Tuesday, September 20, 2011

cutaway layered t-shirt (reverse applique)-tutorial

I saw some t-shirts similar to this in a french market, and thought "ooo I could do something like that with my own designs". I had never heard of reverse applique, so didn't know what this technique was, but it seemed quite obvious. I like that it's a full t-shirt over another, so you can get away with using cheaper t-shirts as you don't need the thickness. The two t-shirts are only held together by the design, but you could add extra stitching if you prefer.

So I bought a couple of £2.50 t-shirts from primark, to fit my teenage son. He wanted a skull design so the first thing to do was to design the skull (I was originally hoping that he'd choose something simpler!) please note, it's me modelling it in the picture though, NOT my teenage son!

I then drew around this onto the outer t-shirt.

I carefully positioned the inner t-shirt inside the outer one and pinned them together around the design.

I stitched over the design using a sewing machine, set to a stretch stitch.

I then cut away just the top layer inside the design. I purposefully kept the edges rough and unfinished looking.

and that's it, all that remains to do is tidy up the ends of the thread (I just used a sewing needle to pass the thread to the back and tied it off inside.


  1. your son looks just like mine, same hair :)

    I've done reverse applique before, I love the look of the rough edges. but it has never occurred to me to use two complete t shirts, what a clever idea for a nice layered look and extra cosiness! I usually just put a bit of material behind.

  2. Great idea, thanks for the tutorial. xx

  3. I was thinking that lad's looking more like his mother every day rofl...and its yoooou lol...

    ol' skinny minnie!!

    This is exactly as I envisaged the t shirt to look :0) A bit fiddly though I bet? Especially around the jaw area. Nice one- hope J likes it.

  4. That's a great technique Joanne - I need one of those, lol!

  5. How clever - bet your son was impressed! Jo x

  6. Joanne, I'm seriously going to try this TODAY, what a great how-to--you make me feel capable!


  7. Seriously, we have some of those lightweight t's that have developed small holes in them, and I was thinking that surely there was something we could do . . .


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