It's so Easy to Add a Cute Ruffle to a Simple T-shirt

by Koetiquemade
6 Materials
45 Minutes

I'm sure most people have a shirt in their closet that fits, but is just kind of........Meh....... I know I have a couple. I wanted to get more use out of these once loved shirts so I decided a makeover was in order. I was really pleased with the results too.

I'll show you how I did this simple refashion that changed a boring t-shirt to a fun cropped, ruffle sleeve blouse. If you have all the supplies listed this is basically a FREE new top for you and a super fun weekend project. If you don't have a t-shirt, you can easily pick one up at a thrift store for around $3.

This size large knit shirt fit me just fine, but it was quite long on me. Right now in my life, I am preferring more of a cropped look. I knew I could make this shirt be more my style with just a couple small tweaks.

Here you can see that it was a pretty basic top, with short sleeves and a curved hem. I knew right away what I could do with this gem.

I wanted to take advantage of the curved hem, so I decided to cut it off to use as sleeve ruffles. This would easily work in a t-shirt without a curved hem too. The ruffles will just look slightly different than mine.

Once I cut the curved hem portion off the shirt I needed to round the cut edges. I did this with a French curved ruler. If you dont have one you can easily use a plate. Doing this will help the ruffles fit nicely into the opening on the shirt I was going to cut. I was able to utilize the hem which saved so much time!

Then I measured how long the ruffle was. It was roughly 23 inches, so I knew the opening I was going to attach it too had to be close to half that size.

I laid my shirt flat and using my rotary cutter and clear ruler I cut from the shoulder to the 6inch mark. I cut through both the front and back of the shirt. This will make the opening be 12 inches, which was a little more than half the size of my ruffle.

Once I cut the place I was going to put the ruffles, the shirt looked like this.

I marked the center of my ruffle. Then I set my machine to the longest stitch length and did a row of stitches along the top edge of the ruffle.

Next, I pulled one of the threads to gather the ruffle. I gathered it until it was roughly the same size as the opening on the shirt.

Then I matched the middle marking on the ruffles to the shoulder seam, right sides together. Sandwiching the ruffle between the two sides.

Pin the curved end edge of the ruffle to the end of the cut opening. Again, sandwiching it between the two sides.

I made sure to evenly disperse the gathers and pin it all together. Once pinned, it should look like this, 3 layers of fabric with the ruffle sandwiched between the two sides.

This part of the shirt didn't need to stretch so I used a straight stitch on my sewing machine and sewed it all together. I repeated the same thing for the other sleeve.

After I hemmed the bottom of the shirt 1/2 inch I was all done. This took maybe 45 min. It was such a quick and satisfying make. Now I have a darling cropped top to wear with all my high-waisted pants.

Suggested materials:
  • Loose fitting t-shirt with a curved hem   (Your own closet or Thrift store)
  • Rotary cuter   (Walmart, Joann, Hobby Lobby)
  • Yard stick or ruler   (Joann, Walmart, Home Depot)
See all materials

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3 of 6 comments
  • KimofCoventry KimofCoventry on Jan 28, 2021

    Adorable! I'm a novice with a machine, just making pillow covers, easy stuff! I may give this a go. I pictured it, before following the tutorial, with just the ruffle and no sleeve, but like how you put the sleeve back on with it! Looks great. 😊

    • Koetiquemade Koetiquemade on Feb 01, 2021

      Thank you so much! You could definitely do this project! It's just measuring and making a slit, then putting in the ruffle and sewing it closed. You could even do different fabric than the shirt. You don't even have to hem it really because knit doesn't fray.

  • M T Dietz M T Dietz on Jul 25, 2021