Mixing patterns can be so much fun. When it comes to dressing my girls, I love to do bold – bright colors and fun patterns!
Since I’m usually sewing for three, I also love to make things that can be done quickly. As in get all three done in one nap time if possible. Of course, that definitely does not always happen, but there is for sure something pretty satisfying in being able to create three things with minimal effort in a couple of hours.
Which is why I love this baby.
It uses an existing shirt for the top, and requires very little for the bottom, which equates to a satisfying and productive afternoon of sewing.
Here’s what you need:
- sewing machine/accessories
The tanks are inexpensive shirts from Wal-Mart. My mom brought me back a bunch of great fabric from Hawaii, so I thought they would be the perfect pairing of fabric for these striped tanks. I love to take a geometric print and pair it with some swirly or florally.
My inspiration for this shirt was this top from Target. I have loved it from the moment it made it out on the floor. Something about the colors and the mix of patterns just speaks to me. So I decided to make a springier version of it for my girls.
You need to take some measurements before you get started. I’ll be sharing the measurements for this top (4T).
Measure from chest (empire waist) to how long you want the tunic to fall. For my 4T wearing daughter, this length was 11 inches. I decided I wanted the length of the ruffles for this particular size to be around 5.5 inches long – which equals 11 inchs. See where I’m going with this? So I needed to cut my two ruffles each to 5.5 inches long. I just used the width of the fabric for my width.
Measurements so far: two ruffles cut at 5.5 inches long x the width of the fabric.
You will also need a base layer to attach the bottom ruffle to. It doesn’t need to be as long as the length of your tunic since you will have the bottom ruffle to attach to it. I cut mine to a 5.5 inch length (just like the ruffles) and a 32 inch width. You can decide on your own width depending on how full and ruffly you want it; like I said above, I just wanted it to be a toned down ruffle for this top.
This will give you three pieces of fabric: one base layer piece (5.5” x 32”) and two ruffles pieces (5.5” x w.o.f.) Remember, these measurements are for a 4T.
To get started, go ahead and cut the bottom part of your shirt off. I like to cut at about two inches below the arm pit.
Then you’re going to cut three different pieces of fabric. These measurements will vary depending on the size of shirt you make, and how full you want the ruffles to be. I opted for a more toned down ruffle for this shirt. Here are my three pieces.
Take the bottom ruffle piece, and hem it up. If you like, go ahead and hem up the top ruffle as well.
Do a gathering stitch along the raw edge of the bottom ruffle. Gather the ruffle to the same width as the base piece. Pin in place with right sides together.
Sew together, finish the edge, flip out and top stitch.
For both the base piece and top ruffle, sew up the raw edges together. Finish the edges and do a gathering stitch along the top, raw edge.
Find the middle of the shirt in the front and back, and mark with pins.
Pin the back seam of the top ruffle to the back pin of the shirt. Find the exact middle from the seam of the top ruffle and pin it to the front pin of the shirt.The raw edge of the ruffle and the shirt should be lined up, and right sides are facing.
Gather the ruffle evenly between pins, and pin in place.
Now you are going to do the same thing with the base piece. The right side of the base piece will be facing the wrong side of the top ruffle.
Pin the middle of the front, and line up the seams in back and pin.
Gather the base piece, and pin in place with the shirt and top ruffle. All three layers will be pinned together at this point.
Sew all three layers together, and finish the edges. Flip right side out and top stitch all the way around where the shirt and fabric meet.
Do you like the pattern mixing, or would you create a more toned down look?