Women’s Shirt: Ruffled Neckline


Nope, not another toddler clothing idea.


Hahaha…..I’ve been pumping out a lot of little kiddo clothing lately and my closet was getting a little jealous. (smirk)

So how about making a new shirt for you that you know will fit you just fine. Because it’s patterned after the fit of one of your fave’s.

(Or you can just add the ruffle taught here to a shirt that you already have.)


First, lay one of your favorite comfy knit tees down and trace around it on a piece of paper. (I need to buy some butcher paper…..I’m running out of tape from taping regular ‘ol sheets of paper together!) You’ll have a front piece, and back piece and a sleeve. I created all pattern pieces to be cut out on the fold, so that they are even and symmetrical. (So if you look at my shirt piece, it looks like half of the shirt front.) It will help the whole process work out a little more smoothly.

Then use these pattern pieces to cut out the fabric in your chosen fabric. (If your shirt is knit…..find a similar knit to use.) Make sure to add enough extra for a seam allowance.

Then sew the shirt together at the sides and the shoulders.

Then sew the sleeves together along the bottom side.

Then pin them into the arm hole of the shirt and then sew in place.

Then cut 2 pieces of fabric…..one about 1.5 inches wide and the other about 1 inch wide.

Stack them on top of eachother and sew a wide basting stitch down the center. (I took the picture with the stacked rows upside down. The more narrow piece is attached…..it’s just on the reverse side. Ooops.)

Then pull your top thread to gather and place along the edge of your kneck line.

Evenly gather and pin along the entire neck line. If you need more….make more. I way over estimated and had a long tail to cut off at the end. But it just depends on how full you’d like the ruffle to look.

Then sew along the center of the ruffle, securing it to the neck line. (And tuck under the end of your ruffle and sew it into place…..I know it’s hard to see, but it’s tucked under.)

Then turn your sleeves and bottom edge under 1/4 inch and then another 1/4 inch, and sew into place….creating a nice hem.


And wow, done.

Can you believe you just made your own shirt??
Wonderful feeling.

**While sewing with knit, you may have problems with it stretching. I usually use a medium size zig-zag to hem the sleeves and bottom, to avoid puckering and allow some stretch. FIRST, try it out on some scraps to see how your particular knit will turn out. This pattern covers up the neck-line…..so you don’t even have to worry about a puckered mess around the neck. Perfect. (But I have alot of practicing yet to go with knit…..it’s such a finicky fabric.) One more thing, if you find a knit that’s a blend with something else (microfiber, rayon, etc.), rather than just a ribbed knit, you may have more success…..and less stretching and puckering. But I’m learning right along with you. :)

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Filed under Clothing, Sewing, Women's Clothing


48 Responses to “Women’s Shirt: Ruffled Neckline”
  1. 1
    Nancy Jacobs Basketmaster says:

    Oh I am totally doing this project!
    Thank you!

  2. 2
    Sarah says:

    That's awesome! Do you do anything special when sewing with a knit fabric? I'm afraid to try, really afraid. Do you have a special stitch on your machine and do you use the ball tip needle (or whatever…). If there isn't a special stitch, can you just stretch it as you go?? You can't just do a normal stitch can you? Thanks. :)

  3. 3
    Alaina says:

    I LOVE it! So cute! I have never worked with a knit before. :) I hope to try it out soon.

    Thanks for your great idea!

  4. 4
    Ashley says:

    I just left some hints/suggestions at the bottom of the post. Go on and check it out.

  5. 5
    Tiff says:

    That is so cool! I love that I can use a shirt that is already well loved, I am going to have to go dig through my fabrics right now in hopes of finding some knit.

  6. 6
    Michelle says:

    Very cute shirt Ashley! Could you please tell me how to sew on the sleeves? I tried making a sweater dress recently and accidentally sewed the arm hole closed in the process (it was only my second sewing project)! I'm sure it's obvious but I can't figure it out! LOL

  7. 7
    Ariel says:

    I LOVE it! So cute!

