Saturday 7 September 2013

Ruffle Flashback DIY-LID

I hesitate to use the term "tutorial" as, a bit like "wearable muslin", it starts sounding like I know what I'm doing....   (and I suspect you all know more than me anyway)

So here's my Do It Yourself - Like I Did blogpost for a ruffled Flashback Skinny T
I added some ruffles to the shoulder seams of a few Flashback Skinny T's back here and they've been a great wardrobe staple. A plain long sleeved T is so useful and some ruffles lift it from the realms of the mundane to the 'I'm so glad I made that top". Time for some more ruffles I thought....
Firstly, take your Flashback Skinny T front pattern piece and slice it lengthwise round about where you want the ruffle to be. Pin the pattern to your fabric with 2cm between the cut sections of the pattern piece.. Cut out the pattern piece and then cut down the pattern leaving 1cm seam allowance on each side of the cut pattern piece.:

Grab a ruler and measure roughly how deep you want your ruffle to go. For this top I made it 22cm which is just about where the Rae Hoeskstra copyright lettering (note well!) was on the pattern piece:

Next you need to cut your ruffles. Fold the fabric and cut two ruffles twice as long as the measured finished ruffle length and about 5cm wide. Taper the ends with the top end tapering to half the width and the bottom end tapering to a point:

Now you need to finish the curved edge of the ruffle strip. I stupidly cleverly cut a couple of ruffle strips the same length as my desired finished ruffle and these provided the perfect strips for practising my rolled hem finish. I'd never used the rolled hem function on my overlocker, but in learning how to do it I discovered I'd been accidently sewing with the rolled hem lever in it's 'pulled out' position for a while. No wonder my overlocker seams had looked a little odd. As knit fabrics don't really fray you could use a narrow hem with a straight stitch or a zig zag stitch on the raw edge if you don't have an overlocker. But really you should just buy one. I can't believe I waited as long as I did!
After finishing the curved edge, sew two rows of gathering stitches (long stitch length, very loose needle thread tension) along the straight side. Sew the first row about 0.5cm from the raw edge and the second about 1.5cm from the edge.
Knot the threads of each row of stitches at the top end then pull on the threads from the bottom until you've gathered the strip to the desired length. Knot the bottom threads then distribute the gathers evenly and pin the ruffle (right side up) to the edge of the front pattern piece (right side up)

Baste the ruffle to the front piece with a roughly 0.7cm seam. repeat with the opposite ruffle and the opposite side-front pattern piece.

Now pin the centre-front section to the side-front section with right sides facing. You'll sandwich the ruffle between the two layers.

Stitch the layers together with a 1cm seam. Then repeat with the other side-front panel, til you get this:

Press the seam allowances towards the centre of the top taking care not to flatten your ruffles too much (or to overcook your cheap cotton/lycra fabric like I did!)
Edgestitch the seam to keep your seam allowances in place. Don't worry about a stretch stitch here as your Flashback Skinny T doesn't need any stretch in length, only width.

A big picture partly to see the edgestitching but also cause I love those overlocker rolled hems!
Now you have the front panel assembled you just finish sewing the rest of the T-shirt as per Rae's great instructions. Having that bit of extra bulk at the neckline it might be best to use the bias binding neckband method. Or, if like me you lazily serged a folded neckband on, then perhaps stitch it down with the double needle (like this) so the seam allowances don't keep wanting to fold up.

And there you have it. A long sleeved T-shirt with some adorable ruffles!

I bought the two sizes of this pattern together and in pattern-value-per-garment-made I think it's an absolute winner!


  1. Oh this is so pretty!
    I am complimenting the heck out of this one.

  2. This is awesome. Well timed I'm getting ready for Fall sewing!

  3. Love, love, love! I am going to have to try this out for my little miss.

  4. Oh this is too cute! The ruffles really elevate it to something special. And your daughter looks pretty thrilled with it herself:)


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