Monday, February 7, 2011

{ tutorial : easy appliqued Valentine's Day tee }

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and here's an easy little project to help celebrate. Use this technique to applique a plain tee shirt, add a little color to a tote, or anything else you want. Have fun!


  • assorted fabric scraps
  • fusible web ( I use Heat N'Bond Lite)
  • love template, attached below
  • cardstock
  • thread to match scraps
  • scissors
  • plain tee shirt
  • sewing machine
  • removable fusible stabilizer (optional)


1. Download Love template above and print out on cardstock at desired size and scale. Cut printed letters out with scissors and set aside.

2. Apply the fusible web to the wrong side of the fabric scraps. Be sure to follow the directions provided with whatever type of web you are using. I use Heat N'Bond Lite, which has a shiny side and a paper backing on the other side. The shiny side is textured and contains the adhesive, and you'll apply this side to the wrong side of your fabric.

The other side of the Heat N'Bond is paper backed, so you can easily trace your design to the web. Once your design is cut out, the paper backing is peeled away.

Using your iron, apply the fusible web to the wrong side of the fabric scraps, making sure the textured side of the web is facing it.

3. Place the cardstock letters on the paper backing of the fabric scraps, making sure that the letters are backwards.

Using a pen or maker, trace the letters onto the paper.

Continue to do this for all pieces of the design.

4. Using your scissors, cut out the traced letters from the fabric. To cut out the centers of the letters, gently bend the letter and poke a small hole in the middle of it with your scissors.

Then use this hole as a starting point to cut out the rest of the middle of the letter.

Continue until all of the letters are cut out of the fabric.

5. Peel the paper backing off of the fabric letters.

After removing all of the paper backing from the letters, arrange them on the front of the tee shirt.

Press with the hot iron to adhere the letters to the shirt.

6. {Optional step} Turn shirt wrong side out and apply tear-away stabilizer with hot iron, making sure all parts of the design are covered.

Turn the shirt right-side out once the stabilizer has cooled.

7. Secure the letters to the shirt by sewing around the perimeter of each one with your sewing machine and the stitch of your choice. Remove the tray from the base of your sewing machine so you will have more control of the tee as you sew around the letters.

I use a narrow zig zag stitch, making sure that the center of the needle position lines up with the edge of the fabric.

Stitch slowly and remember to stop the machine and pivot the needle at each edge of the letter.

Keep the needle in the down position as you pivot.

Continue sewing around each letter, making sure to backstitch at the end to secure the stitches.

8. Peel away stabilizer if you used it, and your shirt is finished!

For this example I used Amy Butler's Soul Blossom fabrics in Laurel Dots in Cherry and Disco Flowers in Chocolate, but I think this design would look great in lots of different fabrics. I'd love to see what you choose if you make one too!


Judi Ketteler said...

So cute! Does the stabilizer prevent the T from stretching too much?

Sara said...

One of these days (after our move) I am going to tackle some of this goodness here:)

Little Bluebell (Adrianne) said...

Cute tutorial! And just in time for Valentine's Day. Thanks. : )

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