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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
4. Cut the strips to length, I made my strips twice the length of each seam I was applying them to.
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.
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.
6. Gather each strip to fit the seam it is intended for.
7. Pin the gathered ruffle in place on the panel and stitch.
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.
9. Repeat with the remaining ruffles.
10. Once all ruffles are applied you can carry on and make the Theodor sweatshirt as described in the instructions.