Making Waves

Shannon Dennis
Making Waves


Change a plain T-shirt into something special by adding ruffles to the neckline. This upcycling project takes no time at all to complete.


2 long-sleeve T-shirts (according to your size)

All-purpose thread

Ballpoint needle

Cut It

From one T-shirt, cut off the sleeves 2" below the shoulder seams; square the raw edges. Cut off the cuff from each sleeve. Cut off the seam from each sleeve. Set aside one sleeve.

Sew It

Install a ballpoint needle in the machine. Select a 3.5mm straight stitch. Fold the sleeve in half lengthwise with right sides together, aligning the raw edges. Stitch 1/4" from the long raw edge, leaving 3" to 4" long thread tails. Don't tie the thread tails in a knot; this allows you to adjust the ruffle to fit the shirt if needed. For more defined gathers, stitch another row 1/4" from the first stitching line (1). Gently pull the thread tails to create a ruffle to the desired length. Repeat to ruffle the remaining sleeve.

Position one ruffle 1" below the T-shirt neckline with the narrow sleeve end on the left side; pin, and then topstitch along the ruffle upper edge.

Position the remaining ruffle over the first ruffle along the T-shirt neckline, aligning the sleeve end with left shoulder seam; pin, and then topstitch along the ruffle upper edge. Refer to the photo at above for placement.

Tip: Add a ruffle to a T-shirt lower edge or skirt hemline for a flirty accent.


Knit Wit

Learn how to stitch knits like a pro!

  • knit fabrics don't ravel, so there's no need to finish the raw edges.
  • Use a ballpoint needle when stitching knit fabrics. The rounded needle point separates the knit (instead of piercing it) to prevent snags and skipped stitches.
  • Use very sharp scissors or a rotary cutting system to cut knits to prevent unnecessary stretching.
  • Don't allow knit fabric to hang over the table, as gravity stretches and distorts the fabric.
  • For construction, select a 2.5mm to 3mm straight stitch and slightly stretch the fabric as you sew. Or select a narrow zigzag stitch (.5mm wide and 2.5mm to 3mm long) and don't stretch the fabric as you sew. The long stitch length accommodates the fabric stretch.


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