  8. 8
    letterwoman says:

    That is so cool! I really want to try it. Did you use the same pattern piece for the front and back of the shirt and just cut freehand-cut a wider neck opening for the front? And did you not have any problems with the fabric strips for the ruffles ravelling? Or does knit fabric not ravel like woven fabric?

  9. 9
    Miss Pelicano says:

    That's lovely and simple! Well, except for adding sleeves. Haven't quite mastered that yet… Really like the ruffle!

  10. 10
    Ed and Bel says:

    You make it look so easy, I am going to try this project. Thanks!

  11. 11
    Stephanie says:

    I am so trying it!! Thanks for the tutorial!! :) Have a great week.

  12. 12
    Kevin, Erin and Jude says:

    Um… Has anyone ever told you that you are amazing? I totally stink at this kind of stuff. I hope I can get as good as you one day! Thanks for all of the work you put on the blog for us, it makes my day!

  13. 13
    Ashley says:

    I have some more knit and plan on making some more simple shirts. I will show better pictures of the actual pattern pieces I came up with and more pictures showing attaching the sleeve to the armhole. Sorry about that!

    And no, the ruffle won't fray with knit. Well, not much if it happens to. Or gosh, maybe there are types that do……by I haven't worked with any. :)

    And really, knit is tough….but it's also forgiving. It stretches and hides minor mistakes. Love that.

  14. 14
    Katie says:

    This is wonderful. Thank you! :)

  15. 15
    Becky DeVries says:

    AWESOME!~!thanks for the tut!

  16. 16
    Kent and Katie says:

    That shirt is just lovely. VERY nice job!

  17. 17
    sjones says:

    If you use a ball point needle/stretch needle it helps a lot in the puckering and try to use a bigger stitch than you would for %100 cotton fabric.

  18. 18
    Shanda says:

    I love this idea! Thanks so much for sharing. I was thinking about trying this with some of my shade shirts. And you made it even easier! Great idea.

  19. 19
    Shanda says:

    Have you ever used elastic thread to make the gathered ruffle? It is like magic and seriously one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.

  20. 20
    Laura says:

    Oh wow! I love it, although I HATE USING KNIT! I hate the stretch and it bothers me how it skews while sewing. You did an awesome job, thanks for sharing~

  21. 21
    Blackburns says:

    So cute! I'm going to try this and look forward to your other projects.

  22. 22
    [email protected] says:

    This is such a great project for people who want to play with knit. Talk about rewarding! I love this, I'll be linking.

  23. 23
    Andrea and Casey says:

    These is so cute! Way to go!

  24. 24
    Kim says:

    This is DARLING! I didn't even consider making my own shirt before – silly me! Can't wait to try it!

  25. 25
    Crafty Cripple says:

    Thanks for the tutorial, I had just bought some nice jersey fabric and was wondering how to make a top with it.

  26. 26
    Beth- the mama bee says:

    girl, you keep me sew busy :)

  27. 27
    Liz says:

    WOW! I cannot wait to give this a try. Thank you!!!

  28. 28
    Sawyers Family says:

    I tried to do the collar of my daughter's shirt like that, and when I tried to sew the ruffle on, it ungathered, if that's even a word. Do you have any suggestions?

  29. 29
    Ashley says:

    Hmmmmm…..Sawyers Family. I'm not sure why it would un-gather. Did you gather it by pulling the thread? And then pin it into place? I guess the other thing would be to sew over all of that bulk really slowly….otherwise maybe your presser foot is pulling on it and causing it to come undone. Use more pins maybe……gosh, I hope that was a bit helpful. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!


  30. 30
    Zarinaia says:

    Great tut! I love it! Can I link yours tut on my blog? I love them!!!
    Thank you!

    Eleonora, an Italian girl in Sweden :)

  31. 31
    Ashley says:

    Eleonora, yes, you can absolutely link my blog from yours. Thanks!

  32. 32
    Omaof1 says:

    That is one of the cutest ideas I've seen making a T-shirt. I'm so going to make some of these for Christmas for my daughters :) Thanks so much!

  33. 33
    Emilee says:

    So cute! And I've been hemming my knit sleeves and shirt bottoms with a double needle (bobbin tension super loose) to recreate the look of store-bought tees and keep the stretch of the knit. Awesome!

  34. 34
    Suzannah Hamlin says:

    I love the look of this and J.Crew's adorned tees this season! I tried one myself with a store-bought tee (http://adventuresindressmaking.blogspot.com/2009/11/jcrew-inspired-novelty-tee.html–check it out!) and it is so fun and quick to do! I want to do more because there are so many great ideas. I like the ruffle all around the neck idea, thanks for the inspiration!

  35. 35
    4 crazy polkadots says:

    Thank you for this. I just cut out pattern pieces from my favorite tunic t-shirt that has seen better days. Here's to hoping it turns out as great as yours:)

  36. 36
    sara jensen says:

    This is SOOO beautiful!

  37. 37
    Erika says:

    I noticed you said you were needing to buy some butcher paper. I have a quick suggestion.. . . It's the least I could do you have given me sooooo many. I ask my doctors office to buy a roll of their 'sanitary' covering. You know. . . the crinkley paper they cover the table with. It's only a couple bucks. And it's more like actual pattern paper, than thick like butcher paper! Hope it helps :) Happy crafting.

  38. 38
    Ashley says:

    Erika, that's actually a really good idea. I'm going to have to ask next time I'm at the dr. That paper is super thin…..it would be perfect! Thanks! :)

  39. 39
    Kristina says:

    I made this shirt and I love, love, love it! It's now one of my absolute favorites. I have a little write up on my blog in which I gave a little plug for your blog and projects, if you're interested.


  40. 40
    containergirl says:

    I love this shirt. I made one as an experiment. My partner thought I resembled a clown on my first try (and to be quite honest I did a bit). The ruffles were a bit wide for the print of my t-shirt and it was patterned fabric. I ended up with one single ruffle….but the ruffles shall return many more times in different fabrics for my daughter and myself. Thank you for sharing such great projects. Discovering your pages was like discovering a gold mine.

  41. 41
    Pinky says:

    Thanks a lot for this tutorial.. I have been looking for some good tutorial for knit top. This one is perfect.. I made one for me. I have posted the pics @ http://dewdropsdesigns.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-new-top.html

  42. 42
    Janlou says:

    I find that placing tissue paper in the seams between fabric pieces helps prevent puckering of the fabric pieces.

  43. 43
    Wendy says:

    I love this idea! I have a sweater where the neckline got a pull in it. I think some pretty ribbon (maybe 2 layered on each other) would do great with this application! Thanks for the tips!

  44. 44
    Jan says:

    Love the embellished tee tutorials. Some hints for sewing knits: reduce the pressure on the pressure foot if you’re getting puckered seams (also use a longer stitch length, as others have suggested, or steam the garment lightly after sewing to zap the knit back into place). Put the sleeves in flat, which is much easier than trying to put htem in when the body and sleeve are already assembled. To put a sleeve in flat, sew the shoulder seams of the tee body. Then sew the sleeve to the body of the tee. Then fold the shirt right sides together and sew the body and sleeve in one long seam (for example, start sewing at the sleeve cuff, sew up to the armpit, keep going and sew down the body to the hem. Also, because knits don’t ravel, no need to turn up a hem twice. Just turn it up once and sew with a zigzag stitch.

  45. 45
    Christi says:

    Just a helpful hint, as well as a $$$ saver. Go to your local newspaper plant and “flirt” with whom ever you run into while letting yourself in to find some one. I solicit the end of the rolls of paper from the publishers of our daily newspaper and it can be re-purposed for many many things. I pick it up for my nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews to color on for when they come to visit. While reading how you make your pattern the ole light bulb lit up over my head, just like Betty Boop’s grandpa! Hellllo, that’s right, use the remnants of the plain newspaper for making your patterns. This is also great for the enviornment, as that is about 5 less rolls they have to haul off each trip you make back to the cute guy you managed to talk the last 5 rolls of paper out of. LOL After awhile they have the rolls ready for you when you make it a habit of stopping in at least twice a month. Ahhhh, I love re-purposing.

  46. 46
    kammy says:

    I buy christmas paper after christmas and use it for my pattern making paper. Really cheap for rolls and rolls of paper!