Friday 30 December 2011

Appliqué on a T-shirt...

Sewing an appliqué on a store bought t-shirt, is an easy way to dress it up, for very little cost. Here's how to do it:

Glueing the appliqué shape to the fabric:
You will need double sided fusible webbing to glue your appliqué to the material. Do NOT cut the appliqué shape out until the fusible webbing is glued to the fabric. One side of the fusible webbing feels rough or bubbly. This is the side you will iron onto the fabric to appliqué. The fusible webbing should be slightly smaller than the fabric. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to fuse the webbing to the t-shirt.
  1. Place the rough side of the fusible webbing on the wrong side of the material to appliqué.
  2. Place an old cloth under the fabric and on top of the fusible webbing before you iron, so glue doesn't get onto the iron or the ironing board.
  3. Set your iron to the appropriate setting for the fabric you are ironing and don't use steam.
  4. Press the iron rather than sliding it, to attach the fusible webbing to the fabric.
  5. Trace the appliqué shape onto the paper side of the webbing.
  6. Cut out the appliqué.
  7. Peel off the paper. There will be a thin film of glue left on the wrong side of the fabric.
  8. Place the appliqué onto the front of the t-shirt.
  9. Put the old cloth under the t-shirt and on top of the appliqué.
  10. Press as in Step 4, until the appliqué shape is glued to the fabric.
Cut the fusible webbing slightly smaller than the fabric...

Step 5: Trace the appliqué shape onto the webbing...

Step 7: Peel off the paper...

Steps 8 - 10: iron the appliqué shape onto the t-shirt...

Sewing the appliqué shape to the fabric:
You can hand or machine sew the appliqué to the fabric. This will help to prevent it from fraying. Experiment with stitch types, lengths and widths to achieve the look you are after. I use an appliqué foot, simply because it makes it easier to see what I'm stitching. It is not necessary. For this project, I have used a zig zag stitch, with a width of 3.1 and the length .8. I also loosen the upper thread tension slightly. Because the appliqué is going onto a t-shirt, I use tear away stabiliser to help prevent the t-shirt from stretching. I have rounded the corners of the star, as it makes it easier to stitch.
  1. Place the tear away stabiliser on the wrong side of the t-shirt behind where the appliqué will go.
  2. Baste (hand stitch) the stabiliser in place.
  3. If your machine has a knot stitch, begin with that. Otherwise do a couple of straight stitches and backstitch before you zig zag.
  4. Zig zag around the star, ending with a knot stitch or backstitch.
  5. Tear away the stabiliser on either side of the zig zag stitching.
Stabiliser on the wrong side of the t-shirt...

Step 5: tear away the stabiliser...

Stabiliser removed...

Hand stitching around the star:
To make the star stand out more, stitch two rows of running stitch around the star. I have used two strands of cotton thread, but you could use embroidery thread.

  1. Knot the end of the thread. I begin underneath the appliqué, so I can add an extra knot.
  2. With a running stitch, sew around the star using the red thread. I didn't measure. I just eyeballed it.
  3. Securely knot the red thread when you get to the end, or when you need more thread.
  4. Sew a second row of running stitch using blue thread. Knot securely at the start and finish.

I've teamed the t-shirt with a pair of shorts that have a matching cuff. Once again I've used the 30 Minute Shorts pattern from Create HOPE Designs. This time I've sewn red topstitching along all seams, (except the inside leg) and above the cuff. 

... a cute little outfit, that's quick and easy to make.


  1. Thanks for the great tut...T looks great with the little shorts

  2. I love a good appliqué! What a difference it makes!

  3. i love the extra hand-stitching you add around the star.

  4. Very Cute! My zig zag stitch never looks that good though!

  5. A very clear tutorial, thank you for sharing. The finished result looked lovely.

  6. Great little tute Pam! I love the decorative hand stitching around the star!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  7. So very sweet and you did a great job on the Tutorial.. Having a Party and would Love for you to come

  8. I love the handstiching around the star-it makes it look a little more special.

  9. What a great way to jazz up a store-bought simple shirt! Great job!

  10. super cute! I love the embroider around the star! Thanks for linking to Eat, Grow, Sew!

  11. Found you from Sew Much Ado - I love the stitching detail around the star!

  12. Nice Tutorial! I would love it if you would link it up to my Show-It-Off-Thursdays party at:

    Thanks, Linda

  13. Great tutorial!! Some great tips here. Love the outfit and the hand stitching.

    Thanks so much for linking up and sharing on Blissful and Domestic.

  14. Cute.

    Following you via Freestyle Friday.

  15. I like the handsewing around the star- never thought of that before. Thanks for linking to Things I've Done Thursday!


  16. Nice tutorial! Yours turned out great...and I like how you stitched around it, it adds a fun finishing touch! So glad you shared at Shine on Fridays!!

  17. I think this is my favorite type applique. ;) Thank you so much for linking to our party!

  18. I would love it if your shared this with my new blog hop:

  19. Look at how cute! Thanks for sharing this too!

  20. great job! very nice shirt and shorts

  21. Great tutorial, I love the running stitch detail!

  22. Great tutorial. Love how you did the double running stitch outside. Really made it stand out.


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