Friday, January 22, 2010

T-Shirt Ruffle Scarf Tutorial

* All proceeds from pattern orders in the shop this week will be donated to Haiti Relief!*
Raid your husband's side of the closet,
grab that bag destined for Goodwill,
sift through the box marked "Too Small" in your closet
(let's face it, after two kids and more birthday cake than you'd like to admit, they will never fit again)
You're about to turn a t-shirt that is too small,
too old,
too stained,
or just too darn ugly,
into something fantastic.
Something that will fit no matter how many chocolate chip cookies you ate for breakfast.

What you need:
adult t-shirt at least size M with 8-10 inches of solid below any images
matching thread

I discovered this little gem in a bag of kids clothing that was Freecycled to me.Adult Size M.
Why anyone ever got rid of it, I will never understand.
Thankfully, when my project is complete, there will be one less Liger shirt in the world.
You're welcome.

Measure out 8-10 inches below the image on your t-shirt and cut.
If you'd like to get fancy and use a rotary cutting and mat, be my guest, but it is not necessary.
Cut off the bottom seam of the shirt as well.
It's just ugly.
You should have a big long tube.
Cut it in half so that you have two long tubes.
Open them both up and cut one side of the each tube so that you have two long skinny pieces of t-shirt.
Now put the two strips right sides together and sew the short ends on ONE side together to make one very long strip of fabric.

Before we move on to the 5 minutes of sewing that this project requires, let me tell you a thing or two about knit fabrics.
Raw edges are okay because knit doesn't fray.
Knit ruffles VERY easily.
So, we won't be creating hems or pulling on a basting stitch.
Hooray.

Instead we will be messing with the stitch length and tension on your machine.
Every sewing machine is different, so you may want to practice on some scrap knit
(cut off the t-shirt sleeves or something).
On my machine, I changed the tension to 9 and made the stitch length as long as possible.
But yours may be different.
You'll know you have the right settings when your knit fabric goes in flat on one side of your needle and comes out ruffled on the other.
Like so:Once you have adjusted your machine settings, you want to take that long strip of fabric and fold the end in thirds. Place a pin where each third is divided.Begin sewing where the pin was placed to divide into thirds.
Sew all the way down the long strip, ruffling all the way.Starting at the other pin, stitch all the way down the strip of fabric.We want the scarf to be extra ruffly so that when we take the basting stitch out at the end, the ruffle will remain. So, using the basting stitch, stitch over both seams that you just made.
Extra ruffles.

Now you need to adjust all of your settings back to normal.
Make sure you change the tension AND the stitch length.
With a regular stitch, go back over the basting stitches that you sewed. You only need to do this once on each side.
Remove the basting stitches with a seam ripper.

And you're done!
What once was an awful castaway is now a ruffle scarf perfect for pairing with your favorite coat!***Reminder: All proceeds from pattern orders in the shop this week will be donated to Haiti Relief!***

58 comments:

hillari said...

Wow, that is so cute! I'm quite tempted to make one, even though I've never worn a scarf in my life! Very cute idea.

Baldwin's in Utah said...

Wow! You just impressed me even more. When you started talking about the sewing part and used words like basting stitch and machine tension- I'll admit my eyes glazed over and it was like listening to my husband talk about car turbos and things. But you did impress me and I may have to look at my ancient ghetto jeans machine and see if it has a tension setting. :)

Thanks for the awesome free tutorial!!!!

Holly said...

Great tutorial, can't wait to try it!

Veronica said...

This is quite neat. Very simple now I need a machine. It is on my wish list. Very easy first sewing project. Thanks

Carol said...

I've been really lovin scarves this winter, so I am soo making one of these! I love to sew, but I've had trouble trying to find a basting stitch on my sewing machine, which is almost the same one you have! I got mine to do a basting stitch, but I had to pull the bobbin thread to get it to ruffle. I couldn't set mine on the 2 that you had, it changed the other settings, so I just left it, but this is the first time I've ever gotten my machine to do anything close to a basting stitch! So THANK YOU! Stop by and visit me sometime, I live in Utah too!
http://songberries.blogspot.com
I'm going to follow you cause I love your ideas!

FamilyKolbaba said...

I'm sorry, all I could think about while reading this post is how you created a cropped liger belly-shirt. Shame on you. Hopefully you have a fireplace in your new home to take care of that, leaving no evidence behind. (Unless you have Zak wear it for a quick photo shoot. It wouldn't be the worst photos we've seen of him, anyway).

The Enchanted Mirror Shoppe said...

I absolutely love this! It is great to take old, vintage, or unwanted items and make them ROCK A LITTLE!

Thanks for the tutorial :)

Barbara

Katherine said...

boy do i love you for posting this. found you through u create. thanks for sharing!

Lena said...

thanks! I don't know if I could destroy a Napoleon Dynamite relic though ;)

bethany said...

Lena-
It needed to be done. Believe me :)

Sandi Keene said...

Wonderfully creative!

Julie said...

That is fabulous! I just love it! Thanks for sharing!

Melissa said...

So cute and easy. I never wear scarves since I feel like they are gonna choke me. But I love it.

casserole said...

Very pretty! LOVIN' the yellow!!

I blogged your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-t-shirt-ruffle-scarf/2010/01/23/

--Anne

Sew Much Ado said...

Cute! I just made a ruffle scarf tutorial too using jersey knit, so I was excited to see your's. It's adorable, I want to make one now!

j&krosser said...

I can't believe you cut up a perfectly good Liger shirt. I am so disappionted.

Jaden

bethany said...

Zak would totally agree Jaden. He was so upset when he saw it-then he saw that I'd turned it into an awesome crop top with a fully intact Liger graphic and he was happy again.

PS-You may see this Liger in the near future. Watch out.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Wanted to make this very thing but never thought about using an old tee. And here I already went and bought fabric.....

Plookiss said...

That is such a pretty idea, so cute.

The Ibarra's said...

Love the scarf. You always have such good ideas. Another project added to my list. Also I like your clipboard idea for goals I need to do that.

Lisa & Gerald said...

wow beautiful...Looks easy to make..love it..

Jenn said...

Love it! thanks for sharing!

e_donaldson said...

This is so awesome and chic! Thanks for sharing your tutorial!

- Elizabeth
Owner (www.missimagination.com)

Natalia said...

This is darling!! I am going to link it on my blog http://sewwhattoday.blogspot.com

ickeshuchfamily said...

This was great. I made it that night and posted a link to your site.

Love It!

Annette, Kent, Signe & Anni said...

Just made this. Turned out adorable. An FYI for others - on my very old White Machine, I had to adjust the pressure of the presser foot too. Otherwise I wasn't getting a ruffle.

pcrusberg said...

Really great tutorial. Maybe the Liger will turn up on your quilt. Ligers can be tricky that way.

Brenn said...

I love this!! I have a question for you though: when I ruffle it, then take the basting stitch down the ruffle, it flattens out my ruffle! :( Suggestions?

Kristie said...

Hi there! I am doing a post about some of my favorite tutorials on my to-do list, and was wondering if I could include yours? I woudl post a picture of the scraft and a link back to your site. Please let me know if you have any objection! And thanks for the great tutorial!

If you would like to take a peek at my blog, it is at:
www.ocd-obsessivecraftingdisorder.blogspot.com

allison @ itstoilegood.blogspot.com said...

love, love this! and soo appreciative that we are down one liger shirt in the world of logo shirts. going to have to play with this ruffling idea on my machine! Thanks for the ideas!

Melody said...

Amazing! And adorable. Now I desperately want a sewing machine.

Karlista said...

Oh my gosh! Let me just say I LOVE THIS! I'm looking at ideas on scarves, and yours is one of the cutest! I'm thinking about doing this with a twist of my own to it in the future! Just keep checking my blog updates to see at http://www.ezcrafts.karlista.com !

Thanks,
Karlista

david said...

oh these are beautiful, im really gonna try this one. maybe put some cartoon prints in the back of it?or polka dots and stripes. im sure the printing part will be easy, but im gonna practice now.

Sagar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wink said...

I wish I could figure this out. I have a singer 13016 and I can't get the adjustments right. I swear I've used up an entire spool of thread struggling with this. Can anyone tell me how to get my machine to gather???

wink said...

well, no worries. I've become so obsessed with the issue that I'm bidding on a ruffler foot on ebay.

Brandy said...

I made one of these in fleece. Very cuddly for the ice storm that we just had....now I need advice on how to get my daughter's hands off of it until I can make her one.

cool shirts said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mamma of 2 said...

Perfect! I will be making this for a little girl's birthday!

Alisa said...

Very simple now I need a machine. It is on my wish list. Very easy first sewing project.

Crazy Tees

Allison said...

Thanks for the tute! I made one and posted it on my blog with a link to your tutorial. http://vintagepollyanna.blogspot.com/2011/02/fun-ruffled-scarf-from-old-t-shirt.html

Jane Rainwater said...

This is wonderfully written, it sounds so easy. It is my policy to never sew (home economics trauma, eighth grade) but I just loved reading it. I am subscribing anyway.

Jane Rainwater said...

PS I found this through Vintage Pollyanna.
http://vintagepollyanna.blogspot.com/
by my friend Allison. She is inspiring us all.

Trina said...

Hoping you'll take the time to answer my question...

I love this idea but was wondering if the ruffling happens on new machines whose settings are changed? I have an old 1970's Singer and my handbook doesn't cover that. Will this work on any machine?

Thanks!

Less Is More said...

adorable. i am dying to learn to sew on a sewing machine!

aidam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
southernscraps said...

I've included this great scarf in a feature today. Grab a button if you like:

http://southernscraps.blogspot.com/2011/07/must-do-monday-scarves-7-diy-tutorials.html

Mandy said...

I love this! I have this exact machine, but I can't get it to work! What is your "normal" setting? Every time I try it, it pulls out the ruffles and looks like a straight stitch when I take out the basting stitch. I would really love to finish this project!

Lily said...

So cute! I see Christmas presents in the future! For me that is. I can't sew but my mom can ;) Thanks!

Lisa H. (Sewing or Something) said...

might just use me some elastic thread and it'll be even easier! :)

Sparkling said...

wait, did you use elastic thread or just regular poly/cotton? i love the idea, btu i'm perplexed about doing a seam, then doing a seam over it with a basting stitch and then doing a 3rd seam over the basting? i think i'm missing something....

Felicia said...

Thanks for posting this I just finished making one, and I love it. I am not great at sewing but this was very easy.

Anonymous said...

I dont see the answer about using elastic thread? That would solve all the troubles people are having about gathering because it automatically gathers?? Let us know before I trek to the store to buy some,,,,

Christy said...

I love this scarf, but I am confused about one thing. Did you sew over it 3 times? Or was the first stitch your basting stitch so you sewed over it twice? Could you please clarify on the stitches you used? Thanks!!

Puanani503 said...

Thanks for sharing! Just made mine out of a plaid pillowcase..took a couple of tries but I got it down! Caught this through Pinterest:)

Robin D said...

Thank you so much!!

Shan @ Design Gal said...

I just posted about this on my blog and linked back to you! :) Thanks for a great tutorial!

Helen B. @ Blue Eyed Beauty Blog said...

This is such a cute scarf! I am sharing this tutorial on my blog tomorrow where I am writing a post all about scarves!

Helen
Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

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