitch up quickly using basic embroidery stitches. Go to my Embroidery Stitch Tutorials to learn how. 

There are two fun choices to download from the Sewing Bird website. Free Mom Embroidery Pattern

Depending on what you embroider on, you may need to use either a water soluble ink pen or heat set transfer pencil to put the image onto your selected fabric.

For the white blouse (or any white fabric) I used a water soluble ink pen. and White fabric it is easy to trace the design. You can also use a regular pencil but keep the tracing light since this can be difficult to wash out. I like using a 4” embroidery hoop, it fits nicely into the sleeve. My floss colors are similar to the traditional tattoo colors of the period.


So here’s the supply list for light color fabric:

  • Water Soluble Fabric Ink Pen or Pencil
  • 4” embroidery hoop
  • Floss colors one skein each: Red, Black, Yellow, Green, Rose ( but you can use whatever color scheme your mom might like)

 Step one

Print and cut out the 3” image leaving about an inch of paper all around. Place the printed image under the top half of the sleeve. Mine is about 1.5” down from the shoulder seam, but it is best to place the image while you have the blouse on.

Pin the paper to the blouse and trace the image with your pencil or water soluble pen.

Step two

Place the embroidery hoop around the image and start your embroidery. Go to my Embroidery Stitch tutorials for help. I used the simple Back Stitch for the leaves and flowers, French knots for the center of the flower and the Chainstitch for the heart. You can fill in any part of the image with a Satin Stitch.

Step three

Once you are finished all your embroidery, wash out the ink. I like to let the embroidery soak in water for 20 minutes or so, this will insure that the ink has completely been removed from the fabric. If you blot the ink away with a wet washcloth it can reappear on the fabric. Make sure you give it a good soak.

Should you decide to use a pencil spray the area with a bit of laundry detergent or stain remover. Let the area soak and rinse well. 


For Jeans or Dark color fabrics I like to use a Heat Transfer Pencil. These pencils are available at most fabric stores and work best on cotton fabric since it demands a high temperature from an Iron to transfer.

If you want to place the image on the back pocket, you will need a 3” hoop.

Supply List:

  • Heat transfer pencil
  • 3” hoop
  • Floss colors of your choice.
  • Tracing paper 

Step one

Print out the image and place a piece tracing paper over the image. Use your heat transfer pencil to trace the image on the paper. Turn the traced image face down on the fabric and press with hot Iron till the image appears on the fabric. 

Step two

Separate the 3” hoop, place the smaller hoop inside the pocket and the larger one on the outside then press down and tighten. Start stitching! Go to my Embroidery Stitch Tutorials for help.

Step three

Once your embroidery is complete, wash out the pencil line. Use a small amount of detergent or stain remover and soak in hot water for 10 minutes then rinse thoroughly.

Happy stitching and...