reverse applique tee
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Reverse Applique Tee with Lotus Template

Reverse Appliqué Tee

reverse applique tee

Breathe new life into a loved T-shirt (or two)! This boho T-shirt featuring a large-scale lotus flower appliqué. Using Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy™ to stabilize the shirts makes the process super simple. GET THE PATTERN>



This project consists of two layered T-shirts. It works best to use the same brand, style and size of T-shirt so they nest into each other for the best fit.

A long-sleeved tee placed under a short sleeved tee also works well for a different look. Make sure those shirts have the same or similar fit so the long-sleeved tee underneath is more snug against the skin than the outer tee (if not the same brand, style and size).

Two coordinating colors of T-shirts look best. But, if you have a T-shirt with a printed design, try putting that one underneath so the print shows through the appliqué areas.

If you have a favorite T-shirt that has a stain (or several) on the front, use it under the second tee and make sure the stains aren’t inside any appliqué areas.


First, download the free pattern to get all the instructions for the reverse applique tee PLUS the full-scale lotus design to print onto Sticky Fabri-Solvy. Set the printer for the lowest ink setting, if available, to avoid over-saturating the stabilizer with ink.

Also, use a second sheet of Sticky Fabri-Solvy on the undershirt. This helps not only stabilize the shirt for stitching, but it aids in cutting away the appliqué motif sections.

stitching applique on Sticky Fabri-Solvy

After the appliqué is stitched and cut out along the motif edges, the tee hems along the cuff, sleeves and lower edge are stitched together. Then, they’re trimmed through the upper shirt only. This helps the shirts become one.

cutting away T-shirt hems

After washing the stabilizer away, you’re left with a cool raw-edge appliqué motif. What better way to repurpose a T-shirt?

finished stitched lotus design on tee

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I am the Director of Content for Sulky of America. The former Editor in Chief of Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines, I hosted Sew it All TV on PBS for nine seasons. I've appeared on It's Sew Easy on PBS, DIY Network's Uncommon Threads, Hallmark's Marie Osmond Show, MacPhee Workshop and more! Come sew with me!