Easy Kids Ruffled Sleeve T-Shirt Tutorial

How to Make a Ruffled Sleeve T-Shirt

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Easy Kids Ruffled Sleeve T-Shirt Tutorial

Last night I had a visitor.  My granddaughter wanted to sleep over.  Yay!  The other day when I met her at the park she was excited that we had “matching” t-shirts.  Mine was a ruffled short-sleeved black and white one and hers was long sleeved black and white striped with a sequined unicorn.  She was so excited we matched!  When she showed me what she brought to wear for today, it was her shirt from the park the other day because she wanted us to match again.  So sweet. The gears in my head started to turn and with it came an easy kids ruffled sleeve t-shirt tutorial.

In my craft area, I have a pile of discarded clothes for repurposing.  I had a cute long sleeved black and white striped t-shirt I got this winter at Target.  Unfortunately I got a stain on it last month that wouldn’t come out!  I got up early this morning and while sleeping beauty slept, I fashioned a ruffled sleeve t-shirt for her to wear today!  It was easy, but I’m not saying I didn’t make any mistakes.  And I apologize, I’m not the best at adding the neckband.  That’s on my list to get better at.  Anyway, here’s the steps I took to make this sweet repurposed t-shirt.  I love the cost…..FREE!  Love the smiles….FREE TOO! 




    1. Fold your t-shirt in half and place your pattern on.  You’re going to use the hem that’s already there so decide how long your t-shirt will be (a dress or a longer shirt to wear with leggings?) You’ll need to extend the pattern as it’s mostly for the bodice and sleeves. Measure and place the pattern according to length
    2. Using your rotary cutter (or scissors) cut along pattern.  You now have two pieces, front and back.  Cut your neck lower for the front of the t-shirt
    3. Cut both sleeves off the t-shirt.  You’re going to use each to cut your sleeves out as well as the ruffle pieces.  I cut my neckband out of the t-shirt body at an angle to get the stripe going how I wanted it.
    4. Place your sleeve pattern piece near the top of each arm.  Cut around with a rotary cutter.  
    5. Using your rotary cutter and ruler (and mat of course) cut strips about 14″ x 2″ for the ruffle. (see above photos)
    6. Using the body of the shirt, cut at an angle (through both layers so you get two pieces) 1.5″ x 12″ for the neckband


    1. Take the pieces for the ruffle.  I serged 1 edge and turned it under to hem about 1/4″ 
    2. Using your sewing machine, change the straight stitch to 6 stitches per inch to gather one side of the ruffle piece.  Pull one thread to gather the side; do the same for the other piece.
    3. Pin the gathered edge to the sleeve and sew (or serge) in place.  Repeat with the other sleeve.|
    4. To sew the neck band to the t-shirt, start by serging one side.  Then pin one side along the front neckline.  Sew (or serge in place).  Turn the serge edge over the neck and pin in place.  Top stitch to hold in place and finish the neck.
      ****NOTE*** I agree, this is totally not the way to do it but I did.  It’s been a while since I’ve sewn a t-shirt and at some point I will revise this*** Forgive me and we’ll move on:)
    5. Sew the shoulders together, making sure the neckband lines up
    6. Laying the t-shirt flat, pin the sleeves to the shirt.  (I like to put in on my leg where it can curve) Sew (or serge) the sleeve in place
    7. Pin the sides of the shirt together, matching the bottom hem, under arm seam, ruffle seam and hem.  Sew (or serge) in place.  Trim any threads.


 I lay her shirt on the bed with her shorts when I finished.  When she got up a while later, she was so excited to put on her shirt.  She said, Gramma, am I supposed to wear this today?  I said yes, and she said good ’cause I already tried it on:).  

Happy Creating!


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Ruffled Sleeve Shirt

Ruffled Sleeve T-Shirt

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I love to do anything creative and enjoy learning new things. Once I know how, I also love to teach it to others. Homemade by Cheryl, teaching homemade one project at a time! Have fun learning!

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