TV Segment: DIY Embellished T-Shirts

You can’t always find exactly what you like in a store. So, I’m always looking for ideas to help my clients express their unique personal style.  Here are three ideas for personalizing basic shirts. This story aired on Mirror Mirror on November 17, 2013. Detailed tips and steps are below the video. Thanks for watching!

Example 1 – Add Flowers To A Plain T-shirt

PhotoGrid_1422453225805Dress up a t-shirt by adding flowers to make the shirt more special. pretty and feminine. Make your flowers from an old t-shirt in the same color or in a complimentary color or pattern. For this example, I used an old gray t-shirt and purple plaid flannel shirt to make flowers for a raspberry t-shirt.

  1. Stack the fabric for the flowers in two or three layers.
  2. Make a simple 4-petal flower pattern out of paper so you can cut all the flowers into the same shape.
  3. Attach the pattern to the fabric stack and cut out about 7 stacks of flowers.
  4. Use a needle and thread to tack each stack of flowers together. Pull the thread tight so the petals gather and stand up a little.
  5. Make a little balloon of fabric and sew it into the middle of the flower to finish it off.
  6. Put on your t-shirt, arrange the flowers around the neckline of the t-shirt and pin in place. Encirle the neckline with flowers or make a cascade off the shoulder…whatever you like.
  7. Sew the flowers in place and you’re good to go!

Example 2 – No Sew Fringe Tunic

tunic t-shirt collageAdd some interesting detail to a t-shirt by turning it into a long fringe tunic.

This is a super easy idea I got watching designer Amanda Valentine on Project Runway make hand-cut fringe. Wear the fringe tunic over any plain t-shirt or a bathing suit.

  1. Lay the t-shirt flat. (It’s easiest to do this on an ironing board)
  2. Fold the hem of the shirt up the to bust line of the shirt.
  3. Now fold the shirt up again so there’s a little stack of fabric all around the shirt. Pin the stack in place.
  4. Use scissors to cut through the stack of fabric. Make your cuts about ¼” to ½” apart.
  5. Cut around the whole shirt.
  6. Unroll your fringe, and Voila – you have fringe that’s about 18” long around the whole shirt.
  7. Wear the fringe tunic over another t-shirt – plain, striped, long sleeve. Whatever you like. It also works over a bathing suit.

Example 3 – Thermal shirt with embellished sleeves

Free People thermalI love FreePeople’s embellished thermal shirts, but they don’t come in my size. Here’s a way to make your own.

  1. Choose a thermal shirt and some shirt or blouses with coordinating colors.
  2. Find cuffs and sleeves that you like together.
  3. Stack them on your arm to create the combination you like.
  4. Cut sleeves and cuffs at the forearm.
  5. Pin the pieces to the sleeves of your thermal shirt.
  6. Sew in place.
  7. Cut the hem from a coordinating shirt and pin it around the neckline of the thermal shirt.
  8. Sew in place.

Click here for more T-shirt Redo ideas on my Pinterest board.

embellished thermal collage

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