by | Op Shop Lookbook

Ruffles are really having a fashion moment right now, so if you want to work them into your wardrobe without breaking the bank, Unmaterial Girl, Leah, has got the DIY down!

A few weeks ago I was flicking the latest Marie Claire when an amazing $440 ruffle shirt by Sportmax caught my eye and stole my heart. Only problem is, I don’t splash that kind of cash around on one garment…pretty sure my ENTIRE wardrobe is worth that!

So I hit up slow-fashion designer and thrifting compadre, Leah, who in one crafternoon turned this men’s shirt I thrifted for $2.50 at Windsor Rd thrift shop into a ruffle reality! Talk about some cheap frills!

If you’re feeling like ruffling some fashion-feathers and have moderate sewing skills, then this DIY is for you…

What you need:
Thrifted shirt
Sewing machine
Cotton that matches your fabric
Calico for a test ruffle (optional)

How to:
1. Find the shirt…look for slim fit men’s shirts that are quite long, so there’s plenty of leeway for trimming a ruffle piece off the bottom.
2. Figure out how wide you want the ruffle to be/where to cut the base of the shirt and then use a pin/pencil to mark where to cut it off. Don’t make the ruffle piece too wide as it will droop unless it’s a very tough cotton.
3. Cut the base of the shirt off. If the hem is curved be sure to cut it so it’s an equal width all the way along.

4. Wide stitch (gathering stitch) as close to the edge of the piece you’ve just cut as possible as you don’t want it to show when you flip the fabric back over. Make sure you don’t back tack (double back/reverse) like you normally would when sewing a hem as you want to be able to pull the thread out at the end.

5. Tie the two threads together at one end and then gather it for a ruffle by scrunching the fabric up along the thread, just make sure it’s an even ruffle by spacing it out on the ground.

6. Take the ruffle piece and place it against the middle of the shirt seam (placket) and line it up to start just over the shoulder seam under the collar.

7. Pin the ruffle wrong side up against the centre opening, and then put the shirt on a coat hanger and button it up to make sure the ruffle is sitting evenly all the way along and looks right.

8. Straight stitch it on slowly so you stay on track!

9. Unpick the gathering stitch knot at the bottom of the ruffle piece once attached to the shirt and pull it out.
10. Hem the base of the shirt where it’s been cut.
11. Iron it and try it on…if the ruffles seem a bit droopy from the weight of the fabric get someone you trust to pop in a few hand stitches to hold it in position (and don’t move while they do it! Haha)

12. Wear said shirt proudly knowing you saved over $400!

Big thanks to Leah of Unmaterial Girl for working her magic with this DIY! Make sure you check out her Insta for more inspo.

Photos: Leah Musch of Unmaterial Girl