Add an Off-Shoulder Ruffle to a T-Shirt

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A comfortable T-shirt is the wardrobe piece you usually reach for when you are heading out the door to a casual event or just lounging around the house. But you can reinvent an ordinary T-shirt to a more playful, stylish version by simply adding a ruffle to the neckline.

Finished view of the ruffle T-shirt.
Finished view of the ruffle T-shirt. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Things You'll Need

  • 58-by-7-inch piece of lightweight fabric
  • Sharp scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Sewing machine with a universal 90/14 needle
  • Pins
Materials needed for the ruffle T-shirt.
Materials needed for the ruffle T-shirt. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 1:

Use sharp scissors to cut the collar off of the T-shirt.

Cut a new neckline.
Cut a new neckline. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 2:

Measure and cut a 58-by-7-inch piece of lightweight fabric to use for the ruffle.

Fold under 1/4 inch to the wrong side on the long edge of the ruffle fabric and press with a hot iron. Fold over another 1/4 inch and press again.

Press the long edge of the ruffle under twice.
Press the long edge of the ruffle under twice. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 3:

Use a medium stitch length and a 90/14 universal needle to sew along the folded edge to create a hem for the ruffle.

Sew the long edge of the ruffle.
Sew the long edge of the ruffle. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 4:

Fold the ruffle fabric in half widthwise with the right sides together. Pin and sew a seam with a 1/2-inch seam allowance along the short edge.

Pin and sew the short edge of the ruffle.
Pin and sew the short edge of the ruffle. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 5:

Change your sewing machine to the longest stitch length.

Change the machine to the longest stitch.
Change the machine to the longest stitch. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 6:

Sew a basting stitch that is 1/2 inch in along the long raw edge of the ruffle.

Baste along the raw edge of the ruffle.
Baste along the raw edge of the ruffle. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 7:

Use a marking pen or pins to mark the sides and the center front and back of the ruffle fabric.

Mark the centers and sides on the ruffle.
Mark the centers and sides on the ruffle. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 8:

Pull on one thread of the basting stitch to gather the ruffle slightly.

Pull a basting stitch to gather the ruffle.
Pull a basting stitch to gather the ruffle. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 9:

Place the ruffle inside the T-shirt with the raw edges together and the right side of the ruffle against the wrong side of the T-shirt. Match the sides of the ruffle to the shoulder seams and pin in place. Match the center fronts and backs of the ruffle and T-shirt and pin in place. Adjust the gathering to fit the rest of the ruffle on the neckline of the T-shirt and pin in place. Sew in place with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Be sure to remove the pins as you sew.

Pin and sew the ruffle to the T-shirt.
Pin and sew the ruffle to the T-shirt. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 10:

Flip the ruffle to the outside of the T-shirt and press the seam with a hot iron. Top stitch close to the fold to create a more finished look.

Fold the ruffle over and press.
Fold the ruffle over and press. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Wear your new ruffle T-shirt on both shoulders with jeans for a casual daytime look.

Front view of ruffle T-shirt with both shoulders.
Front view of ruffle T-shirt with both shoulders. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Or wear it off one shoulder with a skirt for an evening look.

Finished back view of ruffle T-shirt.
Finished back view of ruffle T-shirt. (Image: Beth Huntington)
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