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Reverse Heart Applique Tutorial (+swing tank pattern)

How to make a Reverse Applique Heart on your next sewing project!

Reverse Applique Tutorial

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Reverse Heart Applique Tutorial (+ free swing tank pattern)

I’ve been playing with the hemline and shape of my tank top pattern.  By widening the bottom and changing the shape of the hem, I’ve come up with a new and really cute version. I’ve been seeing this hemline all over lately. It’s called a shark bite hemline! 

reverse heart applique

The top turned out so cute, I think I’m going to try one in my size. Grab a copy of the Swing Tank Pattern here:  Swing Tank Pattern.

shark bite hem sewing pattern

I just love this heathered rainbow fabric, but after I had my lil missy try on the top, I felt like it still needed something more.  I had a bit of the purple binding fabric left over, so I thought a reverse applique heart would be the perfect addition to the top.

reverse applique tutorial

What is Reverse Applique:

Reverse applique is an applique method where instead of adding the applique to the top of your fabric/project, the applique is added to the reverse side and stitched in place. The top fabric is then cut away and your contrasting applique fabric peeks through!

reverse applique tutorial

Reverse applique is, in my opinion, is much easier than regular applique since you don’t have to worry about completely covering the appliqued fabric’s edges.  Simple shapes work best. (like hearts, flowers, stars, etc.)

One of the things that makes reverse applique great is that it is a technique that can be added to a store-bought, already finished item or something you’ve sewn yourself!

How to Sew a Reverse Applique Heart 

To make the reverse applique, choose a simple shape and follow the directions below.  (If you want to use the heart shape, download it here.)

Materials Needed to Sew a Reverse Applique:

  • Shirt 
  • Applique fabric
  • Applique template (Heart template here)
  • Pins
  • Water-soluble marker or another marking tool
  • basic sewing supplies

Reverse Applique Instructions:

Step 1. Determine placement of applique:

reverse applique tutorial

Step 2: Trace the template on to the applicate fabric and cut around shape leaving a 1/2 inch border. Pin the applique in place on the inside of the shirt.  

reverse applique

Step 3: Sew the applique shape to the t-shirt.

Step 4: Flip the shirt right side out and carefully and neatly, cut along the stitches.

what is a reverse applique

That’s all there is to it.  It’s actually a lot easier than a regular applique!

Easy Breezy Summer Swing Tank (with reversible applique tutorial)

She loves these little kitty stuffed animals!

add a reverse heart applique to any top

What do you think, would you like to try one of these tops for your little one?

My favorite fabric shop for knits:  Funkalicious Fabrics,  Girl Charlee, and Etsy


  1. My Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist
  2. My Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger or you can just use Pinking Shears
  3. Rotary Cutter
  4. I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start of with a smaller Cutting set
  5. Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen and Fray Check
  6. Ball Point needles
  7. Singer walking foot or universal walking foot
  8. Blind hem foot.
  9. Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!

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