Ruffles are so cute and pretty easy to make. This tutorial will give you an idea of how you can add ruffles to any basic tank top or tee. It's totally customisable- you can lengthen the ruffles, use ribbon instead of a middle panel and experiment with buttons and other embellishments. I hope you enjoy it!
gather your materials. you will need two contrasting fabrics and either some buttons, ribbon or other embellishments.
Measure your tank top
First thing to do is to measure the length of the area you would like the ruffles to go. Mine will be covering up some buttons and is 5 inches long (12.5cm).
Take this measurement and times by 2 to allow for the fabric to gather into a ruffle.
My final measurement is therefore 10 inches (25cm).
Next we need to work out how wide we would like each ruffle to be. I measured from the middle of the buttons (as this is the centre of the singlet) and got 2.5 inches (6.25cm)
Take this measurement and times by 2, then add seam allowance, (1/2 an inch/1cm or so) to your width.
My width was therefore 5.5 inches in total (about 14cm)
Next we need to work out a measurement for our middle panel, which will be hiding all the raw edges of the ruffles.
The panel length will be the same as your original length (5inches/12.5cm) + seam allowance.
The width is entirely up to you, it just needs to be wide enough to hide your raw ruffle edges. I measured my singlet and decided on a width of 2 inches + seam allowance. I don't have a photo for this step but you can work it out.
cut your fabric
using these measurements cut out 2 ruffle pieces and 2 panel pieces.
prepare ruffle and panel
Fold ruffle pieces lengthways right sides together. pin.
place panel pieces right sides together and pin.
on the ruffle pieces, stitch the short ends of each piece ONLY. Turn the ruffle pieces the right way out and press the seams and the long folded edge.
On the panel piece, stitch around all 4 sides leaving a GAP on one long side to turn it out the right way. (makes sure you backstitch at the start and finish of your gap to reinforce it.) Turn the panel piece the right way out and press the seams.
embellish your panel piece
Stitch your buttons, ribbon or other chosen embellishment onto your fabric panel.
make your ruffles
To make a ruffle, loosen the tension on your sewing machine to the loosest setting. Select your longest stitch. I also increase the stitch width as it helped it to gather better for me.
Make sure you have a long tail of cotton coming out of your machine before you start sewing so you have something to pull on at the end.
Stitch along the long, raw edge of one of your ruffle pieces. Leave a long tail at the other end so you can pull it.
NB: don't backstitch at either end of your ruffle as you want to be able to pull the threads easily.
Repeat with your other ruffle.
You should now have two long ruffle pieces with long cotton tails. To really gather up your ruffle, find the top thread at each end and pull the fabric along the thread until it gathers to your desired length. Don't knot the cotton tails just yet.
line up and stitch your pieces
Place your ruffle pieces alongside your panel piece and check the lengths. You want the raw edges of your ruffles to be completely hidden by the sides of your panel, so you may need to adjust the lengths by pulling the tails again.
When you're happy with the lengths, tie a knot in each end of the ruffle piece to hold them in place.
Place your ruffles on your tank on either side of the centre. Don't pin yet.
Place your fabric panel on top and pin around the outside, trapping the ruffles carefully underneath.
Top stitch around the edge of the fabric panel. (don't forget to put your tension and stitch length back to its normal position before you start).
Give your panel and the ruffles a little press. Done!