How to Make Cute Ruffles on a Shirt Collar, Sleeves, and Cuffs

Julia Rafael
by Julia Rafael
10 Materials
3 Hours

So here’s another brilliant revamp of a boring men’s shirt. This time, I’ll show you how to make ruffles on a shirt and turn this men’s shirt into something fabulous and fitting. Are you ready to learn how to make a ruffle blouse? Let’s get this party started!

Tools and materials:

  • Button-down men’s shirt
  • Seam ripper
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk
  • Pins
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Existing shirt as a guide
Men's shirt before the upcycle

Tracing an existing shirt as a pattern

1. Make the pattern

So, I guess most men’s shirts are oversized and large, which calls for a few amendments to make it fit better on your body. In this case, take a well-fitted shirt that you own, place it on the large men’s shirt, and trace out the shape. 

Tip: Take your time on this step. It has to be straight and symmetrical. 

Cut out the fabric

2. Cut the new pattern

Now, carefully cut along the lines. 

Seam ripping the collar of the shirt

3. Seam rip the collar

Once the bodice is modified and cut out, seam rip the first part of the collar. 

Pinning the side seams on the shirt bodice

Next, pin the side seams of the bodice, and then with a pin, mark the middle of the shoulder seam.

How to make ruffle blouse

Modifying the sleeves of the shirt

4. Modify the sleeves

The sleeves were also big for me, so I decided to modify them by tracing over them with my fitted shirt as a guide. Then, mark the middle of the shoulder seam on the sleeve, too. 

Pin the armholes to the bodice

Then, unpin the bodice’s side seams so that you can open the armhole. Next, pin the upper armhole of the sleeve to the bodice, as shown. Do this with the fabric right sides facing and start from the center. 

How to make a DIY ruffle blouse

Then, pin the bodice’s sides and sleeves and sew to secure. 

Measuring the collar with a measuring tape

Cutting a long strip of fabric

5. Make the ruffles

Now it’s time to make the DIY ruffle blouse! Measure the collar, and then using the scrap fabric from the side seam, make a long strip that measures 3cm (1.2 inches) wide. 

How to make a ruffled shirt collar

Gathering the fabric to make a ruffle collar

Now, join the two pieces together to make one long strip, then sew a basting stitch along the raw edge. Gather the fabric, so it’s the same length as the collar.

Pinning the ruffled collar to the DIY blouse

Next, sandwich the ruffled piece in between the two layers of the collar. Pin, and sew to secure.

Cutting fabric strips for the ruffles

Now, make two more ruffle straps by repeating the same process as mentioned above. You can cut fabric from the bottom of the shirt for this part. 

Tip: For this step, hem the short ends of the straps, too. 

How to make ruffle cuffs on a blouse

Gather the strips and attach them to the original cuffs. 

How to make ruffles on a shirt step by step

This is what it should look like after.

Ruffles for the shirt placket

6. Add ruffles to the shirt placket

Go ahead and gather another two strips for the button panels. 

Seam ripping the placket on the DIY blouse

Now, seam rip the folded side placket where the holes are placed; this should give you an extra ½cm (0.2 inches) gap to insert the ruffled piece. 

Placing ruffles on the shirt placket

Now, place the ruffle into the fold of the open placket. 

How to make a ruffle blouse tutorial

For the adjacent placket, seam rip the buttons and pin your second ruffled strap on the same line where the buttons were sewn. 

How to sew a DIY ruffle blouse

Stitch both ruffled pieces in place. 

Button placket with ruffles

Sewing the original buttons onto the placket

Now, manually sew the original buttons back onto the placket, ensuring their location coincides with the buttonholes on the opposite placket. They should be sewn on the new seam. 

Pinning a waistband to the DIY ruffle blouse

7. Add a simple waistband

Now, cut off a strip of fabric from the scrap fabric you have, making sure it’s the exact size as the bottom of the shirt. Then, pin the layers together, right sides facing. 

Using a sewing machine

Then, stitch to secure. 

Hemming the raw edges

Finish off the ends with a zigzag stitch.

Sewing down the raw edges

Then fold the edge upwards so that the edge touches the inner seam line, and sew it down with a straight stitch. 

Sewing a button onto the DIY ruffle blouse

The waistband had a hole for the button, so I cut the existing hole on the other side of the fabric and manually sewed another button on the adjacent placket. 

Finished ruffle button placket

How to make ruffles on a shirt

How to make ruffles on a shirt

Finally, the DIY ruffle blouse is complete! I love how a few modifications can really transform a boring shirt into something more feminine and trendy! What do you think of this tutorial?

Now you have the know-how on some great sewing techniques, such as how to make ruffle sleeves, collar, and placket on a blouse. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and be sure to check more of my tutorials for some great sewing tips!

Suggested materials:
  • Button-down men’s shirt
  • Seam ripper
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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