Quick and Easy Applique Flowers to Revamp a T-Shirt

pink shirt stain covered with flowers

This t-shirt has been sitting in my mending pile for a year, waiting for me to cover up the stain that I somehow got center front on my stomach. I had ideas for an elaborate painted design, but it never quite seemed to happen. Of course I could have trashed the shirt, but the rest of it was in great shape and it pains me to throw away anything pink :) So, I finally sat down, cut out some petal shapes from a synthetic organza, and sewed flowers onto my shirt, giving it fun style and a whole new life.

organza flowers on tshirt

The fabric that I had was an ombre from one selvedge to the other, so I got to experiment with having petals of different hues, but I think it would look just as nice with a solid. It would also work in just about any fabric, woven or knit. I didn’t pin the petals on. Instead, I positioned the shirt on my sewing machine, laid out the petals, and started sewing. I didn’t worry about the shirt stretching or the petals bunching. I like the texture that comes from the fabrics stretching a bit while sewing.

How to Stitch 5 petal flower

I sewed the flowers in one continuous motion, starting and finishing in the middle, in a way that allowed for gentle curves and only pivoting at the point of each petal, as drawn above. I stitched the same design twice, to make sure that I didn’t miss the edge of any part of the petals and to make it a bit more secure, since the petal fabric will unravel because the edges are left raw. I chose to use a thread color slightly darker than the petal fabric to emphasize the stitching.

pink tee shirt with flowers

The whole project took me 15mins, and was well worth it for making this shirt wearable again!

Comments 4

  1. Nice! I have a cardigan that needs some decoration and this is great inspiration. Sometime the simplest embellishments are the best!

  2. What a terrific idea, fantastically executed. As someone who splashes bleach on everything, I think you may have saved half my wardrobe with this technique. Thanks for sharing!

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