Thursday, March 18, 2010

Super Easy 5-Minute Ruffled Hem - TUTORIAL - Hand-Me-Down REHAB

Most of my sewing experience is with woven cotton fabrics, so I've always been a little wary of knits.  I especially don't like hemming them because it always seems to stretch funny or not lay the same way.  Then I had an breakthrough...and now I'm going to share it with you...

If it's going to stretch funny...then stretch it on purpose and get the Ruffled Hem! 
I don't know why it took me so long to think of it because quite a few of Firecracker's store bought shirts have them.  I just did it with the sleeves because I wanted the shirt to stay long, but you could also do it with the bottom hem.

Once I fixed up Firecracker's Hand-Me-Down Jeans, she needed a cute shirt to match.  Okay, she didn't need it, but there's a weird part of me that likes it when the laundry has a particular match.

I went back to our bag of hand-me-downs and found this shirt. 
It's a size 8, so the sleeves were too long.  I liked that the shirt part was long though, so it's less likely to show tummy, and although the green is not the same color as the green in the appliques, it complemented it more than I would have thought.

I wanted to try the ruffled hem.  I figured I'd go for a longer sleeve and that way if it didn't work out, I could cut them off again and just go for a shorter sleeve.  You can see Sweet Pea is trying to help me here.  You start by cutting off the sleeve to shorten it.  If you don't really want a shorter sleeve, you can just trim off the existing hem.
Then set your sewing machine at the largest zigzag possible...
And with as short a stitch as possible...
Then use your zigzag stitch to zigzag the edge of your sleeve WHILE stretching the fabric as it goes in.
And once you make it all the way around, you get this...
And your daughter is ready to go out and play...
And the tutorial for adding the applique will be coming soon is up if you're interested.  If you don't want to's not all that different from the directions for her pants
For another really cute variation on an easy ruffled hem, check out the tutorial on Until Wednesday calls for turnng a onesie into a girly ruffle shirt.
Have your own hand-me-downs, thrift store finds, or old clothes that need a REHAB?  Join in!  There are links for my other Hand-Me-Down REHAB's in the top right side of my blog and come back later this week for tutorials to make this cute 1st birthday Very Hungry Caterpillar Outfit.
Grab a button.  Share your own projects at our linky party here:

Hand-Me-Down Rehab

I'm linking to:



  1. Ruffles are always more fun than a straight hem! Especially if you're 5... And so much quicker/easier for mom to sew. Cute shirt makeover, Polly.

  2. I too am afraid of sewing knits but can't wait to try this! Thanks for the idea!!

    Sara @

  3. Wow-- that looks so easy-- thank you so much for sharing I've been trying to figure out a way to do this forever but figured I'd need a surger to do it! Looks great- thanks!

  4. i will defintely have to remember this,,

  5. Holy cow, that's cool! You're right though, many shirts have a hem like this and I never knew how to recreate it! Smart girl :)

  6. Totally changed a onesie to t-shirt using your idea and it is too cute! Check it out,

  7. Thank you for the tutorial! I used to to upcycle a t-shirt into a dress!

  8. thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou! This is EXACTLY what I was looking for!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you. I also love responding, so please make sure your Blogger account is set up for me to be able to see your email address or include your email address. I've had to stop accepting anonymous comments due to spam. If you don't have any other way to comment, you can always send an email.