January 14, 2015

101 Comments

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Ruffled Tank Top

Here's another fun twist on a basic tank -- add ruffles!

GIVEAWAY UPDATE: Thanks everybody for entering! Our winner is Sharon, who said, "Ruffles. I would add sequins also for some bling!" Can't argue with that one, Sharon! We'll be in touch via email soon.

This is really easy to do. All you need is a tank top, some knit fabric in a matching color, and (if you are feeling fancy!) some sparkly beads or crystals.

Step 1: cut the knit fabric into strips 5/8" wide. For this design, you'll need five strips: one that's 4 1/2" long, two 7" long, and two 9 1/2" long.

Then, use your sewing machine to run long basting stitches down the middle of each strip. Gently pull up on one of the threads to gather each strip, until each strip is half its original length.

Pin the shortest strip onto the tank, right down the center. You can use a ruler to keep from pinning the tank to itself :) 

Sew the ruffle down, right on top of the basting stitches. Trim off any extra threads.

Keep gathering, pinning, and sewing strips, working out from the middle. The two mid-length strips should go on either side of the center ruffle, and the two longest ones should go on the outside.

When you're done with the strips, you could also sew on a few beads or crystals for a little extra sparkle.

Then, go have fun styling your new tank into your doll's wardrobe!

Giveaway closed -- thanks to everybody who entered!

Have fun with this tutorial!

For Pixie Faire,
Melinda


100 Comments

Irene
Irene

January 18, 2015

Thinking this would be cute with gathered or pleated ribbons as well. Cute idea!

Donna Deters
Donna Deters

January 18, 2015

I like pleats and gathers. My favorite color is blue. I sew with blue material

Bev
Bev

January 17, 2015

I like the gathers , you can make the cutest little summer sun dresses and skirts.
Thank you for asking me.

Beaj
Beaj

January 17, 2015

Gathers as they are easier to work with on smaller articles..

Liz Webster
Liz Webster

January 17, 2015

Gathers for me, really easy!

Norma
Norma

January 16, 2015

I love pleats the best because they carry a more polished look as far as I am concerned. To me a pleat holds a beat of class. Perhaps pleats match my character the most because they are straight forward and that is just like me.

Marilyn
Marilyn

January 16, 2015

I like the look of pleats better than gathers, but gathers are easier to make than pleats.

kerri
kerri

January 16, 2015

I like gathers better because they are so easy peasy to do!

Lori Morton
Lori Morton

January 16, 2015

Would rather do Gathers. Pleats are harder for me…but I keep working til I get them right! LOL

Beth
Beth

January 16, 2015

gathers as they are easier and quicker

Karen
Karen

January 16, 2015

Both gathers and pleats .

Jo
Jo

January 16, 2015

I like gathers better because they are easier to do and also can use in so many ways.

Thresea Wright
Thresea Wright

January 16, 2015

pleats have a more sophiscated look.

Thresea Wright
Thresea Wright

January 16, 2015

pleats have a more sophiscated look.

Linda
Linda

January 16, 2015

Cute Ruffles

Natalie
Natalie

January 16, 2015

I personally like to use gathers because they are so simple.I recently learned this cool technique where you can use dental floss to gather!

sharon
sharon

January 16, 2015

i love gathers because they can be big, small ,lots or a few, they lend themselves to everything

Maryann
Maryann

January 16, 2015

Pleats are my personal favorite. I think they make any outfit more dressy.

Sheila C
Sheila C

January 16, 2015

I love making gathers and enjoy spacing them out kind of like pleats but have never officially done pleats.

Rachel K.
Rachel K.

January 16, 2015

I’ve never tried pleats. I’ve done items with gathers a couple/few times, and they turn out okay for the most part, but it’s not my favorite. I must admit though, sleeves with gathers in them dress up a shirt nicely. :)

Diane
Diane

January 16, 2015

I like pleats. As a matter of fact I am trying to create some simple crocheted skirts using both the knife pleat and box pleat.

Jo
Jo

January 16, 2015

I like the look of both pleats and gathers. Which one I use depends on the outfit and look I want. I’ve made t-tops using this same method. Just place one strip of ruffles, a third of the way down the middle of the shirt. and added buttons on top of the ruffle.

Kathy Westwood
Kathy Westwood

January 16, 2015

I like both pleats and gathers. Pleats are definitely more formal and gathers are less fussy. They seem more fun. Both are easy to do.

Ashley A.
Ashley A.

January 16, 2015

Do you like pleats or gathers better? Why?

Pleats because no matter how I try, my ruffles never seem to evenly distribute.

Mary Margaret Petty
Mary Margaret Petty

January 16, 2015

Do you like pleats or gathers better? Why?
I like to use rufflers! I have one for each of my machines. The thing I like about the about the rufflers is the consistancy of the pleats. You set it and off ya go! :o) I also do gathers when doing, say a Prairie skirt, because the consistancy in the appearance is not needed for that style, but actually prefer the pleats JMHO Also I have used my rufflers to make flowers to add as trim to jackets and they came out really cool. I am sort of a gadget geek – love to play with those darn things lol! Thanks for the interesting question & contest!

Cindi
Cindi

January 16, 2015

Do you like pleats or gathers better? Why?
I like them both. I think gathers give a more fun, spontaneous look. While pleats give a more put together look. Both are easy to do.

Gayle S
Gayle S

January 16, 2015

I prefer gathers over pleats. Gathering is easier and seems less formal. Pleats are too structured for my taste.

Mary Jane
Mary Jane

January 16, 2015

Ruffles are fluffy and bouncy—fun! Pleats are formal—clothing with pleats look cute too. When I’m sewing “everyday clothing” I love the look of ruffling at the hem of a skirt or tee. When I sew something “dressy” it has to have pleats—especially at neckline and sleeve edge! Both are my favorites!!!

shelly
shelly

January 16, 2015

I like gathers because they are easy to do. Pleats are cool but a lot of measurements are required. I like to finish my projects faster because I get excited to see the end results!

Judy Clavel
Judy Clavel

January 16, 2015

I love both pleats and ruffles, and it depends on the style of the item that I’m working on. If it’s a skirt and sweater outfit, I’m sure to use pleats. A party dress begs for ruffles!

Nancy M
Nancy M

January 16, 2015

Gathers-they’re easier and I like the look more than pleats.

Glenda
Glenda

January 16, 2015

Both – they each provide a different look.

Emma Wyatt
Emma Wyatt

January 16, 2015

I think i like gathers better because they are easier to make. its so easy to gather rather than measure,pleats.

Andrea
Andrea

January 16, 2015

I can handle gathers, but am intimidated by the pleats. Plus I love the fun and casualness of the gathers!

 Barb M.
Barb M.

January 16, 2015

I have always loved gathers and ruffles. They’re easier to do and easier to maintain. But mainly I think this comes from the fact that my mom sewed much of my clothing when I was a girl in the 50’s and more times than not, I was in pleats! With all those pleated skirts, dresses, coats (and the Shirley Temple curls because my hair is naturally wavy)—I prefer gathers!

janet S
janet S

January 16, 2015

I love pleats and gathers. A full skirt or full sleeve cap look great to me!

margaret
margaret

January 16, 2015

Either can dress up a garment. If you have a ruffle attachment it will do either – just cut a strip . use the attachment and cut to desired length after making ruffle or pleats.

Gillian Fisher
Gillian Fisher

January 16, 2015

I love ruffles better because they are easy to do and the result is fun and casual.

Penny Calhoun
Penny Calhoun

January 16, 2015

Gathers! So sweet and easy to do!

Shirley
Shirley

January 16, 2015

I love pleats

Karen
Karen

January 16, 2015

Gathers if your in more of a hurry to get the project done and they can be so feminine. Pleats
if you have a bit more time and maybe a bit more patients if you want them to turn out perfect.
both can be beautiful. Love all your patterns, ThankYou

mary ann
mary ann

January 16, 2015

Like the look of pleats better, but gathers are so much easier.

