Monday, February 8, 2010

Anthro Inspired Ruffle Shirt Tutorial

Here's the before picture. I saw a tshirt in Anthro that I loved but it was $68. That is not in my budget. Not for a tshirt. So I went to the thrift store, spent $7 and came home with two tissue thin tshirts. I thought I'd surprise K. with a new shirt this weekend. I've never done this before.

I took a home ec, er Family and Consumer Science, class when I was twelve. We had to make one project and I picked an A-line skirt. I sewed the zipper in backwards. I think it kept me off honor roll that quarter. Darn skirt. Darn zipper.

Fast forward thirty or so years and here I am attempting a ruffled tshirt. I'm telling you all of this so you don't expect expert sewing maneuvers. This is primitive sewing. But if I can do it, you can do it. Really.
The first thing I did was remove all that beading from around the neckline.
Then I started deconstructing the second tshirt. I cut as close to the seams as possible to get the most fabric out of the tshirt. These teeny tiny tshirts don't yield a ton of fabric so you want to get every bit you can.
Once the tshirt was cut open and the seams cut off, I cut the tshirt into 3.5" strips.
I drew a chalk line 3.5" from the bottom of the shirt and sewed the first strip into place. I threw in a small pinch pleat every inch or so to give it some ruffle.
Here's the tshirt with two ruffle rows sewed on. The blues didn't quite match but they were pretty close, especially when they were away from that awfully bright light on my sewing table.
When I had all the ruffle rows sewed in, I took a strip and sewed it on top of the last ruffle, going along the seam line for that ruffle.
After it was sewed in place, I flipped it up toward the neckline, folded it in half with the raw edge tucked inside and pinned it in place.
Using a ladder stitch, I sewed the top of the band in place.
The band is sewn in place and now all I have to do is sew down the sides.
K. tried the shirt on and we decided to try tacking down the bottom corners of the ruffles. That didn't really work well. They billowed out on the side and she kind of looked funny. Of course, I had to say that much differently than, "Huh. You kind of look funny." I went with a more gentler, "Gee, honey, I think I messed those side seams up. Let me fix that for you."
Here she is with her new shirt. She loved it. She wore it to school today and got complimented on it. Wow. My first successful reconstruction. I love it.