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Blog swap today!  I am so excited to be posting on kojo designs today.  My name is Suzannah and I run the blog Adventures in Dressmaking, where I post almost every day my current project, idea, or inspiration.  I love to sew but I also transform things with spray paint, play with wall decor, and turn old items into something new.

I love how my favorite stores (Anthropologie, J.Crew, Nordstrom…) have been showing so many crafty-looking tees and dresses in recent seasons.  Have you seen all of J.Crew’s lovely embellished tees?  It just makes us crafty folks think, “I can sooooo do that.”  So, inspired by these $45-100 lovelies, I have been turning ordinary clothing items into artsy, dress-upable ones (here and here).  Today I’d like to share with you a simple tutorial to make a ruffle-front tuxedo tee from a basic long-sleeved shirt.  Check it out!

  • Start with a plain long-sleeved tee in a neutral color.  I got this long-sleeved one at Old Navy’s after Christmas price of $5.  They had like everything for $5, I stocked up.
  • Cut off the sleeves at 1″ longer than you’d like your cap sleeves to be.
  • Cut right next to the center seam on each sleeve.
  • Even out the rectangles you’ve created by cutting along the grain of the ribbing.  Cut off the cuffs.
  • Cut down the center crease of the sleeves–now you have four long, skinny pieces all the same size.  Now, cut those in half the long way–now you’ll have eight very skinny pieces (I only used four for my ruffles–you can stop when you’ve effectively cut up only one of the sleeves).
  • Using a tight tension and a long stitch, sew down the center of your four skinny ruffle pieces.
  • Pull on one of the threads at the end of each piece and gather up your ruffles!
  • Before your put the ruffles on, hem the sleeves.  So, put the ruffles aside (*sigh*) and turn under 1″ on each sleeve.  Pin, and sew on your favorite stitch for knits.
  • Lay your ruffles down in the placement you think you’d like.  I gathered the two outside rows a little tighter than the inside ones, and set them up higher so they end shorter than the inside ones.
  • Cut a piece of fusible interfacing the approximate size of your ruffled area.  Use a color that’s close to the t-shirt color.
  • Turn the tee inside out and iron the interfacing down in the center front of the tee.
  • Flip it right side out again, and pin all your ruffles down in the placement you want.  Sew them all on, right on top of the gathering stitches!!
  • I didn’t use the exact area of my rectangle because my two edge ruffles are shorter than the inside ones, so I clipped the interfacing corners on the inside.  Turn your tee inside out and see if you need to do this.  It will improve the tee’s washability.
  • All done!!  Yay!

 There it is!
Well, I hope you enjoyed my tutorial today, and I hope you check out my blog, Adventures in Dressmaking.  Thanks for reading!

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  1. OK, maybe I am a dunce, or I will blame it on sleepless nights with a sick baby, but what is the point of the interfacing behind the ruffles?

  2. It's not 100% necessary, but the additional weight of the ruffled pieces can pull on the rib knit of the t-shirt. Any time you sew on top of that kind of jersey, there's a risk for the stitches to pull and stretch with the design. I should have explained that better… thanks for pointing it out!

  3. I haven't made any clothing articles yet but I think this will be my first! Thanks so much for the great tutorial!


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