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Monday, May 21, 2012

.:Tutorial Tuesday–Cascading Ruffle Tank:.

Are you ready for this ruffley goodness?

This might be one of my most favoritest things that I’ve ever made for my girls.

And people are agreeing; I’ve gotten SO MANY compliments on these babies! They would be cute in any fabric, but I think this neon chevron really makes the style pop!

And guess what? They are super easy!

Here’s what you need:

- knit fabric (I got the neon chevron from The Fabric Fairy; I love their knits!)
- elastic thread
- sewing machine/accessories

You need to start off measuring your little girl to see how long you want your tank to be. I measured from my girls’ chests, and made them a bit longer than where a normal shirt would hit them at their waist. The ruffles will also hang lower, so take that into account.

Then, you are going to need to figure out how much you want for the top part of the shirt, and how much for the body. These will be two separate pieces. The top part will be shirred and the body will have the ruffles.

For the width, I just did about one a half times the measurement of their chests. So, for example, my daughter’s chest is about 11 inches across, so I did her width at 16 inches. You’ll be shirring it in, so this will give you a little room.

For my daughter, a size 4T, I cut her top at a length of 5 inches and a width of 16 inches. I cut the body of her tank at a length of 10.5 inches and a width of 16 inches.

For my other daughter, a size 3T, I cut her top at a length of 5 inches and a width of 15 inches. I cut the body of her tank at a length of 9 inches and a width of 15 inches.

You will want both of your widths to be the same!

Cut both of your pieces using your fold so that you have one large piece for your top and one large piece for your body.

I got the idea for this top from a tutorial from Lil Blue Boo and her cascading ruffle skirt.

I basically followed her tutorial for the body of the tank, with a couple small alterations. Since our body piece is only one, instead of two like her skirt, I wanted the seam to be in the back of the tank. So meet up your two edges as if they are in the back, right in the middle.

In the original tutorial for a skirt, you curve up the edges. I don’t know if this was necessary for the tank, but I did it anyway. To make sure the curves were equal, I folded over one side of the tank so that I could cut both sides to the same measurement.

This is what it will look like opened back up.

It will look funky when it’s all opened up, but don’t worry about it!

Use the free download to get the shape you are cutting for your ruffles.

You can see my marker lines of where I’m going to sew the ruffles down. You’ll want even spaces between ruffles, and you’ll want to make sure that your pattern can finish evenly where your seam is going to be.

Sew your ruffles down as explained in the original tutorial.

This is what the body of your tank will look like when you are done sewing all the ruffles.

Take your top piece, and pin it along one edge of your body piece, right sides together.
(Sorry, no picture!)

Now open up your top piece and get your shirring on! Don’t be scared of shirring if you’ve never done it before! Wind your elastic thread to your bobbin (by hand) and leave your regular thread on the spool. Set your machine to your longest stitch length, backstitch at the beginning and end, and shir rows all along the top piece. I usually do mine about 1/4 inch apart.
(Sorry, no picture again – what was I thinking???)

The best part about sewing with knits is that you don’t have to worry about any fraying so you don’t have to finish the top edge once you get to the end of your shirring. You can just leave it as is!

Now it’s time for some straps. I usually just use a pattern I already own to get strap measurements because I’m lazy like that, but you could measure on your little gal how long you need the straps to be. Maybe add a couple inches because we’re going to be shirring again, so this will take away some of that length. Cut them to your desired width. You’ll need two! (Only one shown).

Shir two (or however many you want!) rows along each edge of your strap for a total of four rows per strap.

Pin the straps in place to the top of your shirt, and sew them down. Repeat for the front and back of the tank.

That’s it! You’re done!

Are you in love with it?

I think I am.

Perfect for playing in the heat during the summer time!

Sweet sisters!

Between the fabric and the style of the shirt, it was super easy to keep track of them when we went downtown later that day!

What do you think? Are you going to make one?

Linking up here:


  1. I love the fabrics you chose! And, I just made the skirt, so it's only natural to make your top now :)


  2. Holy cuteness!!! Those are awesome and I love that neon fabric, so much fun!!

  3. Those are so super cute and FUN! Thanks for sharing!

  4. OH-UH-EMMM-GHAEEEEEEE!!! How stinkin ca-ute!!!! I am going to get right on this for my Dr.'s twin girls!!!! Will try to remember to snap a pic when finished!!! Thank you SO much for sharing this w/ us! LOVE your versions. kweenbee_612@yahoo.com

  5. Oh my gosh. I covet these so hard. I swear every time I look at your blog I think "I wonder if I could pay her to make that for me?" Seriously...

  6. Oh good heavens, how can I wait til morning to try this? (my husband wouldn't be thrilled if I sewed at night, my machine is in the bedroom......but maybe he won't notice?) Seriously, these are awesome. I'm going to try making something like this for my granddaughter. Thank you for the tutorial!

  7. Thank you so much for the awesome tutorial. I pinned it this afternoon and it has already be re-pinned 90 times!! That is how awesome it is. Thanks again and keep them coming, they are very much appreciated!!

  8. This is so adorable! The girls look so cute in them. Thanks for sharing the tutorial. If I ever get up the nerve to start sewing, I know where I will be starting!

  9. Adorable! My sewing to-do list just grew!

  10. Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday - you were featured today!!
    --Mandy, www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

  11. These are so adorable! I saw the original skirt featured and thought I needed to hook my girls up...but after seeing yours...I am so in luv!! Totally going to put this on my quick to do list!

  12. Adorable! I need to make some for my daughter!

  13. Those are adorable! I love how you even shirred the straps. Nice touch. :)

  14. Great job Summer! I have had a couple yards of the neon chevron knits sitting in my stash for weeks now, it is SO fun but I just couldn't decide what to make with it... now I'm thinking a cute shirt like this for my littlest and a cascading ruffle skirt for big sister! :) Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your weekend!
    Happy Day!

  15. Dear God, I love that neon fabric!!!! This is such a cut top. Would be cute as a romper for my toddler I think! Thanks! Adoreable!!

  16. Absolutely adorable! It's been a while since I've sewn, but this will get me back in the saddle. My granddaughter would look so cute in this! Plus, I get to go fabric shopping! Shopping is good! :0)

  17. I love these. I am going to have to make my daughter one. I am always leery of buying fabric on line. I will have to try your provider. Thanks for the tutorial.
    Happy sewing!!

  18. Beautiful dresses and cutest models. I featured it here:


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love reading them! I try to reply to questions the best I can, but you can always email me at sumossweetstuff {at} gmail {dot} com.