t-shirt tutorial

Posted by on August 12, 2008 in stitch | 22 comments

UPDATE: Hi Whip up visitors! If you haven’t been here before, there are a couple more posts about the t-shirt, here and here. Enjoy!

Okay, here it is, and there’s lots of pictures, so I hope it doesn’t take too long to load.

First, get a couple t-shirts, a needle and matching thread. I like the look of using the same color t-shirts, but it might be interesting to try a different color too. Cut out a heart shaped pattern piece, about 3 inches wide, by about 3 1/2 inches long.


Cut the t-shirt you’re using for the flower pieces apart-back, front and sleeves. I used the whole front piece for my t-shirt, so if you wanted to make two shirts, you would only need three total.


Pin the paper pattern to the cut up t-shirt.


And cut it out:


You’ll need six hearts for each flower, plus a few extra to scatter around like leaves.


Now, thread a needle, tie a knot in one end, and sew a running stitch down the middle of the heart, ending on the same side as the knot:


Pull up the stitches so that the heart is lightly gathered. It might make it easier to handle if you tie off the thread at this point, but don’t cut it off. Place it on the t-shirt, and follow the gathering stitches, sew it in place, tie off and cut your thread:


As you add petals, lift up the adjacent petal so they overlap a little. Keep in mind that you’ll be sewing six hearts in the a circle, like a pie, so space them accordingly.


Keep adding heart-petals until you like the result, or you get tired of cutting and sewing them.


Hold up your t-shirt, and where ever a petal droops down, tack it up with a tiny little stitch.

Now put it on and wear it proudly, and be ready for lots of compliments!


Thanks to my sister for doing all the hard work while I just snapped pictures.

Oh, and several people asked how it would stand up to washing. I washed mine in the hand wash cycle on my machine and hung it up to dry. The flowers were all bunched up, so I tried smoothing them out with my fingers. That didn’t really work. When it was just barely damp I threw it in the dryer for few minutes. Still scrunched. So I laid it flat on my ironing board, and just pumped each petal full of steam from my iron and smoothed them out, and it looks great. The edges have a tiny bit of fraying, more from wearing than washing, I think. It gives them a nice, soft look that I, personally, like. It also hides any jagged cuts. That t-shirt fabric is a little tricky to cut smoothly, but just cut steadily, and you’ll be fine.

Please let me know if anything is unclear! And I’d love to see finished shirts if anyone else makes one!

PS: Off topic, my brother has been posting a photo a day for the last week or so, you should go look and see how lovely his photographs are. There might also be a picture of moi over there. I’m just saying. We are thinking of inviting him to be an honorary member of Photoshop Sisters, since we need to start posting there again sometime soon, and he’s pretty smart about that photography stuff.


  1. Great tutorial, thanks! I am going to give this a go next time a buy t-shirts.

  2. Yippee! Thanks soooooooo much, can’t wait to try this!

  3. Thanks so much for posting this! I’ve really been wanting to give it a try, but have been a little scared. Now I’m definitely going to give it a go.

  4. You are so sweet to post this, I have been waiting for you to do this tutorial, you have some great ideas you could easily make a kit for sale with this tutorial or start collecting tutorials for a craft book, I know I would buy it. Take care

  5. this looks great,
    I am really inspired to go and cut some of my shirts up to make one šŸ˜‰
    hey that sounded like I was kidding but I am serious
    thanks for the Tute.

  6. Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial – I’ve been wanting to try this out since I saw the t-shirt you made! Can’t wait!

  7. Cool! I would never have thought the flowers were cut from star shapes… Thx so much for doing this- tell your sis thx too! Loads of new tops out too- actually some cute ones at target that would be good for this. Oh- and believe it or not, Walmart has some really nice organic cotton scoop neck t’s that are $6.00- pretty charcoal grey, soft dove grey- really cute, organic and best of all- $6.00. They are in rows of cardboard displays and all the items are in plastic bags. Really cool cotton long bags in various colors- $5.00, some embellishments would make them cool gifts- I mean they would be easy to make, but $5 and they ar ready to decorate. Check them out!! Off to checko ut your brother’s blog- does everyone blog? haha!

  8. Thank you so much! I love it and can’t wait to try it for me and my girls for back to school!

  9. Thanks for the tutorial…I might just have to try this this weekend.

  10. I love this! I’m including it in today’s Daily DIY. Off to check out the rest of your gorgeous blog…

  11. Thanks for sharing this! It looks super easy with a cute finished project. I’m a teacher, this shirts would be great for school. I’ll be making a few this weekend.

  12. Great idea! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I can’t wait to try it.

  13. Hey, that’s just like the shirt I made in May as an Anthropologie knock-off!

  14. Your t-shirts look great. So simple, yet it has such an impact.

  15. This is wonderful! My daughter has a few shirts that still fit her but have some stains on them. I will have to do this to our clothes. Thank you so much for posting this.

  16. Hi I made one last night and I just wanted to share.
    Flower heart tshirt
    Thank you so much for sparking this recon bug in me!!

  17. This is so dang cool, thanks so much for posting it.

  18. Here’s an image of the shirt I made with your tutorial! Thanks!

  19. This t-shirt is really beautiful. Thanks so much for this tutorial.

  20. Love the shirt and this tutorial. Thanks a bunch!

  21. Thanks for this tutorial, I learned. hopefully this weekend I have free rime to make my own version of this. thanks!

  22. nice..to c them and tryto do soo…

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