Welcome to TBZ's Zelda Stained Glass Machine Embroidered Denim Shirt Index.

Here you will find the vitals for the this project along with links to every post related to the project. Check it out!




Size: 13.5″ x 16″

21 5″ x 7″ machine hoopings

273,931 stitches + manual lead lines

182 color changes/stops

Big big big numbers eh?? Had I looked at those numbers before I started, I may not have been so anxious to get going! If you’d like to follow along with my experience through this project, start with the beginning post linked below. They will all lead from one to the next. If you’re anxious and don’t care one bit how I made this work, skip right to “the files” and download to your heart’s content!

WWIT: Zelda Stained Glass Embroidered Denim Shirt, Ideas and Shopping

If you’re a Wind Waker fan, you’ll recognize this artwork nearly immediately. My memory is foggy – but if it is correct, the stained glass art pieces were concept/marking pieces released with the original game in 2003. Over the years, I’ve seen this recreated in fan art in just about every way imaginable for actual stained glass all the way through to commercial wall stickers. I’ve seen it recolored, redrawn, parodied, 3D-ified, screen printed, and I’ve loved it every.single.time. I have made my own attempts at it a few times as well. Several years ago, I ran across the folks over at Sprite Stitch working on cross stitch versions of it. They are simply stunning. I tried, but only made it this far. The project was just too big and tedious for me. Regardless of how awesome it was going to be when finished, I was physically relieved when I curled it up and put it away. It didn’t mean that I had forgot about the artwork though. I still wanted do something with it and I was pretty sure it should be in fiber or thread just not in a bazillion tiny little X’s in a bazillion colors. Years go by and the project just needles me from time to time, but mostly stays off my radar. As I recently started to learn more and more about machine embroidery and digitizing files, I start to think maybe there is a way to create it in thread via machine. Then I think about putting it on clothing all biker style and start to get excited about the idea. I...

WWIT: Zelda Stained Glass Embroidered Denim Shirt, Digitizing

Want to know everything about this project? Start the beginning by accessing the index of all posts. Here is one of those times in life that it is a good thing I don’t really know what I’m getting into until I’m already in it. To get started I needed to decide the exact dimensions of my final embroidery. I knew it would be silly if it went armpit to armpit so I measured in about 6” from both side seams, made a mark and measured the distance between the two marks. I then put the shirt on and marked roughly where I wanted the bottom of the design to be then measured from the back point to the bottom line.  This gave me dimensions of 13.5” x 16”. Nowhere near the actual dimensions of the artwork. Sigh. Ok. Problem solver activated! I set up a photoshop file in the desired dimensions of 13.5” x 16”. Then loaded up the artwork and shifted around a few pieces. Essentially, I pushed link and the castle higher into Zelda’s medallion. I also made a few other adjustments to make it more reasonable to digitize. I could have done it “exactly” as it was, but decided for my own sanity and the number of hours required to turn it into machine embroidery that I would be wise to make it more suitable for the medium. Sitting side by side like this, you can see they are quite different in layout and style. While the original is still by far my favorite, I thought the edited one would translate well into machine embroidery. One...

WWIT: Zelda Stained Glass Embroidered Denim Shirt, An embroidery story.

So now I’ve survived  the shopping and the digitizing. I’ve spent a ton of hours, arguably years, preparing. I can only think of one thing appropriate for this moment: Let me be real a minute. This embroidery project was always on the cusp of failure. Despite the fact that I had sunk $100 bucks into the shirt, thread, and stabilizer and spent MANY hours digitizing, I had no clue what was and wasn’t going to work. I didn’t start small and try something to gain confidence and it is probably a good thing I went in so blind. I was woefully unprepared for the outcome of some of the hoopings and while I anticipated many of the issues I’d run into, I was surprised again and again by new problems coming up. Here’s a fact: I am unlikely to tackle a project of this size with a maximum embroidery field of 5” x 7” unless the very most perfect “OMG I have to do that right now” artwork comes along. Ok you know what, not even then – I’d probably upgrade my machine first! To start, I used a lightweight iron on stabilizer on the inside of the jacket. I wanted to reduce stretching as much as possible and knew the amount of handling required would make starch almost useless. Was that step necessary? I’m not sure. Since I had in place, I can’t say it didn’t help, but I would consider trying again without it. The first 3 hoops went pretty well all things considered. I was even a little cocky when I made to 6 and 7...

WWIT: Zelda Stained Glass Embroidered Denim Shirt, Download the Files!

What?? You stopped by this post? You must not have read through the trouble spots I hit while embroidering this shirt. Or maybe you did. Maybe you’re just as crazy as I am and want the shirt (or whatever you choose to embroider) so much that you don’t care about the risk!  I like you.   Let me just lay out a few fair warnings – this is not for the faint of heart. There are over 250K stitches and it literally takes hours and hours and hours to get through. You really need some embroidery software that can simulate and preview the stitch order. Do NOT depend on the color codes embedded in the files.  Here’s what my Swordfish Style embroidery area looked like when I got started! Here we go!! This crazy #machineembroidery project is going to require its own extra table!! Wish me luck! A photo posted by Susan Owenby (@theboredzombie) on Sep 5, 2015 at 4:26pm PDT Make decisions about which colors you’re going to use where and WRITE IT DOWN. You don’t get all of the pink hearts in a single hoop and you want to make sure you use the right pink the second or third time around. Make sure you have all of your best tools including printed templates, pins (that may get bent and never seen again), plenty of stabilizer, your favorite centering tools, 5 – 7 wound bobbins, a fresh pack of needles, seam rippers, excellent scissors and misc marking devices. If you’re still willing to give it a go – download this zip file in .pes format. Have at...

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