Monday, March 5, 2012

Reverse Applique T-Shirt

A couple of years back, a couple of friends and I took a class with Amy Tan at the Scrapbook Oasis, and learned how to make reverse applique t-shirts, made famous by her Amy Tangerine line of clothes.

Recently my daughter wanted to give a friend a special present for her birthday. I had spare new t-shirts so I suggested she make a reverse applique t-shirt as a gift, though the procedure was a bit of a foggy memory. Fortunately, I happened upon this book, Signature Styles by Jenny Doh.

Signature Styles is a fun book that interviews 20 diverse crafty ladies who stitch (sewing, crocheting, etc.) and features a fun project from each.  The interviews and stories are interesting and the book is full of lovely pictures and stylish eye candy.  Even for techniques I generally don't gravitate towards, I loved the encouraging interviews and most of the projects are simple enough for those of us with fairly basic skills. I recommend it if you're looking for a fun book that motivates you to expand your stitching horizons.

And fortunately for us, it featured Amy and her crafty applique t-shirt.  The publisher, Lark Crafts, offers a free pdf of this crafty applique t-shirt project here.

My girl chose to keep it simple and took a ball point pen and traced a heart from a homemade stencil made from a folding a sheet of paper, drawing half the heart, and cutting it out:

She chose a cute birdie-themed material as a background and pinned it on the inside:

Then, using embroidery thread, she did a simple running stitch around the heart, roughly a quarter inch out, stitching the background fabric and t-shirt together. I would occasionally remind her not to get too close to the stencil, since she would be cutting on the line later and wouldn't want to get too close to her stitches with scissors.

Every once in a while she smoothed it out to make sure the stitches were lying flat:

Good job, sweetie!

Then came the part where she pinched up the top layer and cut into it to make sure she cut only into t-shirt and starting cutting out along the pen marking:

At a few places she had to go back and trim away at some pen markings she missed:

Then she turned the shirt inside-out and trimmed away the excess material on the inside:

Ta-da!  Sweet gift for a sweet friend, right?

This project took her a bit over an hour so overall it was a quick project. Quick and lovely--can't beat that!


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