Shabby Heart Baby T-shirt Makeover

One of my favorite ways to sew is to do t-shirt makeovers! They are super easy and the possibilities are endless, really. My favorite technique is reverse applique. That's where the applique is on the bottom and you cut away the top fabric to reveal what' underneath. Ya know, instead of trying to explain it in words, let me show you what I mean!

I love doing personalized gifts when I have a friend having a baby. This is a really great way to make an in-expensive and super cute gift!

Here's what you need to make one:

  • A sewing machine and tread
  • A t-shirt in any color you love
  • Another contrasting t-shirt (I used 2 layers of this)
  • Freezer paper
  • Either scissors or a cutting machine. I use my Silhouette

The first thing you need to do is cut your pattern out on Freezer Paper. I used the Silhouette because I'm super lazy and hate tracing. But you could definitely do that if you want.

Let me show you how I cut it out. I didn't want three separate hearts, but I also knew I needed a pattern to sew around. So, I cut the outside heart out the regular way. For the two inside hearts, I used the sketch pen first to draw some hearts, then I perforated around the hearts (to make them easier to remove when I was done sewing). BE SURE to cut this out with the matte side up. You want the glossy side to go against the t-shirt.

 After it's all cut out, iron the freezer paper on your t-shirt, glossy side down.

 Next, pin the 2 layers of underlying fabric on the INSIDE of the t-shirt.

I like to put a few pins around the outer edges on the inside and finish pinning the inside on the top of the shirt.

Now, you can sew around the hearts. Start with the outside heart. Be sure to back stitch.

 Then, sew around the inside hearts. You can totally sew through the freezer paper.

 That's the fast part, now on to the cutting. First peel off the freezer paper. I love doing that. It always amazes me how it sticks to fabric so well and yet leaves no reside when you pull it off!

Once you get all of the freezer paper off, start cutting the hearts out. Be sure when you cut that you're only cutting the TOP fabric!

After all of the pink hearts are cut, then cut the TOP layer of white. Like this:

I'm really slow when I cut. It's okay if it's sort of shabby. That's the beautiful part of reverse applique. But, you don't want it to look sloppy. There's a fine line.

And there ya have it!! A beautiful (and pretty easy) custom shirt! If you love reverse applique like I do, I have a t-shirt here and here that you can see, too!