I love ruffle-y tops. I bought one last year that was expensive, but it was my birthday and I really wanted it. But anyone who knows me, knows I do love clothes, so one top was not enough. A couple months ago at a craft night where we were all learning about recycling the things we have into new things, one neighbor showed how she took 2 matching t-shirts and cannabalized one to add embellishments to the other. Nice. I've been thinking about that for a while and finally decided to do something about it.
I started out with a long sleeve, 100% cotton t-shirt. This shirt had cuffs at the sleeves, rather than just a hemmed edge.
Next, I cut off the sleeves (no going back now).
I cut off the cuff about 1/4" above the seam.
I pinned the cuff back on to what was left of the sleeve (remember, right sides together) and then sewed it back on right along the cuff's original seam.
Next, I used the leftover fabric from the sleeve to cut 2" wide strips. I created the ruffles by running each strip through the sewing machine on a basting stitch, right down the center of each strip. (Use a backstitch on one end of the strip but NOT the other). To make the ruffles, pull one of the threads from the non-backstitched end to gather it up (pull more thread to make a tighter ruffle).
Now, one strip at a time pin the ruffle along the edge of the neckline (I played around a lot with how I wanted to do this first. I thought about going around the whole neckline, making flowers instead of ruffles, etc...).
Once you've pinned on a row of ruffles, sew it on with the sewing machine by sewing right over the top of the center seam. Then repeat the pinning and sewing process for each row. I spaced each row of ruffles about 1/2" apart. I ended up using 4 rows of ruffles.
Ta-Da! New shirt from old shirt :)