Ribbon Flower T-Shirt

I was at Target last week and snapped this photo with my handy dandy phone spy camera.

Cute huh? I thought so too. I also thought I could make it just as cute. And pinker. Because, if you can, why wouldn’t you? :) Here’s mine:

(I’m finding I’m fairly self-conscious about being the model for these things I”m making. Huh.)

Now, I know that everyone out there is copying Anthro (myself included) and other great stores, but even though this is a lil ole $14.99 Target T-shirt, I think we can do it for even less, and did I mention pinker?

So let’s get started! Gather your supplies.

We’re going to need a plain T-shirt (I got mine at Walmart for $4.00), freezer paper, and ribbon. I got this sweet little ribbon at Michael’s, half price. You could also use tulle or a fabric strip. I used almost the whole roll – so almost 3 yards of ribbon.
You will also need some thread to match your ribbon and a contrasting thread for your stitched flower, and a marking pen.
I use a quilters marking pen that is a disappearing ink pen. Sometimes it’s a little enthusiastic so I have to make sure I’m not going to leave the project part-way through.

To start with, turn your t-shirt inside out. Tear off a piece of freezer paper about the size of the front of your shirt. Iron it on, waxy side down.

Turn the shirt right side out. Draw your flower on to the T-Shirt. You can use this photo as a guide. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
You want the stitched flower to be a little shorter than the ribbon flower so that you can see it once you sew your ribbon on.

Using your contrasting thread, follow your marked lines with a straight stitch. Make sure you do a small reverse or locking stitch at the beginning and ending of each line so your thread doesn’t come loose.
Also, make sure as you’re turning the shirt that the part underneath doesn’t get caught in your sewing.
Your paper will crinkle up as you go, that’s fine.

Here’s my sewn flower, wrinkles and all.

Once your stitched flower is finished, draw out your ribbon flower lines. You want them to be a little bigger than the stitched flower.

Start at the bottom of the shirt and begin sewing your ribbon on, turning your ribbon as you go when you come to tight curves. Stitch down the middle of the ribbon with the matching thread.

Keep turning the ribbon and sewing it down over all your lines. Leave the small center part for last and make a small circle of ribbon in the center for the center of the flower, sewn just like you did the rest of the flower, turning the ribbon to go around curves.

Now we arrive at the least fun portion of our little project. The paper removal.

Turn your T-shirt wrong side out again. Starting at the bottom, pull the paper off around the edges, away from your sewing lines. Working in strips, keep tearing closer and closer to the sewing. When you get to the stitched lines, hold your finger on either side of the thread with one hand and pull the paper gently with the other. Because you are working with a knit fabric, your have to be gentle of the fabric will pull with the paper or the threads will pull up loops.

Keep working slowly until all the paper is removed. Tweezers might help in the small spots.

Once you’ve finished, press the back side of your shirt. This will help with any puckering or wrinkles from the paper.

Turn your shirt right side out. Awww. So cute.

And again,

So our total is around $5 for the shirt and ribbon, everything else was on hand. Not too bad.

What do you think? I’d really like to know.

Am I the only one that copies 15 dollar items as well as 50 dollar ones? :)



  • Reply April 30, 2010


    What a cute idea!

    I’m having a blog party tomorrow and I’d love it if you linked up!

  • Reply April 30, 2010

    Jessica Hills

    This is so pretty! I am featuring you next week on Favorite Things Friday! If you would like a featured button stop by my blog and pick one up!

  • Reply May 1, 2010


    I LOVE that! I saw the same shirt at Target and wondered how to replicate it. Thanks for sharing!

  • So clever and cute (and pinker.) ;-)

  • Reply May 6, 2010


    That is lovely! And I likw yours way better than the Target version!

  • Reply May 11, 2010


    Hi! Nice to meet you and find your blog (via oneprettything). I love this idea and your creativity– I’ve linked on the dabbled facebook page.


  • Reply May 12, 2010


    I totally love your version. The funny thing is, I also snapped a picture of that shirt while at Target. Thanks for the motivation to get started!

  • Reply May 20, 2010


    thank you so much for your wonderful tutorial! :) i put a link to it on my blog here: http://frostedsquare.blogspot.com/2010/05/fancify-my-t-shirts.html

  • Reply May 27, 2010


    Lovely. I have admired these type t-shirts at stores but always like to be more original and frugal! Thanks SO much for the tutorial. Some of my girlfriends are going to be gifted with these. I made a” JCrew like” t-shirt for Mother’s day with appliqued rosettes hand stitched onto it and then one for myself and love it. Thanks for sharing your skills :)

  • Reply November 19, 2010

    Sewing on Sally the Singer

    Beautiful!! I like your version a lot more than the original :) . I think I’ll try it on a onesie!!

  • Reply December 11, 2010


    Thanks for the idea I just made mine, did not turn out as good as yours thats for sure!!

  • Reply February 1, 2011

    Brooke Douglass

    I love this shirt tons!!!! Way to go! Brooke

  • Reply September 22, 2011


    This is so much cuter than the original! I can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply January 5, 2012

    Amy Kamrowski

    I was wondering where you get your shirts from? I have seen craft shirts at both walmart and hobby lobby but they have a limited supply. I have looked on the internet, but they are never cost effective.

  • Reply June 6, 2014


    Your knockoff is way cuter.
    Am bound to make my own.

    One question though, what’s the freezer papaer for? And what kind of store can I buy it?

  • Reply December 7, 2014


    I love yours and your instructions! I was trying to have my kids have matching colors in our Christmas card, the best I could do was a cute sweater and some ribbon that matched. Your site saved me, I made a really cute shirt for younger daughter to wear!

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