Apr 6, 2011

The Pleated Ruffle Tank Top

I am a far stretch from a professional seamstress.
Sometimes, I feel a little silly making these sewing tutorials because I know my sewing skills are not always up to par.  That being said, I really enjoy sewing most of the time, and I love coming up with stuff for my little girl.  I've had an idea for a little tank top I wanted to sew for her and when I went to the thrift store the other day, there just so happened to be the exact fabric I'd envisioned for this tank top.  And there was just enough too.  It was meant to be!

Hopefully between words and pictures I make enough sense that this top is re-creatable!  I'll do my best, but if I'm unclear, please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments section below and I'll do my best to answer them for you.  

Okay, so let's get started!  My fabric wasn't a large square of fabric, but actually it was a tube of fabric.  I just flipped it inside out and laid it out on my table.  If you're using a standard square of fabric, just fold it in half and you'll be good to go.  I then folded my fabric over about 8 inches.

 It's hard to see here, but using pins I marked a basic a-line shape on my fabric.  About 6 inches across at the top, and slowly getting wider towards the bottom, measuring 8 inches.  I started making the top about 16 inches long, but that turned out to be far too long and I shortened it to 14 inches.

Cut out your a-line shape and unfold.  Pin it in place along the sides and sew.  

I cut three 2 inch wide sections from my tube of fabric.  Because my fabric was already a tube, I got three circles, but your lengths don't need to be circular for this to turn out beautifully.

To create the "pleated ruffle" look, fold your 2" strip in half so it is 1" wide, and pin it to one of the side seams of your top.  If you're working with a circle of fabric like I was, pin the circle to one of your side seams, then find the middle of the circle and pin it to the other side seams so you have an even amount to work with on each side.

Slowly pin the strip of fabric to the bodice of the top, folding and arranging it as you go.  There isn't much method here.  I wanted an unstructured effect and I'm pleased with how mine turned out.  Play around with it until it sits the way you'd like it to.

Setting your presser foot in the middle of your pleated ruffle, sew the extra fabric down.  Be sure to take your time while sewing over the pleats and ruffles, if you work too quickly they'll bunch up while you're sewing. 

To cinch in the top a little bit, I sewed a 4" section of elastic to the back of the top.  This will be covered by another strip of pleated ruffles.

Next I added the straps.  Using my second 2" wide section that I cut earlier, I pleated and pinned it as I pleased and sewed it in place.  I tried the top on my daughter and pinned the straps in place.  Sew the straps down. 

I chose to have my straps form a V shape in the back.  I didn't even bother cutting my strip of fabric, but just pinned the long pleated strip into formation and sewed it down.

Lastly, take the last 2" wide section, fold it in half so it is 1" wide and pin it around the neckline of the top, folding it as you go.  Sew it down as you did the strip around the hemline.  And, voila!  You have now completed the sweetest little pleated ruffle tank top for your little lady to look adorable in all summer long!

 Again, as soon as the camera comes up, the crazy smile comes out...we'll get it yet!
And a quick shot of the back, I really like how the straps come together!

 That's all from me for today, thanks for coming by!  

Be blessed,

I'll be linking up to:

Friday Flair at Whipperberry
Tea Rose Home
Be Different...Act Normal
Sundae Scoop at I Heart Naptime
Tutorials & Tips Tuesday at The Story of A to Z
Sunday Link-Up at Petite Hermine
Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Design


Marilyn said...

Jen - she's sooo darn adorable. I love it.. :)) Such a lil cutie pie & the top is wonderful :) - I'm going to try this for Sia sometime for the summer : ) ) Lovely tutorial.

Brian and Melissa Degelder said...

that is SO cute! I'm going to have to try this too... but I just don't know if I have the skills...

Jen said...

Puh-leeze Melissa! This is totally doable! I've seen your crafty skills, you can SO do this!

Jen said...

Thank you Marilyn! If you make one be sure to show off some pics of your sweet Sia!

The Tall Chick {Mary} said...

That is stinkin' adorable!! I am sooo not brave enough to try that one yet. Maybe someday... For now, I'm just trying to get up the courage to do some straight stitches for drapes!

h. rae said...

It's so cute! And so is your little model! I don't sew much. I do rag quilts, but know nothing else.

Renee said...

Turned out SO great Jen! Would love to make little matching ones for the girlies... but... umm... we'll see! :)

Jen said...

Thank you h.rae, my little lady isn't the most cooperative of models, but she certainly is cute enough! And Renee, yes you can! I'll help you out if you'd like, but this would be a snap for you!

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

this is SOOOO adorable! i love it!!

I'd love for you to link this up to my new link party, Your Whims Wednesday! http://mygirlishwhims.blogspot.com/2011/04/your-whims-wednesday-1.html

Janelle said...

The image of the little model caught my eye at Tea Rose Home's link party. So adorable! :)

Jessica at Me Sew Crazy said...

this is adorable! Love the ruffles, and fabric you used! Cutie patootie :)

Ayne said...

Love the fabric you chose!! Great job once again Jen!

Janet said...

LOVE this! So, so cute!! :)


Jen said...

I thank each of you! I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out!

Jenn said...

Oh my goodness. How in the world did you ever come up with this? What a beautiful little model you have there.

Yolanda @ Miss Refashionista said...

Nice!! I love the top and your tiny model makes it 3 times better!! :)

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

Hey! I featured this on my blog today :) Come grab a button! http://mygirlishwhims.blogspot.com/2011/04/your-whims-wednesday-2-and-features.html

Danielle said...

Seriously I have seen this tank top before during a blog hop a while ago. I love this one. It is too cute! I want to make it in my size:>

Micheal Jim said...

This is such a adorable post. I would love to make this for my daughter. Thank you so so much.