Monday, September 27, 2010

Flowering Vine Applique T-Shirt Tutorial

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I have been wanting to make an appliqued t-shirt of my own since I have been doing so many kid versions. Target has these fabulous v-neck pocket tees that I love--they fit me well, they layer with my Yummie Tummie well, and they come in great colors. Here is the finished shirt:

Hmm? That dust on my mirror? I'm just keeping it real, folks. LOL

So to begin, pick a shirt.

Next, pick a contrasting fabric to use. Looking back at my finished shirt, I am thinking that it would look great with the flowering vine in an Amy Butler fabric. This was my first one, so to practice, I used some old pillowcase material that I have scraps of.

Next I went to and searched out "flowering vine illustration" to give me some artwork from which to base my design on. Here is one that I found that I liked. You don't have to pay for it, just do a print screen and then you can blow it up on your printer if you need to.

I am decent at freehanding, so I just applied my Heat n' Bond to one side of the pillowcase material, and then drew elements of the design onto the fabric to be cut out.

First I started by laying out the vine pieces. You can see that I have that pesky pocket to deal with. I guess I could have ripped it out with my seam ripper, but I was worried about creating a great big hole.

Here's a neat trick--once I got the layout I liked, I just rolled up the shirt and took it to my ironing board to then iron the pieces to the shirt. (My board isn't wide enough for me to be able to lay it out the way I would like, so I use my dining room table.)

Here is is ironed:

Next I started to choose thread colors. I knew I wanted to use two colors, to give it an interesting look.

Then it was time to begin laying out the leaves and flowers.

Sewing the flowers was a little rough, but I like the sort of grungy, messy look. It made the whole project feel very free-spirited and not tight.

I also had these sort of bud-like flowers:

And here is a close up of two contrasting leaves:

And here is the finished shirt again, with a Yummie Tummie and leggings!

This project took me a few days--I really needed to pay attention as I was turning the shirt this way and that under the sewing foot constantly. Now I think I should look at a free motion quilting foot--some of that technique would lend itself well to a project like this!

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  1. This is awesome. I think I need to try it!

  2. This turned out so cute! Love it!

  3. It's beautiful, Allison! I am also loving the yummie tummie. I need a couple of those, at least. :)

  4. Thanks everyone! It was a fun new project!

  5. hi:)...
    I come form Europe, and i realy like the idea of you having a link party...... I hope I'll meet a lot of new blogers........
    I realy like your blog.......
    You can check out my blog at

    greeting from Croatia:))....

  6. So cute!!! I love tee shirt appliqué!

  7. So cute! This is my first time at your blog! It's wonderful! Check out mine if you have a chance- we could be bloggin' buds!

  8. Well done! You did such neat work on it!

  9. Ah! That's fantastic, thank you!! I'll have to grab a button- and make a "featured on" section now! My very first one! Thanks so much!!


  10. This is very cool and makes me want one!! Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday:)

  11. Your shirt looks great. It must have taken quite a while to applique the vines. I'd love it if you linked up this project to my Top-toberfest show and tell. I'm celebrating shirts all week long so feel free to link up any other shirt related projects.


  12. It's beautiful, Allison! I am also loving the yummie tummie. I need a couple of those, at least. :)

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