gettin’ crafty

i finally was able to squeeze in some time for selfish crafting!
i mentioned awhile back that i really wanted to try some shirt embellishments, and it was more fun than i expected.
i started with a cheap t-shirt that i loved the fit of.
my mistake was in getting too thin of a shirt as this one got caught in my machine a lot.
live and learn.

i had some white jersey on hand and decided to just use it, even though one side was ribbed.
i just flipped it over and used the backside.

i just free handed a bunch of random sized circles on 2 layers of fabric, definitely not uniform.
then i layed out the circles in a pattern that was purposefully asymmetrical.
that was a fun challenge for me, since i tend to like symmetry.

then i pinned them all in place.
next i pinched each circle in the middle.
i was not precise at all about this.

then i took my threaded needle and did 2 or 3 tiny stitched through the point, just enough to pleat it a bit.

next i just stitched it in place with a couple hand stitches and knotted it.
see? cute, huh?
2 is even cuter than one!

here they are all pinned down, after i stitched them all.
i liked how they looked all fluffy and flowery, but i wanted something a little flatter for this shirt.
i machine stitched random lines and squiggles until i got all the edges down that i wanted to be tacked.
and here’s the final product!
i have a fun grey shirt up next…
ps – i have a confession: i’m sucking in my gut in these pics. honesty is the best policy.


  1. 1

    That is soooooo DARLING! I am going to try to attempt this. So talented!

  2. 2

    I've got a box of scraps that I'm saving to do this as well! Yours turned out sooo good! Love your honesty:)

  3. 3

    I love it! I'll have to add this to my long list of projects.

  4. 4
    Cherry Tree Lane says:

    WHAT?!! Amazing! I love it!!!

  5. 5

    so cute!!!! i so want to do this!

    i love the length of the white shirt . . . where is it from?

  6. 6
    The Chubby Dove says:

    Wow! Love the shirt! Great job!

  7. 7

    Man that is cute! I will have to try this one ASAP!

  8. 8
    Dawn-Hydrangea Home says:

    LOVE what you did to that t-shirt! Great job!

  9. 9

    The shirt is from forever 21. I think it was about $7.

  10. 10

    Wow… so JCrew. I could save about $30. Love it.Love it. Love it.

  11. 11
    Joyful Weddings and Events says:

    I was thinking that you looked ridiculously skinny :) Cut!

  12. 12
    theknittingcowgirl says:

    That's a great idea!!! It is simple and funny to do, I love to decorate t-shirts, I embroidered two of these last summer

  13. 13
    Rebecca Welch says:

    I'm digging this!

  14. 14

    that is so cute! I love it!

  15. 15

    I love this!

  16. 16

    GORG! – Destiny

  17. 17

    I LOVE this!! It looks so cute! Thanks for showing us all how to do it!!

  18. 18

    WOW!!! That is super cute! Now I want to make one!!! Off to add it to my list!

  19. 19
    rachel @ perfectly imperfect says:

    super cute- and so funny that you admitted sucking in your tummy! cracks me up… i had a little honesty on my blog this week, too, so i appreciate it! : )
    beautiful t-shirt. thanks for sharing!

  20. 20
    Kristen Borland says:

    super cute!

  21. 21

    I LOVE it!!!! I've been seeing these shirts everywhere & I keep saying "I'm not spnding that much, I could do it myself"…so now I need to actual try it! :)

  22. 22

    i will take one in gray,long sleeve tee.

    i would like the favorite sis-in-law discount (free :-0).

    i'm a medium.

    i will suck my gut in too.

  23. 23
    Empty Nest Full Life says:

    Very cute T-Shirt! You have so much talent! Jackie

  24. 24
    Esther Plaster says:

    can i buy one from you!! i have several from jcrew but yours is so much cuter!!

  25. 25
    andy gibson says:

    super cute. those would make great christmas gifts!

    (this is jeannett…)

  26. 26
    Heather at Happy Chippy Junk says:

    This has been on my list FOREVER!!! Yours shirt looks darling..and to be that skinny!! A girl can dream!!

  27. 27
    Heather at Happy Chippy Junk says:

    This has been on my list FOREVER!!! Yours shirt looks darling..and to be that skinny!! A girl can dream!!

  28. 28
    allthingsjuice says:


  29. 29

    I LOVE IT!!!!!

