Archived Page

DIY T-Shirt Appliqué

Subscribe to email list

Make your own Rainbow T-Shirt Appliqué

This is a very easy way to turn a boring T-Shirt into a beautiful kids top that will go well with anything.

My daughter has this favourite lilac H&M T-Shirt that I got second hand for almost nothing but we don’t have anything to go with it. I get very annoyed when she picks this T-shirt and wears her favourite skirt with it that is turquoise and orange and does not look colour coordinated at all…

I am a big fan of all the Johnnie Boden kids clothes because of their great colour designs but find them much too expensive. Therefore I created a board on pinterest to collect different ideas on how to lighten up some of my daughter’s clothes.

In the case of the lilac T-Shirt I chose to put a rainbow on the front.

For years already I collect tiny pieces of colourful fabric for this kind of projects. I iron them on double sided fusible fleece so I can use them right away when I need them. I just have to cut out the shape I want and iron it onto the T-shirt.

First I sketched the image I wanted onto a piece of paper and then cut out the pieces from the fabric scraps I already had ironed onto the double sides fusible fleece.

For the rainbow I used different coloured bias tapes because I could stretch it on one side, making it bend like an arch. If you don’t have bias tape, here is a tutorial on how to make it. But you can also use any other fabric and cut it in an arch shape. Then you should sew around in a tiny zigzag stitch like I did around the cloud.

I ironed the rainbow onto a freezer paper, hoping that it would keep the sticky side after pulling the paper off again but that didn’t work, so I used strips of the double sides fusible fleece between T-Shirt and the bias tape rainbow to make it easier to sew it on.

My daughter is very happy that she can wear her favourite top with her favourite skirt now.  (although she almost started to cry when she first saw that I changed her T-Shirt without asking her).

Below another top that I made for my daughter about 4 years ago. The balloon strings are just drawn on with a black fabric pen. I hope that gives you lots of new ideas to refashion your clothes. And before I forget… You can find lots of interesting designs if you google “freehand machine embroidery”.


You can subscribe to my email list, so you always know when a new tutorial is online.

But you also reach me on facebook where I created a group for my Refashion and Upcycling projects: tinapoelzlRefashion

All the Best, Tina

perfect belt

Subscribe to email list

Upcycle Necktie Belt with exchangeable elastic – perfect maternity and children’s belt


I have a REALLY BIG collection of neckties, as they are one of my favorite upcycling material and I started gathering them when I was still in school.

The original idea for this belt was to create a kids belt that grows with them as you can exchange the elastic. When my daughter was just 3 years old, she tried to wear belts all the time but because her belly was wider than her hips, they would always slip down. The other problem she had was dealing with the buckle… an impossible task for little people.

So I made her a belt from a necktie with an elastic band in the back and snaps to close. GREAT!

When I got pregnant I quickly realized that my regular (non-elastic) belts felt either too loose or too tight, depending on the time of the day and the activity I just did. I tried one of my daughter’s belts – just used a much longer elastic band in the back – and VOILÀ – my problems were gone. Perfect maternity belt!!

I made a few more belts, this time a bit longer, to fit my growing waist.

What you need:

– Old necktie

– Sewing needle and thread in colour of necktie

– 4 Kam snaps (I tell you, it’s worth investing in a few of those – you can use them for so many things!!)

– elastic band as wide as the necktie

What you have to do:

  • measure how long you need the belt. I made the length about 10cm shorter than my pre-pregnancy waist, so I can still use the belts when I’m –hopefully- back to my old self. But whatever you measure, deduct 15cm of that measurement. That’s how long you want the necktie part of the belt
  • cut the necktie in the measured length.
  • Cut off about 4 cm of the lining of the necktie and then fold over the edges and sew it shut.
  • Cut the desired length + 6cm of the elastic band, burn the edges with a lighter or candle, turn over 3 cm on each side and put the snaps in.

Soooo… What do you think?

You can subscribe to my email list, so you always know when a new tutorial is online.

But you also reach me on facebook where I created a group for my Refashion and Upcycling projects: tinapoelzlRefashion

All the Best, Tina