Ruffled Tee Shirt

  No Pattern Required
  holds glasses, iPod or phone, and more   

Simple additions of ruffled fabric and other embellishments can give standard tee shirts a designer look. In the months to come I plan to bring you many ideas for changing a tee shirt from boring to dazzling. This shirt is just the start. If you have a simple tee shirt pattern that fits you just the way you like, you’re on your way to creating special shirts to wear with jeans, dress pants, or skirts.  

The jersey tee on this page requires approximately 10 more inches of fabric than your pattern calls for. To avoid a sporty look, I replaced the rib knit neckband called for on the pattern with one made from the shirt fabric. A machine with a rolled hem or zig-zag feature will help you create the clean edged ruffles and flower accent show here. 


 steps 6-8

steps 6-8

step 1 - Following your pattern, cut out your shirt pieces. Use the shirt fabric for the neckband instead of ribbed knit.

step 2 - Find the center front of the shirt and machine baste a row of stitching from the neck down about ten inches. 

step 3 - To the left of center, place a row of machine basting 3/4” away from the center. Baste one more to the left of that row. 

 step 9

step 9

step 4 - To the right of center, machine baste a row 3/4” from the center. Baste one more row to the right of that row. You should now have five rows, each spaced 3/4” apart.

step 5 - Sew all shirt pieces together except for the neck band.

step 6 - Create the ruffles by cutting five strips of fabric on the grain. Each should be 1.25” wide. One should be 8” long.  Two should be 7”. And two should be 6”.

step 7 - Using a rolled hem or zig-zag stitch, finish both long edges and one short edge of the ruffle pieces.

step 8 - Machine baste a row of stitching down the center of each ruffle.

step 9 - Gather each ruffle until it is one inch shorter than it’s original length, making them 5”, 6”, and 7”.

step 10 - The ruffles should be positioned onto the shirt front with the shortest pieces on the outside, graduating to the longest in the center.

step 11 - Pin the ruffles in place aligning the basting stitch of the ruffles to the basting stitches on the shirt. Place the raw ends at the neckline.

 step 10

step 12 - Before stitching the ruffles to the shirt piece, fold and pin the squared finished corners to the underside to create a point at the bottom of each ruffle. The corners should overlap slightly to secure them in the final stitching. Stitch the ruffles in place with one row of permanent stitching down the center of each ruffle.

step 13 - Remove all basting stitches.

 step 12

step 12

step 14 - Sew on the neckband.

The Flower

step 1 - Cut a 7” X 1.25” strip of fabric and finish the edges as you did the ruffles. 

step 2 - Sew a basting stitch down the center and gather it softly.

step 3 - Continue the flower with hand stitching. Secure one end of the strip to the center of the shirt. 

step 4 - Wrap the ruffle in a circular shape, stitching the fabric on the basted edge. 

step 5 - When you have the flower shaped the way you like, tuck the raw edge under the last layer of ruffle and use some stitches to conceal it.

step 6 - Sew a crystal button in the center of the flower.


The length of the ruffles on this shirt suit a short or average body. Adjust them to a longer length if you have a long torso.


At Fabric Shop

  • sewing notions
  • shirt fabric & matching thread
  • shirt pattern
  • button
  • sewing notions
  • zig-zag or serger machine

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