Applique and t-shirt surgery

BettyNinja left me a nice comment saying I should write a tutorial for my appliqué aprons. Betty, I’m afraid the only tutorial I’m qualified to write is to say that I think everyone should take an appliqué class at a local quilt shop. I took one class, and the teacher (Susan Prioleau) taught a great technique and answered all my questions. Now I feel like I can follow any pattern, and I’m even working on my own designs. I seem to see appliqué everywhere.book illustration

I was in a used book store the other day, and I saw this great book of stories with all these fun medieval illustrations. Here’s one – I think it would be a very cool appliqué design.

My other current love is t-shirt surgery. Indigo Girls are headed to Humphrey’s in San Diego next week, and I really wanted to wear one of my old concert t-shirts, but they’re all awful. They’re huge men’s shirts that look terrible. So, I took my favorite one (sorry for the inappropriate picture on the front), resized it, added better sleeves and a hood! It’s not perfect, but it fits great, and it’s much better than it was before. I read a lot of tutorials on craftster and on other blogs before I got started, but it was pretty straight forward.

(Pictures after the jump)

Step one: lay a shirt that fits you on top of one that doesn’t. Trace around it. Pin the shirt and cut away the excess.

Step two: cut out your pieces – sleeves, hood, extra pockets, whatever you’re adding.

Step three: sew your extra pieces (close up the sleeves, hem the hood).

Step four: attach new pieces to your old shirt.

Step five: sew up sides of your old shirt.

There was a lot of debate about the best stitch to use on stretchy fabric if you don’t have a serger. I just used a straight stitch to join things, and then topstitched the seams open with a straight stitch using a twin needle. It worked great, and allowed me to add in some contrasting thread. Let me know if you have questions.

tshirt surgery - complete!

for pictures, click here…

step one - tracing

get a helper

pinning

cut pieces

fini!

2 thoughts on “Applique and t-shirt surgery

  1. That shirt turned out great! Always wondered what to do with my old concert tees that I don’t wear but can’t part with.

  2. Abi, what a great way to express yourself and recycle. I saw something in the news about a women who started a business by having accessories to create new outfits, ladies & kids would bring in clothing article, remake it with her accessories, and she charged a nominal fee. I think she may have provided sewing machines, etc. Anyway, great job!

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