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Sew colourful love! Heart Strings T-shirt DIY

While people are looking to spread a little love and experiment with some new crafts I thought it would be nice to do a quick tutorial showing how our 'Heart Strings' design could be used to decorate items you already have at home. We added some love to an old white t-shirt by sewing in this little threaded rainbow heart. It's become my favourite T-shirt so I thought I'd show you how! 

Rainbow threads stitched on a white t-shirt in a heart design

You will need:

- A t-shirt, tote bag, sweater or cushion you want to customise (ideally in light colours).

- Needle & Threads! I used the Rainbow Threads but you can use any coloured embroidery thread you have.

- Either a printer or an iPad/ smart phone to trace the design. 

- Thin felt tip pen (not permanent)

- Embroidery hoop. I used a hoop about 11cm diameter. You can pick one up from Etsy and support a small business. 

- Backing fabric (not essential, but if you're more of a pro, you'll know that will help keep thinner fabric more structured). 


Firstly you can download the Heart Template that you will need to trace onto your fabric. 

Put your embroidery hoop onto the fabric where you'd like to stitch your design. Make sure it's fairly taut but don't pull crazy tight as you'll stretch and damage the jersey.

I found it easiest to trace the outline of the image by using an iPad screen behind my t-shirt - this works really well as it creates a light-box shining through the fabric and making the design nice and clear. You could also maybe try this method with a phone or computer screen and just note you'll need a light coloured fabric.  Alternatively you can print the template (make sure the size is what you want) and then make little holes to draw the dots through the paper onto the fabric. 

Tracing heart strings design onto t-shirt for stitching

While I would usually use pencil to transfer a design, it would not show up easily (and kept changing the screen of the iPad!) so I used a thin felt-tip pen to mark each dot. 

Heart dots on t-shirt

Once you've marked your design you can start to stitch the Heart Strings. To create this multi-colour effect I used Rainbow Threads in a circle of colour - the same as shown on our Rainbow Heart Strings Template (this will tell you how many lines of each colour you need to do to keep it symmetrical). 

Heart strings Half stitched on white t-shirt

Try not to pull the threads too tight so that the fabric stays flat. This is as big as you'd want to make the heart because the loops of thread are already quite big (and will easily catch on things!) but the effect is really lovely. 

Heart strings stitched on white t-shirt with embroidery hoop

Take off your embroidery hoop and your t-shirt is ready to wear! If you can see your pen dots then you can give it a wash and they should disappear. 

Heart strings stitched on white t-shirt in rainbow threads

For a design like this I would also recommend using some backing fabric if you have any to give the t-shirt more structure and stop the stretch when you stitch... but I didn't have any and it worked OK!

Heart strings stitched on white t-shirt in rainbow thread worn by a woman

Ta daaa! Your t-shirt is ready to wear :) 

If you have any questions let me know!


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