Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MAKE: Heart lace cut-out shirt/ Reverse applique

 This Valentine's Day, I've decided to get a bit festive.

That means putting away my uniform of black on black for something a bit more colorful and feminine, 'cause hearts and lace aren't generally my thing. 

For this upcycling project, I used an old shirt I never wore anymore, a former lace bathroom curtain and an hour. Presto: A new look and there's still time to make one of your own!

This technique is called a reverse applique, because instead of applying something from the outside, you're adding it from the inside. It's easy!

       What you'll need:
  • Shirt
  • Lace some contrasting fabric
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Matching thread
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine or decent hand-sewing skills
  • Optional: Embroidery thread for detailing


1. Find a shirt you don't mind cutting up, and some lace. I used an old curtain. If you don't want/have lace, you could use any other contrasting fabric.

2. Using scrap paper (I had to tape several shapes together to get the right size) figure out how big you want the heart or shape.


3. Cut your lace to be at least an inch bigger than your heart in all directions.

4. Turn your shirt inside out and pin the lace straight and securely to the front layer of the shirt where you'll want your heart. Then place the paper heart on the lace so the lines if you have lace with a distinct pattern like mine — will be straight. Using pins, mark where the heart to be.


5. Return the shirt to right side out. I used dots in the photo above to show you where my pin marks were. Now line up your paper pattern with marks and pin it in place.

6. With a corresponding thread color, stitch around your outline. Take your time! Because you won't want buckling, double check that your lace isn't getting caught up inside.

7.  (Not pictured because I was too excited to see the results!) Pull the shirt layer away from the lace layer and make an incision with your scissors. Cut around the heart shape from the outside. This will seem weird at first, but trust me, it will work out. Make sure not to cut too close to the seam, as the fabric may fray or roll over through washings that you want to leave room for. 

8. Trim away excess lace from the inside, but again, don't get too close to the seam!

9. (Optional) To give this shirt a little something extra, I went around the heart with simple stitches of white embroidery thread.

Now enjoy! Just make sure to wear something under it (the lace will be see-through, duh) or you may get some unwanted attention on Valentine's Day! <3


  1. This is gorgeous!

    Thanks for linking up to Tip Me Tuesday linky party this week. {knuckle bumps}

    Did you know that I can "lend" your blog posts my Google page rank for better search engine traffic? {fabulous}

    If you upload at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL into your Tip Junkie craft room, you'll be in business!

    {wink} ~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}

  2. Cute! I love the lacy heart! I also like the stitching around the heart. Too cute! I'mm pinning this!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party

  3. Oh my gosh this is absolutely adorable!

  4. Super cute shirt! Thanks for sharing this sweet idea! Would love to have you visit me sometime :)
    Have a fabulous day!
    Hugs from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft