Thursday, December 29, 2011

DIY Ruffle Shirt (no sew option)

Do you ever have one of those days when your brain is completely full? That's me today. Thankfully, I had the morning to myself, so there was plenty of time to sit in silence and process while I created this little shirt. It was lovely to express creativity this morning while thinking about my Grandpa. His funeral was yesterday and it was absolutely incredible. I've never seen such a time of honor and remembrance. It was emotionally draining, though, and I'm taking some time this morning to recharge and recenter. 
Fabric strips + Odette
That being said, this is the product of my processing. I really like this little tank. A long time ago, I saw a similar shirt at a store and wanted it, but it was too expensive. My best friend is hilarious, she will absolutely *not* buy something if she can make it (and she can generally do a better job, anyway!) and I'm starting to catch that bug. Especially since I blog 5 days per week and need material ;) 
This shirt was extremely easy. I used scrap fabric from our wedding (6 4inch wide strips of material, 18 inches long) and an old tank top that I got on clearance from Old Navy. You could do this on the collar of any shirt, though. The fabric I used was just a cotton, which frays really easily. I actually liked the fraying edges but if you don't,you can switch to jersey or hem the fabric if you're super ambitious. If you really want to go the easy route, use extremely thick (3-4 inches), wireless ribbon. Ps- don't forget about my dear friend, Fray Check.
(1) Gathering
(1) First, you'll need to put a seam down the middle of your fabric/ribbon strips. I used a sewing machine with a simple, single and wide stitch. You can do this by hand as well, and it's very easy. If you hate sewing, this is the only part of the whole shirt that requires it. After you have your seam, you're going to tug on one thread at the end to gather the fabric. As you gather, move the bunches of fabric down toward the other end. Otherwise, your thread will get too tight and snap. Keep gathering and pushing the fabric down to the other side until you end up with the correct length that you need for your shirt. 
First layer (ends should touch)
(2) Next, lay out your gathered strips of fabric on to your shirt. Decide exactly how you want it to look/adjust the gathering to look even. Attach the fabric to the shirt. You can either use a hot glue gun (with glue made for fabric projects) or you can tack it on depending on whether or not you'd like to sew. I did mine one layer at a time and I suggest that for you as well. You can decide how much ruffling you want. I did 3 layers, but each step looked good. Adding a fourth wouldn't have been awful either. 
(3) Trim any thread that is sticking out, make sure the shirt looks good and wear it! 
Second layer
I forgot to mention a few hints. First, regarding the thread, I always use a contrasting color for my blogs so that you can see where the stitching is. Obviously you'll want to use a color that matches your fabric or ribbon. Secondly, I like to tie the ends of my thread once I have gathered the fabric so that it stays put. You should have one piece of thread on each side (and end). Tie them together before attaching them to the shirt.

I'm liking how this turned out. It seems like a very festive shirt for new years. I paired it with a black pencil skirt and my DIY BLACK HEELS. The pencil skirt is ok. I actually own multiple black pencil skirts and the one I *wanted* to wear is at my parents house. We took it down with us this week and left it there. I saw it as we were leaving and wanted to add it to our luggage, but the consensus was that there was no room left and I wouldn't need it before we came back anyway. Murphy's Law always prevails, as I needed it less than 24 hours later!
I'm going to include several pictures of the 
shirt. I can see that I forgot to snip a few threads in it, so excuse the little gray strands here and there. That's why you should always check it before wearing it AND use matching thread! ;)
I have *so* much to do today. Thursdays are always my busy day, and I'm already late! 
Third layer/finished
I'm not sure what I'll be posting tomorrow. There are several things from Christmas that I want to blog for you to DIY, but I need a few supplies for all of them. So, it's a mystery! When I'm out today I'll see what I can find and the first thing to show up will be the winner! 
PS- I've had several people ask me about the polish on my nails in real life, so if you happen to be wondering, it's from OPI and it's called "Midnight in Moscow". It's a deep plum with red flecks. I like it better than "Lincoln Park After Dark" which has always been a super popular OPI shade and I also own. 
I had intended to include a full length pictures of me wearing the shirt, but I don't like any of them. Sooo... hopefully you have an excellent imagination and can see in your brilliant mind exactly what one would look like while standing up in this shirt. I really like it tucked in (I put it on with a pair of high waisted black pants) but it would be great untucked as well. And it's awesome under a blazer. And I can wear it to work. Yesssss.
I'm even more late now, so that's all for today. Have a wonderfully blessed day and as always, thanks for reading! 
Ps- I'm really into gathering fabric lately, so you can expect several more DIY projects based on it! 


  1. This is so cute and something I might even be able to do! Thanks for the tutorial. I pinned it.

    1. Thanks so much! It has become one of my favorite shirts. You can DEFINITELY do it! Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Great tutorial. Love this!

    Thank you for linking up to A Pinteresting Party! :) Hope to see you again!

  3. What a great tutorial. I found you through Pinterest! Following you now!

    Tamika @

    1. Thank you so much, Tamika! I'll have to check out your blog, too... we can be bloggy friends :)

  4. i'm sorry about your grandfather . . . but remember that everything happens for a reason. cool tutorial by the way.

  5. i'm sorry about your grandfather. but remember that everything happens for a reason. thanks for the tutorial!

    1. Thank you, Ariella. It was hard to lose both grandfathers in one year to cancer, but I am grateful to have had them so long! I'm in my late twenties and my husband lost his grandfathers while he was still a child. You are SO welcome! Stop by anytime. You have a beautiful name.

  6. Great tutorial! I really like it. Thanks for sharing such nice very useful information.

    Michelle | wholesale clothing


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