Saturday, April 17, 2010
A How-to for J. Crew's Perfect-Fit Cascade Tee, although, as you'll see, a tank top works just as well. I got two tank tops in this ambiguous mushroom color from Old Navy's sale section for about $4 total. 'Thought they'd go alright with this blazer.
I think Adventures in Dressmaking, then sings my soul, and myself all did a similar how-to almost on the same day. It's interesting how differently they all came out.
Step 0: Materials
2 Tank tops (or one long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves cut off)
Needle + Thread
Step 1: Cut Along Seam of "Scrap Shirt" (or Sleeves)
Cut along the seam of the scrap shirt (or cut-off sleeves) to open the shirt up, like a piece of fabric.
Step 2: Cut Hems Off Scrap Shirt (or Sleeves)
Cut the hems off of the scrap shirt or sleeves. You don't want these to be incorporated into your ruffles.
Note to self: A shag carpet is not a good cutting surface. lol
Step 3: Cut Off Straps
Cut the straps off of the spare shirt. This just makes things easier.
Step 4: Cut Four or Five 2.5" Strips
Cut four or five 2.5" strips of fabric from the scrap shirt (or sleeves). Be sure to cut along the knit grain (on the shirt, that's typically top-to-bottom, NOT left-to-right).
Step 5: Pin the Strips to the Shirt
It may be helpful to draw where you want the strips onto the second shirt with a water-soluble pencil. Be sure to have the ruffles interleaved with each other. This particular shirt has asymmetrical ruffles, but do what you think looks best. Pin the ruffles in place.
You should pin the strips in place along the top of the strips, as shown. Be sure to pin ruffles/pleats randomly.
Step 6: Try the Ruffle Shirt On
Try the shirt on, with the pins still in it (be careful!). This will likely remove a bunch of pins, but just replace them when you take the shirt off.
Be sure that you like how the ruffles look pinned on, before you sew. I had to do some reworking of my ruffles after trying on.
Step 7: Sew at Each Pin
Rather than sew along the entire strips of ruffles, I chose to hand-sew only at the places where I pinned. This allows the fabric to continue to stretch without too much strain on my hand-stitches.
It also makes it so I don't have to use my street-sewing-machine which I'm currently arguing with. But you could potentially use a zig-zag stitch on your machine and sew across the tops of the strips. This would be more secure than my method.
See how there's only 4 or so stitches really close together, sporadically placed where the pins were, at the top of the strips? (See below)
Step 8: Continue Sewing/Knotting Until You're Done
This is what the inside of the shirt looks like. you can see where I experimented with some embroidery floss. Several knots placed semi-randomly about the fabric.
Continue sewing at the pin places (or even just knotting the fabric together), until you're convinced there isn't too much floppiness in the ruffles. You want to sew enough points so that the ruffles won't flop about too much.