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Lace Applique Tshirt Tutorial

February 7, 2012

Yesterday afternoon I made this lace applique shirt for Creamie and it turned out even cuter in real life than it did in my mind.  I sure do love when that happens.  I’ve been thinking about making a shirt like this for a few months after seeing something similar in a children’s boutique for way too many dollars.  My version cost less than $5 plus just a little bit of time.  My kind of project.

Lace Heart shirt 2up

So here’s what I did.  I started with a solid colored tshirt and some white lace.  I bought mine at Joanns with a coupon.  I bought 1/4 yard (which is 9″) so my heart would fill up the front of the shirt.  Then you’ll need some ribbon or buttons to embellish and a bit of embroidery floss to stitch around the edge.

cut out a lace heart

I free handed a heart and cut out a template, mine is 8″ wide, but if I was doing it again I’d probably make it a little smaller.  Then I traced my heart onto the lace with a disappearing pen and carefully cut it out on the fold.

pin well

Then I centered the heart on my shirt, and slipped a piece of cereal box inside so I didn’t pin through both layers.  Then I pinned it to death so I wouldn’t stretch or distort my fabric as I sewed.  Actually, I probably could have used even more pins than I had.  Then I sewed on the inside of the heart about 1/8″ inch from the edge all the way around with white thread.  The hardest part was trying to make those curves without stretching the fabric too much.  I had to go slow.  And I still got a few baby puckers, but such is life.

finished heart

After I sewed the lace on I embroidered around the edge of the heart with all six strands of floss.  I just did a daisy chain stitch because it had less pulling on the fabric than a regular backstitch.  I tried a few of the stitches on my machine, but I ended up getting bunchy stretchy results.  And I didn’t have any fusible backing to use, so I went with hand embroidery.  I am sure this is not technically the correct way to do this, but I don’t care. It worked for me today and I got my craft fix for the afternoon and got photos taken before it got dark.  So I count it as a win.

lace applique shirt

After Creamie wore it for a while some of the lace bits started peeking through my embroidered stitches, and I’m not sure how well it will wash, but I am not too worried about it.  I have plenty of lace and a needle and thread if something comes loose.  I am prepared for loose threads, if nothing else.  Loose threads? You are going down.

oh my word

I know, loose threads!  I think they call that first world problems or something…  So she has really started hamming it up for me when I pull out the camera.  Like a lot.  I am so glad I have so many of her crazy little faces captured.  These are the kinds of pictures that I’ll look back on when I’m old and wrinkled and cherish.  Or you know, next year when I turn 30.  (Thanks for the kind (early) birthday wishes, the big day is next Monday.  I am finishing up a list of 30 things to do before I turn 30 that I’ll post.  I’ve been making this list for almost a full year already and I hope to have it all finalized by Monday. I am really excited to share my plans!)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. carol permalink
    February 7, 2012 7:55 am

    Creamie is too cute. I would free motion the shirt with a stretch needle and a small zigzag, to hold the lace down. You could also just do smaller and smaller hearts to hold the lace.

  2. Linsey permalink
    February 7, 2012 8:57 am

    that is the cutest thing ever!!!! if i was cool, like you, all my girls would have one for valentines, but i think i’ll just get ready to have a baby this year and plan it for next year for all 5 of them. you are amazing and i miss you.

  3. February 7, 2012 11:45 am

    AAAAdorable!!! 🙂

  4. February 7, 2012 1:46 pm

    i love that its so pretty

  5. February 7, 2012 5:26 pm

    She is one lucky girl! Your such a cool mom! 🙂

  6. Susan permalink
    February 8, 2012 6:48 am

    Fabulous tee and more fabulous little girl! I am inspired to make one with a couple of smaller hearts for myself. Also, I have used a product in a tube called fray-check ( I think) to stop fabric from unraveling. Dries fairly soft as I recall. I’m off to look for that lace I have. Cheers!

  7. February 12, 2012 2:33 pm


    Such a cute girl! And I love that shirt. You always have such clever and crafty ideas.

    xo -E

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