Bea
Bea

January 16, 2015

I prefer pleats – they stay better and can give definition to an article. They are harder to do, but will stay without a fuss.Gathers are sometimes had to get evenly spaced. When sewing, gathers can get tucked-up and sewn in the seam. Pleats for me!!!!!!

nancy inIN
nancy inIN

January 16, 2015

I love ruffles as they are softer

Suzan
Suzan

January 16, 2015

I love gathers because they’re so pretty and simple to do.

Judy
Judy

January 16, 2015

I like pleats. They look more professional and sleek.

Aunt Nancy
Aunt Nancy

January 16, 2015

I prefer pleats because so many of the rtw doll clothes use gathers and one of the many reasons to sew is to produce something unique. Plus if you play around with that old ruffler you’ll find that it makes pleats also. Tucks are another favorite for the same reason.

Diane
Diane

January 16, 2015

Truly depends on the garments. Both are appropriate at the right time.

Jean
Jean

January 16, 2015

Personally I woulprobably wimp out and go for gathers because of ease. I should probably push myself and perfect pleats.

Lynda Whittemore
Lynda Whittemore

January 16, 2015

I like them both equally depending on what I am doing. Pleats are more tailored but ruffles are more fun. Ruffles are also easier to sew and don’t require specialty feet or tools.

Darlene
Darlene

January 16, 2015

I do like pleats with the right pattern and fabric but gathers are so girly and cute. So both are winners.

Sandra
Sandra

January 16, 2015

I like gathers as they are much easier to fit to the doll, and there is more scope for the amount of fabric that can be used.

Amy
Amy

January 16, 2015

I like the look of pleats, but don’t ask me to make them! Gathers are so much easier to put in, so they’re my favorite! Does that mean I’m lazy? :o)

Margaret
Margaret

January 16, 2015

I like gathers for a sweet soft look for American Girl. I also love to learn from your tutorials!

Dawn
Dawn

January 16, 2015

I prefer the classic look and lines, so I would go for the pleats.

shirley
shirley

January 16, 2015

Depending upon what outfit I am sewing this with. I prefer pleats for a more formal look and gathers for an everyday look.

Lynne Marie
Lynne Marie

January 16, 2015

Gathers — they are more ruffley :)

Betty
Betty

January 16, 2015

Gathers are more frilly – and easier than pleats.

Gail
Gail

January 16, 2015

I prefer gathers as embellishments.

Judith
Judith

January 16, 2015

There is nothing finer than gathers to make an outfit more beautiful!

Barbara
Barbara

January 16, 2015

I prefer gathers. I think they are easier to sew and fun to wear. I like to add a little chiffon ruffle on the bottom of a sweatshirt or sweater.

Bethany
Bethany

January 16, 2015

I like gathers better. They are easier to do plus they look very sweet.

Chris
Chris

January 16, 2015

I prefer pleats, too — but it depends on the style of the garment. Pleats are classic. Ruffles are sweet, but they are a bit fussy. Styles today for kids and teens seem to shy away from ruffles anyway — a pleated skirt or a jacket with a pleat in the back= tres chic!

Jo
Jo

January 16, 2015

Since I prefer the classic look, I would go with pleats.

Lesley from NE
Lesley from NE

January 16, 2015

I don’t have a lot of experience with pleats, but I do have a vintage ruffler and it is so fun to use. For that reason, I pick……ruffles!!!! =)

Marian
Marian

January 16, 2015

I love pleats but gathers make a garment more feminine. Since I sew largely for American Girl dolls I love the girly quality. I have to admit however that school girl look of a little pleated skirt is adorable.

Sophie T
Sophie T

January 16, 2015

I always find ruffles time consuming (I made your Picture Day skirt yesterday!), so I think I prefer pleats. However, for the look, I really do like gathers!

Joan D.
Joan D.

January 16, 2015

My vote would be for pleats. I like the looks of them.

JR FrugalMom
JR FrugalMom

January 16, 2015

I like both, but if I’d have to choose I’d probably have to say that I’d go with gathers, because gathers are a sure way to girly up any outfit.

Sharon
Sharon

January 16, 2015

Ruffles. I would add sequins also for some bling!

Bev
Bev

January 16, 2015

Yes, pleats or gathers dress up an outfit and make clothing more classy Instead of the casual look, so it depends on how I feel or the occasion as to whether or not I wear pleats and gathers.

Marlene
Marlene

January 16, 2015

Love the ruffles with the beading to accent!

Pat
Pat

January 16, 2015

Oh,my. It’s like asking a mom which child is her favorite. I love them both. But I honestly think I shy away from ruffles because they appear to be so bothersome. The way you show us is so easy. Why didn’t I think of that???

Kemba
Kemba

January 16, 2015

I like gathers best. I’m still somewhat of a beginner and gathers are easier for me, and allows a little more room for error. I like the look of pleats, but I haven’t quite mastered them yet.

Michele
Michele

January 16, 2015

I love pleats for a more sophisticated look and ruffles for a more relaxed look.

Brenda
Brenda

January 16, 2015

Sorry but I can’t love one more than the other. Both have their place.

sylvia
sylvia

January 16, 2015

I like gathers on a top like this, but really love the way the pleated skirt turned out from your pattern. I just used some red/black/white tartan that I had left over from when I made draw curtains for our 1970’s VW bus. I told my 7 years old granddaughter that this material was an herloom…from 45 years ago!

Natalie
Natalie

January 16, 2015

Ruffles- pleats are far too structured for me. Ruffles are free-er and more relaxed- like me!

Marie
Marie

January 16, 2015

Can I remain neutral? Ruffles are indispensable for adding feminine flounce to a design, while pleats add refinement and elegance. Both are fabulous, and I love them in equal amounts!

Joy
Joy

January 15, 2015

Pleats- they always give a garment a classy touch!

Edna Robinson
Edna Robinson

January 15, 2015

I like the gathers because they are so neat and you can make them full or not as full ,depending on what you are making.

Candice Lacy
Candice Lacy

January 15, 2015

i like to see gathers best because they turn out so nice with way less effort than pleats. Although, it is really hard to beat the look of a crisply pleated school skirt. So I guess gathers wins, but only by a tiny margin!

Anna Mae
Anna Mae

January 15, 2015

Love them both — either elegant or fun.

Carrie
Carrie

January 15, 2015

gathers, simply because they are fun to scrunch up :)

Linda
Linda

January 15, 2015

Hi, I like gathers seems more feminine!

Cara D
Cara D

January 15, 2015

I prefer pleats, for looks! Gathers or ruffles are fussy and not as elegant, generally speaking. But, they are much easier to sew.

Judy
Judy

January 15, 2015

I prefer ruffles – they’re more feminine and I find pleats are more formal..

Judy
Judy

January 15, 2015

I prefer ruffles – they’re more feminine.

Rose Marie Andreozzi
Rose Marie Andreozzi

January 15, 2015

I like the look of pleats better but ruffles are easier to do!

elaine laws
elaine laws

January 15, 2015

I gathers because I love ruffles!

Sharon
Sharon

January 15, 2015

I prefer pleats for a more formal attire. Gathers work great for a casual look. For future care of the outfit, ironing pleats can be a challenge; whereas, care for gathered outfits is a breeze.

Andrée B.
Andrée B.

January 15, 2015

Gathers are easier, but I like pleats.

Tabitha
Tabitha

January 15, 2015

I think gathering is easier to sew. Pleats take a bit more time, but the results of each are great.

Crystal D
Crystal D

January 15, 2015

Pleats … I prefer symmetry

Marge R (mer)
Marge R (mer)

January 15, 2015

Interesting question. I guess I’d have to say gathers for their versatility & flounce, but pleats are also versatile depending on their width & fabric choice. Makes me want to go sew a pleated 18" doll skirt right now! ;)

Denise
Denise

January 15, 2015

I prefer gathering – it far more forgiving! ;-)

Nicole
Nicole

January 15, 2015

I like gathering, I find it easier to sew.

Kara
Kara

January 15, 2015

I can’t believe I would have to chose, I like gathers for ease of sewing and poofyness but nothing looks more professional and says “they took the time” than pleats.

Danielle
Danielle

January 15, 2015

I like gathers on skirts because then the skirt puffs out! ;P

Sheila
Sheila

January 15, 2015

I love pleats because there are so many different looks depending on the type of pleat used.

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