Theodor pattern hack – Adding mini ruffles to the sleeve.

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

This is a tutorial showing how to add mini ruffles through the sleeve of the Theodor sweatshirt pattern. It would also work on the Lynn sweatshirt or any other raglan sleeve style too. You can play around with the size, amount and placement of the ruffles for different effects.

For this version I made the garment and ruffles in cotton/elastane French terry.

How to make:

Start by retracing the sleeve pattern so you can divide the pattern where you want to add the mini ruffles.

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

  1. Using the grainline to make right angles, draw two horizontal lines across the top of the sleeve. You can make the spacing even or uneven and for as few or as many ruffles as you like. Its worth considering the size you are making and the depth of ruffle you want to add. I chose to insert the ruffles over the shoulder area only. I added three rows evenly spaced, using the neckline as the top row. Starting 4cm above the underarm point on an age 10 year old size. I used a ruffle depth of 4cm which finished 3cm once sewn in.
  2. You can either re-draw the pattern adding a seam allowance or simply mark the seam allowance on when you cut your fabric as shown above.

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

3. Cut strips across the width of the fabric to use for the mini ruffles. The strips needs to be 1cm (seam allowance) wider than the finished depth you want. At this stage cut several strips that you can cut down to size later. I cut strips across the full width of the fabric.

Neaten one long edge, the nicest finish for this is to use the rolled hem feature if you have an overlocker. If you don’t have an overlocker using a narrow close zig zag stitch on the very edge also works. Its worth testing out the finish on a piece of scrap first.

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

4. Cut the strips to length, I made my strips twice the length of each seam I was applying them to.

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

5. Gather each strip. If you have an overlocker the neatest quickest way to do this is to increase your overlock stitch length and turn the differential feed to 2 or the maximum it will go to.

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

Overlock the edge and you will find it gathers slightly (more if you are using a lighter weight fabric), you can then pull the two needle threads to adjust the gathers. If you are using a regular sewing machine you can sew two rows of long length stitches and gently pull to gather.

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

6. Gather each strip to fit the seam it is intended for.

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

7. Pin the gathered ruffle in place on the panel and stitch.

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

8. Place the next panel right sides together with the first panel, sandwiching the ruffle in the middle. I like to machine stitch this with a shallow zig zag stitch so that I ensure I have caught all the gathers in. Then neaten with the overlocker or a second row of zig zag stitching.

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

9. Repeat with the remaining ruffles.

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

10. Once all ruffles are applied you can carry on and make the Theodor sweatshirt as described in the instructions.

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

Theodor pattern hack from Bobbins and Buttons

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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