03 April 2010

How to Make a Ruffled Peasant Top

Here is a tutorial for this little shirt:
I strongly recommend buying a peasant top pattern. It's well worth the money as you can use it endlessly, lengthening it into a dress, tapering the sides, etc. and it is not terribly fitted so you can easily make it bigger or smaller. I've nearly worn out a Simplicity pattern For Dummies. My fellow Albertan Indietutes has a free pattern here as well as instructions which are likely similar to what I'm going to say below, but she's far more of a genius at constructing pattern pieces.

You will cut two sleeve pieces that look like this:

And a front and a back that each look like this:

Match up the curved seams and sew each sleeve in place to the front and the back with right sides together.

Here's the shirt so far:

With right sides together again, sew down the arm and body.

Either serge or zigzag the raw edges of both sleeves and the neckline, then clip the seam of the neckline so it will turn easily.

Turn the sleeves under and make a casing for an elastic. Do the same with the neckline. Don't panic that your neckline is about three times as big as your child's head. Cut a piece of elastic (about 15 inches for a size 4T) for the neck and insert it into the casing. You just made a peasant top!
For the ruffles, cut three or more strips in graduated lengths. If you have a serger, do a rolled hem on all edges. If you don't have a serger, you could use frayed edges.
Gather each strip to ruffle it.
Position the strips where you want them to lay then either pin them in place or mark with a ruler and pencil. Sew the strips on, leaving a flat spot at the bottom for a button.
Agonize over which buttons are your favorites...

Hmmm, I tried this combination but decided to look around for larger ones.
One last addition to this shirt is a contrasting hem. This was an after-thought when I realized my shirt was shorter than I wanted it to be.

This shirt was made with Ikea's Cecilia fabric ($2.99 a metre!). The shirt in my first photo was refashioned out of a man's size Large dress shirt with lots of fabric left over. If using a man's shirt, cut your sleeves from one of the shirt's sleeves. Lay your front and back pattern pieces over the side fold of the bodice of the men's shirt, avoiding the breast pocket.


Petite moi said...

These are really beautiful :o)

Posie Patchwork said...

Great work, you should be proud!! Love Posie

casserole said...

SO pretty!! The ruffles/buttons give a fresh, new look to a classic shirt style!

I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


Jennifer @ No Place Life Home said...

So cute! I can't wait to try it.

douglass said...

You really inspire me to sew more! Super cute top!

Sandi said...

Hi, for some reason I could not email you. Thanks for the color tissue. Am planning on dyeing eggs with the grandchildren today. Thanks again for your generosity.

Happy Easter.


saffiertje said...

What a cutie! I love this version of the Peasant top!!!! Thanx for sharing!!!!
love miranda

Attilio said...

oh how sweet. i think my little one is going to have a couple of these. with frills. without frills. with belt. without belt etc etc. thanks for sharing this...

Alexa said...

Thank you for an awesome tutorial, I jut have one (dumb) question. You say gather the strips for the ruffle. Do you just scrunch up the fabric or is there a trick to it?
I've been making cloth diapers for my girl and really want to branch out and make her some cute unique tops.
Thank you!

Bethany said...

This is super fantastic!! What a great design, I really love it :) So creative with the little buttons on the bottom

The Sewing Dork said...

Alexa, to make the ruffles, you gather the fabric (rather than just bunching it up) on your sewing machine. Just sew straight down the middle of the strip with a really wide stitch (don't go back and forth at the start and finish of your sewing). You then pull one of the threads to ruffle the strip of fabric.

Vegbee said...

oh, I love the the ruffles! They are beautiful shirts, very nice stuff!

ps, I so know about the agonizing over buttons thing. It's gotten so bad, I actually avoid the buttons :D

luvinthemommyhood said...

Lovely little top - perfect for spring! You're in the link luv roundup today, come by for a peek!

smurfing-time said...

Well done, good tute too :) I made peasant blouse once, but I really love the ruffles! They make the top more beautiful, thanks for sharing :)

UnusuallyYours said...