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Ruffled Shirt Tutorial

January was a busy month for us. We celebrated my daughter's THIRD birthday (seriously, where does time go??).  For more details on her birthday party go here.

Currently, her favorite color is purple: Purple toys, purple utensils, purple hat, purple know. If it's not purple, it's not hers.

I might as well paint the apartment purple and she would love it.

Her birthday outfit consisted of ruffled pants with a ruffled shirt.  For the ruffled pants I used a pattern a friend got for me online. It was very easy to follow, yay!  The shirt, on the other hand, was my own creation.

Here's what I did.

I used a plain white long-sleeve shirt (size 2T) we found at Target and turned it into a beautiful ruffled shirt for my little girl. 

Picture source


1. Cut two strips of purple fabric.

  • First strip measures: 37`` x 6``
  • Second strip measures: 30`` x 5``
2. Fold both strips in half (right sides together) and press. Doing this step will give you hem free ruffles!  
3. Finish the seam on one of each strip. I used a 1/2`` allowance and trim to 1/4``.  By this point your pieces will look like a tube. 
4. Turn into right side out. 
5. Fold unfinished end inwards and follow the seam allowance from step 3. 

Here comes the fun part! 

6. Set your machine to the longest stitch setting and set your tension to a low setting.  Begin sewing the first strip leaving about 1/4`` seam allowance. Leave a gap of about 1/4`` and sew again. Then leave another 1/4`` and sew the last time.   (***Do not backstitch neither at the beginning or at the end).

7. Make a know (you should have three slip knots per stitch) on one end. Make sure the knots are on one end.  Then hold three of the strings on the opposite sides and begin ruffling your fabric. Pull the string and move the ruffles as you go along.

8. Continue doing this until you achieve the look you want to get from your ruffles. Also make sure this first strip fits your shirt.

9. Work on your second strip of fabric.  Repeat the steps from above.

10. Pin the ruffles on the shirt and adjust the ruffles as needed. First sew the longest strip, then the shorter strip.

Here comes the tricky part of the project. Hang in there, though, you really are close to being done!!!

11. Begin sewing the longest ruffle at 1/2 inch seam allowance. Sew it slowly. It'll take you a bit to get it done, but since I doubled the fabric in the beginning (see step 2), the fabric will feel bulky as you begin sewing.

ruffle tutorial

12. Repeat with the second ruffle.

13. You are done! Time to breathe now!

Ruffles turn the simplest shirt into a boutique type item!

~ Fabi


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