October '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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STITCH SOLUTIONS |||| Completely customizable, customers can select the garment, pocket pattern and embellishment. Here, the embroiderer leaves the edges unfinished to create the trendy look of a natural fray to the appliqué when laundered. (Images courtesy Shannon Roper, Wholesale Accessory Market) Consider how to display custom pocket options. This decorator showcases the variety of patterns available for customization on towers, so they are easy to sort through. (Image courtesy Vicki Knapp, The Sewing Bee) end up ordering three, four… sometimes even five shirts," Knapp says. She also added an option for tiny pockets for baby onesies. She sees lots of returning customers. "They come back to order another shirt with different pattern for the pocket, a different font for the monogram. When school started, I completed orders for pockets and designs in school colors and team mascots instead of monograms." Joining the fray Shannon Roper of Wholesale Accessory Market in Hueytown, Alabama takes a slightly different approach with her custom pockets and the look is going strong in her area. She creates custom faux frayed pockets that are decorative only. She offers unfinished pocket-shaped appliqués in a wide selection of fabrics. Customers then decide if they want a monogram, a name, a design or even crystals on the pocket. The pocket edges are left unfinished and are even slightly frayed when they are brand new. Roper embroiders a design or monogram on the pockets and attaches the appliqué to the garment in one hooping using her embroidery machines. Because the edges of the pockets are unfinished, the pocket must be sewn down on all four edges. When washed, the edges of the pocket fabric get the distressed look that is still extremely popular in the retail world. 54 | Printwear PW_OCT13 Ads.indd 54 Roper's pockets are intentionally slightly oversized. Since the edges of the pocket fray up to the line of tackdown stitches (one of the reasons why she does a double line of stitches), it results in a slightly smaller look to the pocket over time. Roper also modifies the size of the pocket to fit the size of the shirt. "We have different pocket appliqué sizes for the small and medium shirts, all the way up through a template for the XXL shirts to get the look right," says Roper. She added a sweatshirt with a pocket option this fall, based on customer requests. She has even been asked to add her frayed faux pockets right over the existing pockets on jean shorts for a customer. Roper says that she has been making several dozen of these shirts a week since she October 2013 9/18/13 3:03 PM

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