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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ruffled Letters

I am doing something I have never done before. I am going to do a (very basic) tutorial. I have gotten so many ideas and tips from other blogs that I decided it is time that I give back to the blogging world instead of just take, take, take.

I just made the cutest outfits for Ella and Sara Wells and thought this would be the perfect idea to share as a tutorial. So here we go...
The Ruffled Letter Tutorial.

1. First you need to decide how big you want your letter to be. I used a piece of string to "lay out" the letter and then measured the string. Since you are going to ruffle the letter, You want to double the length of the final letter length. For Sara Wells, her "S" ended up being 7 inches so my fabric length was 14 inches.

2. Cut your strip of fabric. For Ella I used a 1 inch wide fabric strip which was a perfect size for a big girl. For Sara Wells I used 3/4 of an inch which worked out great for the onsie. I do not think it ended up being too big for a baby.

3. Edge the strip. (I accidentally deleted the picture for this step)
I thought it would be really cute to do a contrasting color for this fabric to make the letter pop!
Zig-Zag stitch all the way around the strip of fabric so that there will be no fraying. I used 4 stitch length and .75 stitch width. I would suggest practicing on a piece of fabric to see what would look best on your fabric.

4. Gather the strip of fabric.
Set you stitch length on the longest stitch length and sew a straight stitch down the center of the strip of fabric. Leave the stitch "open" (do not reverse stitch when beginning or ending) so that you can pull the bobbin thread. Pull the bobbin thread to gather the fabric to desired length. Again, a picture here would have been nice. Hopefully I will get better at doing this.

For gathering thread use a color thread that matches the fabric.

5. Pin the letter on t-shirt and sew in place with a straight stitch. Do not forget to change your stitch length back (I often forget this). On this shirt I decided to use thread that matched the fabric, but it could also be really cute with a contrasting thread!

And the finished product!

Sorry, I did not have the most cooperative models today, but I think you can get the idea.

I added ruffles across the bum of Sara Wells' onsie which I think is just so cute!!! Same principle. Measure how long the area is you want the ruffle. Double that. Cut your strip of fabric ( I did 1 inch wide strips). Gather. Pin. Sew. And poof, super cute baby outfit. Tops, 30 minutes! That is the kind of project I am after! The longest part was zig-zaging around all the strips. If you wanted to cut that step out you could always use pinking shears to cut out your strips and then you would not have to worry about fraying.

Doesn't get any cuter than that!


  1. WOW, so cute! I will definitely have to try this...a cute way to lively up any tshirt or dress!!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. So cute, Kim! Would be a perfect project for Baby Grace . . . though I don't think R and S would like a ruffled bootie :)

  3. VERY cute! this sounds very attainable. i'll file it away in case we have girls one day:)