Tutorial ~ No-Sew Embellished Boutique Shirts

by Destri on March 26, 2012

Boutique Style Embellished Shirts

I love a good up-cycle, and today I have one that requires just a needle and thread, a little glue, and some cute fabric and lace. Put them all together on a t-shirt and you have a couple one-of-a-kind pieces that looked like they walked out of a boutique.  A few years ago I had a Boutique Style For Less challenge that included a bunch of no-sew projects, with quick and easy ways to transform everyday clothing.  This tutorial follows the same idea of taking t shirts and add simple embellishments for instant personality.  I made these shirts to match a pair of shorts I bought, and a skirt that I made. So now we have two fun mix and match outfits. Catch me after the jump for the full tutorial!

No Sew Boutique Style Embellished Shirts

Boutique Style Shirt Tutorial

I kind of went with a “go big, or go home” approach, so keep in mind that you can make the embellishments any size you want.  I just rounded up a bunch of scraps I had and made something from it following the idea of these hair fascinators.  You could add your own twist according to the supplies you have on hand, just have fun with it!


  • fabric scraps
  • lace or eyelet trim, crochet trim (bought off the spool)
  • buttons or fabric button cover kit
  • fabric glue
  • fray-check
  • needle and thread


Start with a rectangular shaped piece of fabric keeping in mind the size of embellishment you want to end up with.  My piece was about 3 x 8 and came out plenty big on my 3 year old.  I would go smaller for younger girls. Run a generous amount of fray check around all the edges and set aside to let dry.

Now cut out a circle from a different fabric to make the yo-yo.  Mine was 12 inches across. Iron the edge over about 1/4 inch around the perimeter of the circle like shown.

With a needle and thread sew long stitches (about one inch) around the circle on the folded edge like shown.

Cinch up the stitches and tie a knot with the thread ends. Now you have a yo-yo!

Now take the first piece and we’re going to glue it onto the shirt with the fabric glue. First sew a long running stitch, gather, then press in a fan like fashion.  Slip a piece of paper in between the shirt layers to protect from the glue.  Then add a light layer of glue on to the back of the piece and press it onto the back, then press it onto the shirt in the top corner of the shirt.  Then I took a little glue and put it under the folds on top.

Take a strip of the eyelet trim or lace, run a little fray check over any raw edges that might fray, then glue to the shirt just over the first piece like shown. I gathered mine a little to curve it.

Now take some little lace or knit fabric scraps and cut them into squares. Gather them up in your finger tips like shown to make little poofs.

Then using a needle and thread and the glue, secure them to the shirt just off to the side of the first two pieces, overlapping slightly like shown.  You can add as many as you want to get a full pom pom look.

Now just add light layer of the fabric glue to the back of the yo-yo and press onto the shirt overlapping the other embellishments slightly. Then secure it by adding a large button to the center with a needle and thread sewn to the shirt.  All finished with this shirt!

Shirt #2

This next shirt was really simple, I just made two fabric pinwheels and then added cute buttons.

Take a long strip of fabric, fold and press in half.  Run a generous amount of the fray check along the raw edges.

Sew a long running stitch along the raw edges and gather like shown as you go. When you reach the end, tie the two ends together to make the pinwheel.


Now add some glue to the two ends and glue together to form the circle.

Repeat the same process with a lace crochet trim to make a second pinwheel.  I used a fabric covered button kit to make a fun button, but you can use a regular one.  Then I just secured them to the shirt in the same manner as the first, with a little fabric glue and sewed the buttons to the shirt to secure the pinwheels.

See, simple!  Perfect to make to match all those fun summer skirts you will be making :)

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope everyone has a great start to their week!  I am still on vacation, but Suzanne will be here to share a fun recipe tomorrow.


Linked to the fabulous Skip To My Lou

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