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A wide variety of decorative details takes the humble knit t-shirt to a whole new level of designer style. All you need is your imagination and a few simple embellishment techniques to take your favorite tee from functional to fabulous. Most techniques are simple and quick enough to be done in less than a day; some techniques require little or no sewing, perfect for beginners.
Since t-shirts are made of tightly-knit fabrics, they don’t ravel and don’t need any hemming or finishing when you cut into them. Cut a fringe into your tee and add beads for a fun and funky hem finish.
Beaded Hem Fringe How-To’s:
T-shirts come in a wide variety of necklines, including crew, vee and scoop styles. Embellishing your neckline is a great way to draw the eye upwards to your face, and is easily visible on its own or peeking out from under a jacket or cardigan. Sprinkle rhinestones, sew-on beads, small appliqués or pearly novelty buttons along the edge of the neckline. You can use a single row for subtle sparkle, or make a bold statement with more buttons or beads, fading out the pattern as you move away down the front of your tee.
TIP: Rhinestones and appliqués are available in both sew-on or iron-on varieties. You can also use iron-on rhinestone motifs to embellish your neckline.
You can create a no-sew work of art using fabric paints, widely available in sewing and craft supply stores. Fabric paints come in an array of colors and types, such as dimensional puffy, glitter, iridescent and slick. Always read manufacturer’s directions before use for best results. Some ideas for using fabric paint:
TIP: Always test your marking method first on an invisible spot of your shirt. Use light marking pens on dark fabric and darker marking pens on light fabric. Some helpful painting tips: