please, do try this at home

the finished result

This week's project is a quick t-shirt reconstruction with the reverse appliqué technique which basically means layering two different fabrics, sew them togheter, and then cut away part of the top one to reveal the one underneath.
Ready to start?

What you will need

the t-shirt before the reconstruction

  • a plain t-shirt in your size
  • some fabric for the patch
  • fusible interfacing
  • fabric shears
  • small and sharp scissors
  • pins
  • needle and thread (or, if you prefer, a sewing machine)
  • pencil

A guitar, Infinite Jest, The Illuminatus Trilogy and The Year of the Flood, while suggested for your personal enjoyment, are not strictly necessary for this project.

Step 1

cutting the red fabric

Cut a square of red fabric of the desired dimensions, I've used the short sleeve of a ruined red t-shirt.
On the wrong side of your patch, apply the fusible interfacing.

Step 2

drawing the swirl on the interfacing

Draw a swirl on the interfacing.
IMPORTANT: remember to draw the swirl as mirrored, because the interfacing is the wrong side of our patch.
So, if usually the Debian swirl has the back to the left and the front to the right - like a "(" - when you draw it on the interfacing it will need to have the back to the right and front to the side - like a ")".
I do realize that this explanation isn't really clear: just look at the picture above.

Step 3

pin the patch to the t-shirt

Turn your t-shirt inside out and pin the patch (with the interfacing up) in the place you want to put it: I decided to put mine on the lower left corner, approximately 10 cm above the bottom hem.
(In the picture is lower, I changed idea on the position just before sewing it)
Now you can sew it, following closely the drawn line.
Because I'm lazy, I decided to do it by hand, but if you're not afraid of sewing curved shapes, doing it with the sewing machine is definitely the right (and quick) way to do it.

Step 4

cut the extra fabric

Now, you can cut the extra fabric around your swirl.

Step 5

revealing the swirl

Turn your shirt right side out.
Make a snip through the knit in the fabric on the inside part of your stitches and cut off the extra fabric, to reveal the red swirl underneath.
Be careful to not cut the red fabric!

Step 6

ending with a embroidered dashed line

If you like it, you can end embroidering a dashed line (with running stitches) in a contrasting thread all around the swirl.

And you're finished: now you can enjoy your new Debian t-shirt! :)

For any questions feel free to contact me.