SMP Craft
8 Oct

HOW-TO TUESDAY: Cool Ideas to Design Your Own T-shirt (For Cheap or Free!)

For some time now I’ve been thinking about revitalizing old clothes with a quick craft make-over. I was flipping through DESIGN YOUR OWN TEES by Rachel Cooke which is filled with quick and easy ideas to design your own shirts. Check out this  how-to make a t-shirt dress! So easy and so fun! Can’t wait to try it out myself.
– Mitali

Design Your Own TeeTECHNIQUE: Raw-edged Applique

Applique is a lovely technique f or embellishment. Usually, you finish the edges of your stitched- on designs to keep them neat and protected from damage during washing and wearing. For this project, however, leave the edge s raw and let chance take its course! Create a stylish T- shirt dress that is refined enough to wear out on the town. Applique different types of fabrics for a varied effect- this is a great project for leftover scraps that are too small to use for anything else. Fabrics will fray at different rates, and some may eventually disappear in the wash, leaving the stitching exposed. Embrace the unpredictable results of this project, and you will have a truly one-of-a-kind tee.


T-shirt dress
Fabric scraps in a variety of colors and patterns
Contrasting thread
Scissors or a rotary cutter and cutting mat
Straight pins
Sewing machine
Washing machine

1. Make a pattern piece out of the hexagon template provided (page 127), or create your own pattern piece in the shape of your choice. Use paper or lightweight cardboard to do this. Adjust the scale of the hexagon template, if you like.
2. Cut out lots of hexagons from the fabric scraps. You can use scissors or a rotary cutter and cutting mat. Note: Remember to always roll the rotary cutter away from you-it is very sharp and can give you a nasty cut. (I’m speaking from experience here!)
3. Arrange the hexagons on your tee in a pattern that pleases you.
4. Pin them in place.
5. Stitch around the edges of the hexagons with a straight stitch. (I chose to stitch my whole project in one contrasting thread color to add some punch.)
Remember to leave enough fabric around the edges to allow for some nice fraying.
6. Backstitch to secure each piece.
7. Now it’s all up to chance. Wear your tee, and delight in how much it changes each time you wash it.

Design Your Own Tee - Example

For an extra-personal touch, use some of the printing techniques in this book to print your own fabrics for your appliques.

Raw-edged stripes! Cut lengths of fabric about ¾” (2 cm) wide and arrange them on your tee. Stitch each stripe with one seam in the center of the fabric, leaving lots of opportunity for fraying.


Get your copy of DESIGN YOUR OWN TEES from your fave local bookseller or click on any retailer link below:


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2 comments on “HOW-TO TUESDAY: Cool Ideas to Design Your Own T-shirt (For Cheap or Free!)
  1. At this time I am going to do my breakfast, afterward having my breakfast coming yet again to read more news.

  2. android says:

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.

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