How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

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Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

It’s that time of the year again. You know, when your Facebook feed is full of first day of school pictures? Yes, back to school! Where we live, kids up through 5th grade have to wear these hideous smocks, but in the hotter months they’re allowed to wear a white t-shirt. I, of course, find plain white t-shirts terribly boring, so I like to embellish them (like I did with these spiral applique t-shirts and this other ruffled t-shirt).

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Nicky did one year of private school/day care before he was old enough to start public nursery school last year. These two shirts were part of his school’s summer uniform. They were still in perfectly wearable condition, but I don’t like my kids going around like walking advertisements and in any case I don’t think his current school would appreciate him coming dressed in another school’s shirt. So what did I do?

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

I grabbed a bunch of t-shirt scraps left over from other projects in various shades of blue…

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

…and made some ombre stripes!

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

This could be done in a simpler way than I’ll show you here, but I wanted a perfectly clean effect, without any raw edges sticking out. To do this, I opened up the sleeves to be able to enclose the ends of the stripes. See? You would never say that these shirts hadn’t been made like this in the first place! Would you like to learn how to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes? Then read on!

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

First off, let’s take some measurements. Measure how high the space you want covered is. Be sure to leave at least 1 cm above and below the logo. Imagine that you want it 15 cm high. Divide your measurement by the number of stripes you want. I made one shirt with three stripes and another with four. In this case, let’s say you want three stripes, so 15 / 3= 5 cm each, which is how high each stripe will look. Now add 2 cm for seam allowance. So 5 + 2 = 7 cm. This is the height that you will cut each stripe.

As for the width, measure across your shirt in the widest part of the area to be covered, close to the armpit. (I suggest not making your applique go over the armpit itself because it will be more complicated to sew back together again.) Add at least 2 cm to this measurement. So if your measurement across was 30 cm, your final width will be at least 32 cm. Therefore, for this example, you need to cut three strips of fabric 7 cm high and 32 cm across. Be sure to cut the strips horizontally across the grain of your jersey fabric, so that the tiny stripes of ribbing run down the short side (in this case, the 7 cm side). If you sew jersey fabric with the grain running in different directions, you will have problems, so don’t even try it! (You can read more about grain in this machine sewing lesson.)

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Pin two adjacent stripes together, right sides facing. Then, using a ballpoint needle, sew down the long side with a 1 cm seam allowance.  Continue pinning and sewing all of your stripes together in the order that you want them.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

This is what the back will look like when you’re done.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Open up the fabric at the seams and iron it flat.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Then fold the edges of the two outer stripes in by 1 cm and iron flat. Press again from the front, and your stripes are all ready!

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Let’s prepare the t-shirt. Position your sewn stripes over the logo to be covered. Again, make sure that they don’t get too close to the armpit. Mark just above and below the four corners with pins.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Remove the stripes and turn the shirt inside out carefully so that the pins stay in place. Using a seam ripper, open up the seam between the pins on both sleeves.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Remove the pins and turn the shirt back right side out. You now have an opening in each sleeve.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Pin the stripes back in place.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Be sure to pin up to the very edge of the t-shirt fabric, beyond the original seam.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Sew the stripes in place as close as possible to the edge, starting from beyond the original seam as seen in the previous photo. Sew slowly to avoid bunching of the fabric. I found it useful to use a blind hem foot for the bottom edge. On the top edge closest to the collar it was impossible to position the stripes to the left in order to use that foot, so I used a regular zig-zag foot with the needle moved all the way over to the left.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Now the top and bottom of your stripe panel is attached and the sides are still open.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Turn the inside-out again. Line up the seams that you ripped open earlier, positioning the ends of the stripes between them. Make sure that the stripes are flat against the front of the t-shirt and not pulled out in the center. Trim the stripe panel to make sure that the original shirt seams are lined up perfectly and pin in place.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Here’s another perspective of how the three layers are pinned together.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Making sure your fabric is flat, sew along the original seam lines. You can use a regular sewing machine or an overlock machine (as I did).

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

And you’re done! Turn the shirt right side out and admire your work!

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Look how perfect the applique is with the ends sewn into the arm seams! Very professional!

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

Now go do it with a second (or third, or fourth…) t-shirt!

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

And put them on your adorable little model! (Who you just might need to bribe with bocce balls….)

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

There are no extra itchy or bothersome bits on the inside of the shirt, so your little guy can run and jump and play without distractions.

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

(Until, of course, he finally gets fed up with his photographer….)

Refashioning Tutorial: How to cover up logos on clothes with applique stripes

So now we have two more white t-shirts that Mr. Nicholas can wear to school… or play bocce in! (By the way, see those trucks in the background? Those are some of the many carnival rides under our balcony that I complained about on Instagram the other day.)

Are you preparing your kids for school, too? Don’t forget that you can still get a 10% discount on Sticker Kid labels with the exclusive Cucicucicoo discount code! Order from any regional website of Sticker Kid and use the code “CUCICUCICOO” at checkout. (You can read my review of these very durable customized name stickers and labels here.)


Question of the day: Do you do back-to-school shopping for your kids?

When I was little, I used to love back-to-school shopping. I’d plan my first few outfits of the school year with excitement. Now I truly despise shopping and in any case pledged a couple of years ago to no longer buy any new clothing for my kids or myself as a form of protest against fast-fashion, sweat shops and underpricing human labor. I now only make or refashion our clothing, accept hand-me-downs or buy used clothes. I suppose that I could always sew some special back-to-school outfits for my kids, but I never manage to do these sort of things in time. Though last year I did manage to get Nicky’s school backpack ready for him in time. I guess that’s something, at least!

24 COMMENTS

  1. I got a Bruce Springsteen sweatshirt from my sister about two years ago. It had been donated to the Fire Fighter’s Toy Program and covered up the logo on the front and back with appliques, but left the one on the sleeve to brag that I had a Bruce Springsteen sweatshirt! They must have been left over from his concert tour and were donated! It a beautiful black, heavy Fruit of the Loom, or so says the tag on the inside. So don’t limit it to children’s wear-LOL!

  2. Hi,
    My school is selling special jumpers for the senior class but i have been very reluctant to buy one because i already have a school jumper which is great quality wool. Your work has inspired me to modify my current jumper so i can reuse it, allowing me to feel better about buying a new jumper. I find your recycling very refreshing because i am seeing so many great clothes (and other items) being thrown away. I would love to try these projects one day. First i have to learn how to sew!

    • Hi Leela,
      I totally agree with you, that there are just so many perfectly usable clothes that are often excellent quality that people just get rid of because they’re sick of them or because of some small defect. I’m so glad that my tutorials have inspired you to make the best of the clothing you already have! If you need to learn to sew, why not take a look at my online beginner’s sewing course? I will be adding more lessons and tutorials soon. And then, of course, send me pictures of what you make! 🙂 Lisa

  3. Molto bello!Grazie mille!Vorrei provare questo metodo per coprire delle macchie di candeggina su una maglia del mio compagno…però sono distribuite su posti un po’ particolari da coprire (ad esempio su una spalla). Grazie per le belle idee ^_^

    • Uff… le macchie di candeggina!! Sarà un po’ più complicato sulla spalla, ma è possibile. Una volta per coprire una macchia sulla manica corta ho aggiunto una specie di finta spallina. Potrebbe funzionare per coprire la macchina sulla spalla! Guarda un po’ qui com’è.

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