Handmade Gift Series - Gift #3 - Ruffle Bottom T-Shirt

The ruffle bottom t-shirt and some serious wind blown hair!

Here we are, just one week until Christmas.  If you are like me, then there are a couple people on your gift list that you always struggle with what to get.  And since time moves at lightening speed at holiday time, suddenly there is only one week until Christmas and you are scrambling to get them a gift.  Gift #3 in my handmade gift series, the ruffle bottom t-shirt is a quick and great option.  One can never have enough t-shirts...am I right?  Plus, I'm willing to bet that this difficult to shop for person on your list would love a gift that is handmade by you.  Enough of my rambling, you've got a gift to make so let's get to it!

To make the ruffle bottom t-shirt you will need:

  • 1/2 yard of fabric
  • Corresponding thread
  • T-shirt
  • Fabric shears
  • Sewing ruler
  • Sewing machine
To make the t-shirt:

Step 1:  Iron and prep your fabric.

Step 2:  Decide how long you want your ruffle to be.  I decided on a 5 inch ruffle.

Step 3:  Measure and mark the fabric.  For my 5 inch ruffle, I measured two strips that were 6 1/4 inches long on the fabric.  I measured 6 1/4 inches to account for a 5/8 inch allowance for the bottom hem of the ruffle and a 5/8 inch seam allowance for attaching the ruffle to the shirt.  Note:  If your fabric has a pattern be sure to account for the pattern repeat when measuring and marking your fabric.  You want to be sure that the pattern lines up when you sew the two strips of fabric together.

It's hard to see my chalk lines in this picture so I marked them with the red arrows.  
Step 4:  Cut out the two strips of fabric.

Notice how the pattern lines up on both strips of fabric.  I just want to stress again the importance of accounting for the pattern repeat when measuring your fabric strips.

Step 5:  Cut off the selvage.  Pin right sides together and sew the short edge on one side.

Cut the selvage edges off so they don't show on your ruffle.

Sew the two strips together at one edge to make one long strip.

Step 6:  Press the seam open.

Step 7:  Press the fabric 5/8 inches up along the long edge on one side of the fabric.

Step 8:  Unfold and then press up half way so the edge of the fabric meets the fold line you just made with the iron.  Then refold along the fold line again and pin.  This creates the bottom hem of your ruffle and eliminates the raw edges.  When done it should look similar to the below.

Step 9:  Sew the bottom hem in place.

Step 10:  Now it's time to make the ruffle.  Baste stitch two rows of stitches parallel to each other along the top/raw edge of the fabric.  Baste stitch the first row a 1/2 inch down from the raw edge and then baste stitch the second row above that.  These are the "gather" stitches that you will use to make the ruffle.

Step 11:  Pull the two long threads on one side of the fabric strip.  The fabric will start to pucker, forming the ruffle.  Continue to do this until the ruffle has formed across the entire strip of fabric.  You will have to adjust the fabric as you go.  Once it's all gathered adjust the ruffles so that they are even and pleasing to you as this is the last step before you attach the ruffle to the t-shirt.

See how the ruffle starts to form as I pull the threads? 

Step 12: Decide where you'd like to place the ruffle on your shirt.  You can do this by holding the shirt up to you or someone else and then holding the ruffle up to the shirt to see where you think it should go.  If you have a dress form you can use that as well as I'm sure it would make things easier.  I do not have a dress form and had no problem with the hold up method I just described.  :-)

Once you decide where you want to place the ruffle, pin it there temporarily and mark the shirt with your chalk pencil.

Step 13:  Unpin the ruffle from the shirt.  Then mark the shirt all around so you know where to cut the bottom.  You will want to mark the cut line on your shirt 5/8 inches below the mark you made for the ruffle placement.  The reason for this is that you will want to account for the seam allowance for attaching the ruffle. Once you have marked the shirt cut the bottom off along the line.

Step 14:  Pin the ruffle along the bottom of the t-shirt.  Make sure your shirt is turned inside out!

Step 15:  Convert your sewing machine to free arm sewing and sew ruffle to the t-shirt.  Sew the two open ends of the ruffle together to finish.

Step 16:  Turn shirt right side out and you are done and ready to gift!

I think the shirt looks great solo with a pair of jeans.

I've also worn it to work with a blazer over it and have gotten compliments.  There really are several styling options for the receiver of your handmade gift.

Well dear readers, this concludes my handmade gift series for the 2016 Holiday Season.  I truly hope you liked my gift ideas and that you make and give some of these gifts to your loved ones.  I wish you all a Happy Holiday season and a wonderful New Year!

Till next time, dear readers!

P.S.  You can check me out on Instagram @cornerofcharmandstyle

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