Introduction: Sequin Relief T-shirt (with Dinosaurs!)

About: Build.Share.Destroy.Repeat. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!


By combining thrift-store clothing bargains with computer printouts you can easily create your own unique t-shirt design. I chose a standard grey tee as the base and a sequin womens top for the relief.
My relief design is a pair of my favourite dinosaurs.

Sequin. Dinosaurs.

Enough talk, time to make.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

This project is easy to create and customize. Maybe you have something in your closet right now that might work!

Here's what you're going to need:
  • t-shirt (or other base, such as cloth bag, jeans, rug, etc.)
  • donor fabric, the crazier the better
  • computer printout, your choice
  • marker
  • sewing machine (yes, really)
  • scissors
  • goggles
The toughest item on this list will be deciding on a donor fabric. From my experience anything with texture woks the best, be creative. I have chosen sequin because of a themed party I attended, but this can easily be substituted for corduroy, flannel or burlap.

The goggles are on this list for a reason, use 'em.

Step 2: Cretaceous Cut&paste

The shape of your image will be later defined with thread using a zig-zag stitch, the more complicated the shape of your design the more challenging the sewing will be. Search the internet for reference pictures of your design, the best shapes are ones that look good in silhouette.

After a few quick searches I chose my favourites: Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops. Back from the the late cretaceous period to rock this world. One. Last. Time.
Import your images and clean them up using photo editing software. Enlarge as required, then print.

I printed a few different size options to brainstorm with. Use scissorsknifegardenshears to cut out your design, since we're only using the silhouette you can just flip the image over to change it's direction.

Step 3: Funky Fabric

Since I love/hate thrift shopping I went to a second-hand store and laughed at all the terrible retro shirts and 80's baseball caps. Then I remembered that I used to own all kinds of clothes like that. For a moment I forgot why I was there......oh yeah, fabric!

After a brief but informative chat with the men;s clerk, I made my way to the women's department; men do not wear fancy fabric, apparently...except soon-to-be-me I guess.
A few minuets of searching, and I had a winner: a rainbow-sequined leopard print top.
A fashion triple-threat!

Step 4: Trace Outline

Turn your donor fabric inside out.

Locate a good patch of fabric on your donor cloth. Position and rotate your paper image cutouts, then outline your image with a marker. I chose a coloured marker, depending on your fabric your marker colour could bleed through. The effect is awesome.

Don't worry if you mess up the outline, you can always choose another colour marker and try again in the same spot or a little offset. This part will be sewn inside and will be unseen.

When you are satisfied with your trace carefully cut out your outline.

Step 5: Position on T-shirt

When you have finished cutting out your image from your donor fabric position your cutouts on your t-shirt. Your shirt should be right side out.

Here's where you can be creative, try lots of differnt positions. If you have the fabric, experiment and elaborate. From here I decided to find a green patch on the donor fabric and create some ruffage for my herbivore.

When you are satisfied with the locations use safety pins to hold your fabric cutouts.

Step 6: Sew and Embellish

Sew your wacky fabric cutouts to your shirt.

To give my fabric cutouts more impact I chose a thread colour which contrasted with my sequin donor fabric (if that's even possible). I used a zig-zag stitch along the outline of the fabric cutouts attaching them to the shirt, I re-stitched areas like teeth, claws and horns for added depth.

Step 7: Finished!

As an embellishment I hand stitched the button eyes, while I was at it I also hand stitched the parts too curvy for my machine to handle.

Why not make your own and post the results in the comments?

Happy making :)