How to Make Greek Lettered Shirts

My hand was glued to a needle and thread for the past week, but I’m finally finished! In preparation for my sorority’s initiation, I hand crafted lettered shirts for each member of my “family”. It took me a long time to figure out how to do it right, so I’m sharing it with you in 10 quick steps.

Note: I made 9 shirts at one time, which took way too long! I would recommend starting out with one or two shirts.
Kappa Alpha Theta, DIY Greek Letter Shirt 
Supplies: Patterned fabric for letters, solid colored fabric for background, t-shirt, needle, thread, iron, Stitch Witchery (used to fuse letter and backing with an iron), clear plastic quilt pattern-making sheet, fabric scissors, pencil.

DIY Greek Letter Shirt

1. Use the clear plastic sheet to make a stencil of each greek letter needed. I also used the plastic to make a stencil for the background. The background stencil should be about half an inch wider than the letter stencil.
letter making stencil

2. Place the letter stencil on the patterned fabric fabric taking care to get all the desired elements within the stencil’s boundaries. Trace with a pencil and carefully cut out with fabric scissors. Using the background stencils, trace an outline on the solid fabric and cut out with fabric scissors.
DIY greek lettersDIY Greek Letters

3. To secure the letter to the background, fuse with Stitch Witchery before sewing. Cut strips of SW to fit between the two layers, taking care not to leave any visible. Then follow the directions on the SW package to stick together: place a damp cloth over the items to be fused, then press iron over each letter for 10 seconds.
DIY Greek Letters

4. Use needle and thread to hand-stitch along the edge of the patterned fabric. I used a straight stitch, but a zig zag stitch would also work.

5. Repeat steps 2-4 with the rest of the letters needed for your Greek organization.
DIY Greek Letters, Sorority Letters, Kappa Alpha Theta letters

6. Now it’s time to lay out the letter on the shirt. Line up the center letter first (vertically with the tag, horizontally center along the bottom of the armpit).
DIY Greek Letter Shirt

7. Use the background stencils to trace outlines onto Stitch Witchery paper. Cut out slightly inside the lines. Place the Stitch Witchery paper under the letters.
DIY Greek Letter Shirt, sorority shirt

8. Return to the iron and adhere the letters to the shirt. Use the same method of a damp cloth between the fabric and iron, pressing with force for 10 seconds.
DIY Greek Letter Shirt

9. Affix the letters to the shirt using a needle and thread to make a zig zag stitch between the background fabric and the shirt. Repeat for all letters. My material was too thin to use a sewing machine, so my letters are hand-stitched. I would recommend testing your sewing machine with scraps of material first if you’d like to machine stitch the completed letters on your shirt.
Hand Sewn Sorority Letters, DIY Greek Letters 

10. Your hard work pays off when you wear your letters with pride!
Kappa Alpha Theta, DIY Greek Letters

Was this helpful? Are there ways the process can be improved? Let us know in the comments below!
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  1. Felicia

     /  July 15, 2013

    Can I ask where you got your bandanas? (It looks like they are bandanas anyway.

    • Hi Felicia,
      I found the bandanas at Hobby Lobby but you should be able to find them at any craft store or WalMart.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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