  30. 30
    ambrosia says:

    I'm going to a Lost party on Sunday and everyone has to make/wear a "Lost inspired" t-shirt…
    I'm going to try your adorable idea with black circles (probably on a grey tee) and will tell everyone it's the "smoke monster" :)
    I'll let you know how it turns out…

  31. 31

    Really cute! I would SO wear that! Oh, and there is no way you have anything that resembles a "gut" or you wouldn't be able to "suck it in" enough to look as adorable and tiny as you do in these photos!

  32. 32
    Justine says:

    This is SO cute! I am definitely going to try it. I just bought a $3 white tee from Walmart :)

  33. 33
    Justine says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I am going to link this tutorial to my blog :) I attempted at your Pleated Poppy shirt! Please come by and take a look.


  34. 34

    I saw this post and fell in LOVE with this shirt. I made one and it turned out sooooo cute!! Then I washed it ;o( the flowers after I got it out of the dryer they turned into buds…what do you do to make the flowers flat, do you tack them down or lay it out wet…just curious. Thanks for all your idea's, I love them ;o)

    • 35

      Just lightly press each back into an open circle with the tip of your iron. Very quick & they turn back into fluffly little flowers

  35. 36
    pleated poppy says:

    ali – see the very last bit of directions? i stitched all over the flowers with my machine to make them lay a little flatter. maybe you missed that step?

  36. 37

    Thank you, I did miss that step…I love my shirt!! Thanks again!!!

  37. 38

    So cute!! I can't wait to try this one!

  38. 39

    i’m SUCH a jcrew fan…. and i’ve looked at those expensive t’s and thought, i could do that… thanks for the instructions.. can’t wait to try! :)

  39. 40

    Thank you for this tutorial – I will use it to pimp a simple felt purse with colourful scraps!

  40. 41

    Saw a t-shirt on a web site with close-to this design—but did not want to spend the money on it. Knew I could “do it myself”. Thanks for the instructions!!!

  41. 42

    This is so cool!! Target had t-shirts like this…but I think making your own sounds so fun! I’m going to try this soon!!

  42. 43

    Thanks so much for sharing! { L O V E } it!
    Katy in North Carolina

  43. 44
    Mandy McKinnon says:

    Following your tutorial for this adorable shirt, I created one for myself this past Saturday. Not wanting to go to the store, I used shirts I had hanging in my closet… I used a reddish-coral colored Gap T and decorated it with circles cut from a turquoise Old Navy T. It turned out super cute! I wore it to Trader Joe’s on Sunday and received a million compliments. I have big plans to do a white one like yours… just as soon as I hit Gap again. :)
    Thanks so much for posting!
    Mandy in Ohio

    PS- more embellished T tutorials, please! :)

  44. 45

    How would I tack the petals down, if I do not want to run over them with the sewing the machine? I don’t want them flat.
    It is a lovely tee. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I love your site.


    • 46

      As above, After washing,just lightly press each back into an open circle with the tip of your iron. Very quick & they turn back into fluffly little flowers

  45. 47

    Thank you so very much for the tutorial on your adorable shirt! I am going to work right now and create one for myself. Please continue to share ~

  46. 48

    This is adorable and so feminine. I just had a big idea to do it in Team colors. “Roll Tide”

  47. 49

    very cute and easy to boot! love it! and your confession cracked me up! ha ha! :) lisa

  48. 50
    Gladys Sokolis says:

    I love your shirt. I made one a little different out of a shirt I had gotten bleach on. I added circles gathered up and added small bottons to centers. Started at top sholder and over center and down. I have a sewing guild style show challenge in April to recyle something this will be great. I have gotten some more Ideas for doing more shirts. Thank You

  49. 51

    Love it! You are too cute….I am sucking in my gut as I type this.

  50. 52
    Ki'ihele West says:

    I love making repurposed clothing, especially tees. This is a really adorable idea.

  51. 53

    I love it! thanks for the post, finally found my project for the weekend

    p.s. I don’t think you needed to suck your stomach in at all :D

  52. 54

    Very cute! Love how creative this project is. May I suggest, if the t-shirt fabric is too thin and gets caught in the machine, try a stabilizer under it; iron some freezer paper on the backside, or use a tear-away or even a water soluble stabilizer. (I used to sew and applique garments for a children’s manufacturer.)

  53. 55

    Everyone needs a change once in a while. I’m amazed that you don’t wait for it but arrange the change yourself.

  54. 56

    I think on a white T some pearl beade in the middle of the flowers would be pretty.

  55. 57

    Thank you so much for sharing your idea. What a great tutorial with excellent pictures. I have bookmarked this in hopes of doing a little t-shirt remodeling.

  56. 60

    very creative and a great way to use scraps thank you

  57. 61

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