DIY Ruffled shirt

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’m not having a good day. My favorite professor from college passed away yesterday. I’m doing my best to make sure I’m not crying and I’m getting as much work done as possible. But, in the midst of that I realize I need to finish my DIY post of the week! I apologize for this coming so late! I’m also working on some good ones for next week, but we’ll discuss those later.

This post is #3 for my no cost/ low-cost ways to spice up your wardrobe: Tip #3. I’m using the left over materials from last week to this shirt. (It’s all about recycling, baby.)

At the end of this LOOOOOONG tutorial, you’ll make something like this (different colors, obviously)

Hit the jump to see the steps (too long to stay on my main page!)

For this you’ll need the rest of those two shirts from last week (you know, the ones you used to make that belt), needle and thread (or sewing machine), a whole t-shirt (or tank top), extra fabric (if you have some lying around), scissors and A LOT of patience. Both these redos take a LONG time if you’re hand sewing them.

Start with a black t-shirt (or tank top).

This is my pile of “fabric.” I have the two left over t-shirts and a extra yard of some scrap fabric.

I put on my t-shirt and marked with a white crayon (totally works- who knew?) where I wanted to cut the front. I wasn’t trying to make it super low, just more scoop-necked. If your t-shirt has a neckline you like, skip this part.


Take off the shirt and fold it in half, so you can make the neck even on both sides of the cut. Then, cut your new neckline.


When you unfold it, it should look similar to this

Next, I decided to remove the sleeves. You can either use a seam ripper, or cut very carefully along the seam


Now it’s time to make the strips for the ruffles. Using the sleeves I just cut off, I cut up the seam, laying them out flat.

Cut off the hem.

Cut out a strip about 1-1.5 inches wide

Do the same for the other sleeve.

Now take your left over t-shirt from our belt project and straighten out the bottom. Then cut one strip 1-1.5 inches wide. Depending on how much ruffle you want, you can cut another strip the same width.

Now do the same on the other shirt and with any other fabric you want to use. This is what I ended up with:

We get to make ruffles now! If you’ve never done it, you’re basically gathering the fabric and sewing it onto the shirt. Thread your needle and tie off the end.

You can either pre-gather the fabric and shove your needle through (which is easy on thin, short pieces) or you can loosely stitch the fabric.

You’ll end up with something like this

You can either sew this on now, or you can tie it off and ruffle your next piece and sew them at the same time. I sewed mine on right away. Continue ruffling and sewing your other pieces until you get as much as you want.

To sew them on, I’m just using a basic stitch. I really don’t have great sewing skills, just basic ones.

I call it a ‘runner stitch’ but I doubt that’s the real name. It looks like a road to me… To make a ruffle (or gather) you use one looooong piece of thread and run it through the fabric, then you push the fabric down the thread (does that make sense?) to create the gathers.

Anyway, add as many ruffles as you want, secure them onto the shirt following the neckline and you’ll end up with something like this:

I’m actually kinda excited about this shirt. I think less ruffles/more ruffles/different placement would make it look really cool too!
T-shirt redo DIY

I hope you like this idea, and I’m already working on next weeks!


5 thoughts on “DIY Ruffled shirt

  1. Susan!

    I do not know about the garments, I am not that kind of guy, but I love your cat, the avatar cat.
    But when I come here, (s)he’s gone!!!!

    Could you send some picks? Please. Also name would be highly appreciated.

    Thank you beforehand, and give my best regards to her/him.


  2. WOW! How did you do that?? LoL XD I totally like this one! I’ll try to find a shirt I could play with. XD

    I haven’t tried the last one, the one with the buttons? Because I can’t find nice button yet. 😦

    Looks like loafy has a new fan. ^^

    • I bought a couple really cheap shirts to cut up and try this out on, in case I screwed up! The ‘ruffles’ or gathers are kinda easy, once you figure it out.
      I found this tutorial:, in case I didn’t explain it well enough 🙂
      I made the whole thing on here by hand stitching, and I’m not the best sewer. I just kinda guess and figure it out as I go along!
      Let me know if you’re gonna try this one and need some help!

  3. LoL I think I’ll tell my mom about that. She likes styling old clothes so she could wear them again. ^^ I’m not sure though if I can do that myself. I’ll check if I have old clothes I could sew…

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