Friday, November 27, 2009


Day 316

Remember this post where I waxed poetic about embellished tops? Well, I finally found a few hours to make one for myself. It wasn't too difficult and just took about an hour and a half. This could even be a no-sew project, but I zig-zag stitched around the exterior of the appliques just for fun. So, if you find yourself with some time to spare this holiday long weekend, try out this project and whip up a lovely new top for just a few dollars.


1 T-shirt with a collar, in your size (mine came from the local thrift shop for $3.00)

7 6"x6" scraps of cotton fabric, any color

white paper


sharp scissors

paper-backed fusible webbing (I like wonder under)


1 sheet white tissue paper

Embellished T

Step 1: Lay T-shirt out on work surface. Carefully cut out collar and remove. Try to make the cut as even and symmetrical as possible.

Embellished T

Step 2: Cut out templates for the appliques from the white paper. I used a rounded shape, but triangles or pointed shapes would work well, too. You will want 2 of each shape going down the neckline and 1 of the shape at the bottom of the neckline. Each one should be longer than needed so a little extra extends beyond the neckline. That part will be trimmed off later, Arrange them on the shirt to make sure they are big enough to overlap slightly around the new neckline.

Embellished T

Step 3: Make sure the templates fit with a little room to spare on the fabric scraps. Trim the scraps into squares, leaving at least 1/2" border around the templates (this makes the next step a lot easier).

Embellished T

Step 4: Cut pieces of the fusible webbing slightly smaller than each of the fabric scraps. Bond to the fabric using the manufacturer's directions. Do not remove paper-backing yet! Trace each template onto the paper-backing of each fabric scrap, remember to do 2 of each coming down the neckline, and then cut out the shapes from the fabric. After each shape is cut out, the paper-backing can be removed.

Embellished Tee

Step 5: Lay T-shirt out on ironing board. Take the piece of tissue and place between the two layers of T-shirt at the neckline, making sure that the entire edge of the neckline is covered with tissue. This is to make sure nothing accidentally gets bonded to the back of the shirt.

Embellished Tee

Step 6: Lay the webbing-backed fabric pieces along the neckline. No part of the T-shirt along the neckline edge should be exposed. Fiddle with them so they are symmetrical on both sides of the neckline.

Embellished Tee

Step 7: Iron the pieces in place according to the fusible webbing directions.

Embellished Tee

Step 8: Flip shirt inside out to expose the backside of the fabric pieces which have been bonded to the tissue. Rip the tissue so only the pieces actually adhered to the fabric remain. Carefully cut along the neckline to remove the excess fabric.

Embellished Tee

Step 9: Flip shirt right side out and all done! I did choose to zig-zag stitch along the neckline and around the appliques, but that's totally optional. Wear your new shirt with pride, just don't throw it in the washer or dryer. This baby is handwash and air dry only!

No comments: