When plain t-shirts get stains or just need refreshing, reverse applique is a fun way to add in a pop of color or use up fabric scraps from another project. For this tshirt makeover, I added triangle shapes for a geometric update! This is an easy tshirt refashion and I’m sharing the step by step tutorial so you can make one yourself, too. If you’re new to refashioning, I have my best tips for sewing refashions here! The silk skirt I used as the accent fabric got made over into two other shirt refashions – see them all linked here.
Doesn’t that look more fun than a plain old blue shirt? If you don’t have a shirt on hand, you can check out my tips for shopping to refashion and upcycle.
I am a t-shirt & jeans kind of girl and this is super easy to wear. It will be in regular rotation in my closet and since I made it, I also tried a reverse applique t-shirt refashion with text too!
Pin this t-shirt makeover, here:
Ready to make your own tshirt makeover?
Leopard Triangle Reverse Applique Tutorial
- Tailor’s chalk*
- Acrylic quilting ruler*
- Fusible interfacing* (the lighter the better) if your underlaying fabric is thin or slippery
- Plain base shirt to make over
- Fabric scraps or second garment to use as the applique/accent fabric
- Sewing machine
1. Draw and cut out your template – I used a cereal box. Silk is super slippery and thin, so I used a fusible interfacing on the back of the strip I planned to use. I would recommend this for any applique or radioactive applique unless both fabrics are very thick and stable.
2. Clip or pin the applique fabric underneath the t-shirt’s top layer after marking the center line with chalk. Trace out the template where you’d like the fabric to show. Sew along your outlines! I sewed from the top to bottom, smoothing and making sure that nothing had shifted.
4. Turn to the back and trim the extra interfacing, being careful not to cut through your stitching.
5. Pinch the fabric inside the stitching line and very carefully trim the top layer. Avoid cutting through your stitching or the bottom layer of fabric.
5. Stitch around the edges! This is the stitch setting I used.
6. Brush off the chalk, trim loose threads, and you’re done!
Check out 13+ t-shirt refashion ideas for more inspiration, too!