May 31, 2014

Adding a Peplum style ruffle to your Basic Tee

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Hello and welcome back to another tutorial on how to get a little more from your basic tees pattern. My first tutorial in this series can be found here.
Today I'm going to be showing you how to add a pelpum style ruffle to your t-shirts. I love the practicality and comfort factor of a knit t-shirt, and when you combine it with a pelpum style ruffle, it just adds that touch of sweetness and transforms it to make it a little more girly. It really is a no brainer as well.

Very fast and simple. This is one of my favourite variations for a t-shirt and Zoe has a few of them already

Once again, I've used the Basic Tees Pattern from Make It Perfect as the T-shirt pattern in this tutorial.

So - to get started - cut out your t-shirt pieces as specified by the pattern. Measure the length on your child from the top of the shoulder down to just below the belly button (or lower depending on where you want the ruffle to start). Measure this length on the front t-shirt piece you just cut out, and cut it horizontally across the bottom of the shirt at this point. Repeat for the back piece.
Then cut out the ruffle. For me I like to do this the following dimensions:
Front Ruffle Piece - width is 2 x width of the t-shirt front piece measured horizontally along the bottom by about 4 inches long.
Back ruffle piece - width is 2 x width of the t-shirt back piece  measured horizontally along the bottom by about 4 inches long. When all cutout, your pieces should look like this (excluding sleeves and neckband)

Next - sew up the t-shirt as directed by the pattern that you are using.

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I haven't added the neckband in the above picture. I do it at some point in the tutorial, so you will see it magically appear, but haven't explained how to do it, as your pattern instructions should explain this. Next take your two ruffle pieces and place them right sides together.IMG 8596
Pin the short edges and sew together. You should now have one big circle of fabric.
Next, hem one long edge of the circle - for me I just overlock it off and turn it under. Press it when you've done this.  IMG 8597
Now you need to gather the unhemmed long edge so that it can fit onto the bottom of your t-shirt. There are many different ways to gather - just google some you tube tutorials if you don't know how to do this. For me, when I am using knits, I get a bit lazy and cheat. I like to set my machine length (on straight stitch)to it's maximum length (5 on my machine) and dial up the tension to the maximum (9 on my machine). Then while I am sewing, I hold the thread in my fingers just at the point when it has come off the reel and is feeding down into the machine.

And please ignore my filthy machine in the above picture. It was the day before cleaning day (I make myself clean my machines every two weeks). You can see where I am holding the thread - this adds a bit more tension (don't pull it too tightly or it will snap) and as the fabric passes through the machine, it magically ruffles out the back.

Then, pin your ruffle to the bottom of the t-shirt, right sizes together, adjusting the gathering to fit the bottom of the t-shirt.

Sew the ruffle on, finish the seam off and press it towards the t-shirt part of the t-shirt. I haven't used a stabilizer here because Zoe's clothes are so small, and this is a very stable knit. If you are using a less stable knit, you may want to sew some clear elastic into the seam at this point to stop it stretching out.

And there you are all finished and ready for some cute scooter action!

Thanks for following along - Marnie


  1. Do you have a pattern or tutorial for the doll carrier please.

  2. This is an Oliver and S pattern Michelle - in their book Little Things to Sew