I am not an outstanding seamstress, but I do enjoy having the independence to alter my own clothing to exactly the way that I want it. As my talents improve, I will move on to bigger and better things but for now, this project is super simple and will teach valuable lessons for other projects that might be a little more advanced. I have already thought of a few more ambitious projects that I want to try based upon the principles in this project. The addition of this piece of fabric to the bottom of this shirt makes it tunic-length which is becoming increasingly popular as leggings have become more and more widely worn.
Here are my raw materials: a plain grey long-sleeved t-shirt and a long piece of light weight fabric. This fabric was about 48 inches long.
It is impossible to estimate exactly how long of a piece of fabric will be needed because of the differing widths of the shirts that may be used. A good rule of thumb is to have about 6 to 12 extra inches of fabric in order to make a decent ruffle. I made my ruffle about 5 inches wide (this was the final size remember that you will have to hem the edge and ruffle the end).
Don’t forget to hem the bottom layer in order to keep the bottom from fraying. This fabric that I used would easily unravel without being either hemmed or surged. The easiest way to hem it would be to fold the end under twice and sew it just like that. I would recommend caution when it comes to the fabric selection. I would say that a lighter weight fabric would be better used than a sturdier fabric which will weigh down the garment especially if it is made from cotton.
The way to make a ruffle is to send the top part which will be attached to the shirt through the sewing machine using a long straight stitch across the top of the fabric. All sewing machines have the top and bottom thread: one directly from the thread and the other from the bobbin from below. The way to create a ruffle is to pull one of the threads (CAREFULLY so you don’t break the thread) until it bunches. This might take a little bit of patience trying to make the ruffle even across the whole thing. Think of it like drapes on a curtain rod.
After that, you pin the fabric to the shirt. You may have to adjust the pins and the ruffle in order to make it fit around the base of the shirt correctly. Then, sew the ruffle to the shirt.
An important finishing touch that you will need to make is to sew the two sides of the ruffle together, unless you are leaving them apart in which case you should hem it as you did the bottom so that the fabric does not fray. Also don’t forget to trim any excess threads that might be loose and waving around.
The finished product is an adorable addition to any plain old top.