Saturday, May 9, 2015

Ruffled T-Shirt Tutorial

I have a confession: I'm a bit of an online boutique junkie. I can shop for me, my kids, my mom, sisters, friends, neighbors--all from my home! And the styles are always so hip and trendy--so I (hopefully) don't look like I haven't been in a mall in over a year!

I have another confession: I'm a bit of a cheapskate.  If I see something at an online boutique that I could make fairly easily for a fraction of the price, I'm not buying it. This was the fuel behind my desire to make this trendy, fun, and flattering shirt. 
I saw similar shirts last week at an online boutique for $24. Not a bad deal, but I had a pretty good idea that I could make my own from a shirt and fabric I already had--so it would cost me $0!

Here's what you need: 
  • A solid-color, fitted t-shirt. (TIP: This is a great way to make use of any shirts that have little mouse-holes in the front around the bottom of the shirt.) 
  • 1/3 yard flowy/silky fabric--chiffon, modal, thin jersey knit, or poly-blend (You won't use all of this yardage, but if you are buying fabric from the store, I'd get this much. If you have scraps already, look ahead to the measurements to see if you have enough).
  • Chalk
  • Corresponding thread, scissors/rotary cutter, measuring tools, pins, sewing machine

1. Put on the shirt and mark your waistline (at your navel) with chalk on the front of the shirt.

2. Mark the back of the shirt just above your bum. This will achieve the slightly high-low look (so the shirt falls lower in the back). 

3. Cut the back of the shirt from side seam to side seam.Then cut the front of the shirt starting at the side seam and curving up to the chalk mark and back down to the other side. 

4. Prepare your ruffle fabric. Measure the front of your shirt width. Multiply that by 4. This is how long your ruffle piece should be. Cut an 8 inch wide piece of fabric. If you need to piece two strips together, just make sure they are the same length. The seams can be lined up with the seams on the shirt when you attach it. 

5. Sew right sides together at the ends to make one big loop. Finish the edges of your fabric (if you are using a fabric that frays), with a rolled hem. 

6. Sew a gathering stitch along one edge of the fabric. Pull the bobbin thread to gather the ruffle to the same width as your shirt. 

7. Pin the ruffle to the shirt, wrong side of ruffle onto the right side of shirt.  Be generous with the pins. Be sure to match the seams of the ruffle to the shirt side seams. Sew a zig-zag top stitch across the pinned gathers to attach the ruffle to the shirt. I made two passes to make sure it was sewn securely. 

8. Measure and cut a 4 inch by 5 inch piece of fabric for the pocket. 

9. Press and pin a 1/4 inch double fold around the entire pocket back. I used one factory-finished edge, so I only did one fold on that side.  

10. Top stitch what will be the top of your pocket. 

11. Pin the pocket to your shirt. Again, be generous with your pin usage. You want your stitches to be small and close to the edge.

Done!  You have a fun and frilly shirt! Cute with jeans or shorts, pencil or maxi skirts! Great way to accentuate your true waistline and hide any "extra" you don't want to show off underneath! 


  1. I love this idea! Thanks for the tutorial!

    1. My pleasure! I hope you get to put it to use!

  2. Love the remake, it turned out really cute! I may be to old to wear something like this, but it sure is cute! Thanks for sharing. Visiting via Weekend Retreat.

  3. What a great idea for a T-shirt make-over! I think I will do something like this for my granddaughter. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Cute idea. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty. We hope to see you again Friday!