This old tank and cardigan have fallen out of normal rotation – the tank is a little short, but I love the pattern and couldn’t bear to part with it in my most recent purge. The sweater? Just a big bored with it. Feeling inspired, I decided to combine the two into something new!
I thought this shirt would make a great ruffle for two reasons: 1. it’s a cute, neutral color and pattern and 2. the soft jersey knit material will hang well and can live without a hem. First, I split the shirt down it’s side seam. Luckily for me, the lace trim was only on the front, leaving a nice open area on the back for me to trace my first ruffle.
The first strip I cut was for my larger, bottom ruffle. I measured the fabric out to remain 5″ wide from start to finish. The second ruffle was cut out of the front of the tank, on the bottom half. This second strip started out at 3 1/2″ and tapered off to 2″at its end (about 18″ long). I wanted this strip to have a narrower end so that my top ruffle would have more defined layers.
Thread a needle through the top hem of your ruffle, folding the fabric back and forth (like a paper fan) as you sew. As you pull the thread, the fabric should gather and start to ruffle. I used a regular thread, but I’m assuming this would work even better with an elastic.
With a steam iron, I carefully pressed my pleats to form sharp creases in the fabric. Easier said than done, but the results came out great! Now, lets fold these bad boys into their final ruffly state…
1. Start with the small tapered ruffle, laid out flat
2. Fold the top half of the ruffle down over the bottom half, with the reverse side of the fabric showing
3. Fold the remaining bit down, print side up, to form a wedge shaped piece for your top ruffle
4. Next, lay the larger 5″ ruffle out on a flat surface
5. & 6. Fold ruffle back and forth in a zig-zag to create alternating layers of patterned and reversed fabric
7. This is what my completed bottom ruffle looked like when I was done folding.
8. Once you’ve laid out both ruffles, pinch the folds and discreetly sew each layer to secure.
9. Here are the finished pieces! I decided not to sew them together, in case I wanted to use the top or bottom ruffle separately on another garment.
10. Use a safety pin to secure the bottom ruffle to your cardigan. You can also sew them on, but I wanted the option of removing them before laundering as well as using them as embellishments elsewhere!
DONE! Pin the top ruffle in place and VOILA! A magical creation, all your own.
Only took 2 hours, and it didn’t cost $118 from J Crew. Score.