I’ve always struggled with the Valentine’s Day holiday. I love the idea of showing my kids extra love and having them show love for friends and family, I just think it’s important to show care and love every day of the year. I feel like Valentine’s day was created to spend money on candy, presents, and expensive dates. So I’ve just never been really into it. I have made a couple of things in the past, but honestly, our Valentine’s decor and tees are few and far between. This year I decided to make myself a very subtle Valentine’s sweatshirt that I could wear anytime of the year without it screaming holiday attire. I was inspired by butterflies in the shape of a heart, so I decided to make a butterfly heart applique. I loved the idea of the butterflies looking and moving like real butterflies, so I didn’t want them to be fully attached or ironed on. I wanted the wings to have lots of movement.

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Butterfly Heart Applique Tutorial // heatherhandmade.com

I chose to sew with purple and gray because gray is one of my favorite colors and purple is a subtle nod to Valentine’s day. I based this idea off of an episode from Project Runway where one of the designers places cut fabric flowers all over a dress with snaps. I’ve always wanted to recreate that look, and I finally did it for myself. I used both snaps and sewing, but the snaps make it a fun no-sew project! The snaps also give a little bit of a glittery look from far away.

This project is really great for scrap busting your knits! I used four 12 inch by 12 inch pieces of fabric and got lots of butterflies. It was great to use up scraps I have in my stash! Butterfly Heart Applique Tutorial // heatherhandmade.com

SUPPLIES

DIRECTIONS

  1. Gather all your supplies.
  2. Cut out all your butterflies. I cut 3 inch butterflies from the dark gray French terry, rib knit, and lace. I cut 2 inch butterflies from the striped jersey. I cut ten to twenty butterflies of each color.
    • I created a free public file of my butterflies on Design Space that you can use. It’s basically four different colors and layers of butterflies. 3 of the butterfly layers are the same size and 1 layer is smaller with more butterflies.Butterfly Heart Applique Tutorial // heatherhandmade.com
    • If you want to see a cutting process here’s a quick video.
  3. Interface the back of the shirt where the butterfly heart applique will go. (I took this after I sewed and snapped everything, but you get the idea.)Butterfly Heart Applique Tutorial // heatherhandmade.com
  4. Place all the butterflies down in a heart shape. I started by placing all the big butterflies first. Then I placed the lace over some of the other butterflies. Then I filled in all the holes with the small butterflies.
    • The lace was stiffer than the knit fabric I used, and I liked how it made some of the butterflies stiffer.
  5. Pin all the butterflies in place. Pin through the wings and not through the middle of the butterfly.Butterfly Heart Applique Tutorial // heatherhandmade.com
  6. Use snaps or sewing to secure all the butterflies. I did about fifteen with snaps and the rest with my sewing machine.
    • I liked the snaps because I didn’t have to sew, but my snap setting tool wasn’t made to be used in the center of a piece of fabric. It got a little tricky with the middle butterflies.
    • I liked sewing because it was much faster, and I liked how the zigzag stitching looked like the butterfly’s body, but it doesn’t look quite as cool as the snaps.
  7. Remove the pins. Butterfly Heart Applique Tutorial // heatherhandmade.com

This project would be really cute with rainbow butterflies, monochromatic butterflies, or even pink and red for a really bold Valentine’s look! It’s really easy to customize this butterfly heart applique to make something you’ll really love!

The dark gray French terry is leftover from these pajamas, the striped jersey is from this Waterfall tee, and the rib knit is from this Halifax sweatshirt.

 

There’s a bunch of other Valentine’s inspired crafts and sewing projects from some creative bloggers!

Cricut <3 Be Mine <3 Valentine’s Day Blog Hop

Monday 1/29 Sweet Red Poppy * Amber Simmons * Sew Sophielynn

Tuesday 1/30 Coral + Co. * Patchwork Posse

Wednesday 1/31 The Intrepid Thread

Thursday 2/1 Heather Handmade * Paisley Roots * Pattern Revolution

Friday 2/2 That’s Sew Kari * Maytime Moms * Swoodson Says Butterfly Heart Applique Tutorial // heatherhandmade.com

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Author: Heather Handmade

I'm a seamstress and mother. I sew, blog, thrift, upcycle, design fabric, and teach sewing classes. I'm also a self-proclaimed fabric fondler.

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