Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Make this! A sweet little ruffle tank.

This weekend, my gal pal Heather was wearing this FABULOUS FABULOUS tank....


I think a NORMAL person would look at it, LOVE IT, perhaps ask where's its from so she could go BUY it. But {even though its not that pricey} I knew I could make something close to it for a lot less. Or. Ten of them. More of a good thing is just gooder, right?

 It. Is. A. DISEASE. Do you have it? Ok, good. Then make this!

ruffle tank tutorial- finished tank

This is such a simple reverse applique technique. I'd rate this as a great beginner project, although it definitely helps if you are comfortable sewing with knit. {I HATED KNIT 3 years ago! Was so scared of anything stretchy. But I encourage you to SPREAD YOUR WINGS AND FLY! Our mom's sewed with crapass tension hog machines that ate stretchy fabric for breakfast. They scared us away from stretch fabric like it had a disease. Technology has come a LONG way. Go for it!}

First, gather these together:
ruffle heart tank tutorial - supplies
1) ball point straight pins {sharp pins will make holes in your fab knit!}
2) matching thread. Don't be lazy. Change both bobbin and main thread to MATCH :)
3) ball point sewing machine needles {a sharp needle WILL.CAUSE.HOLES.}
4) marking pens and a measuring tape
5) a paper heart pattern to trace {I cut a few out before I found the size I thought looked best}
6) basting spray {optional, but makes your life so much easier}

ruffle heart tank tutorial - tank
7) a plain, unembellished tank top. Are you an overachiever? I suppose you could make your own tank. But, you do need to ask yourself, why do that when you can get tanks at Old Navy for so CHEAP?

ruffle heart tank tutorial - fabric 

8) A small piece of ruffle fabric as big as you want your heart. There are SO MANY CHOICES now! You can find it occasionally on ebay or etsy, too. I have some pieces left from the old store that I used, but for real? I can't wait to run out so I have an excuse to buy more. You also need a solid knit to back your ruffles, if you are using the ruffles that have sheer spacers and you don't feel like layering tanks OR giving the neighbors a cheap chest show. And if you do? I won't judge :)

Ok, all your supplies together and ready to go?

Step one.

Mark your tank for heart placement. I measured 3 inches down from the neckline, marked that (in blue) and then using that, measured from side seam to side seam (13 inches)then marked the center (at 6.5 inches- purple X) Place your heart pattern with the x in the 'v' of the heart and trace with a disappearing or water soluble tracing pen. {are your eyes crossed reading that?}

ruffle heart tank tutorial - step one

Step two.
Measure out a piece of ruffles fabric and another of knit {same size} to accommodate your heart pattern piece, with about an inch and a half on each side. {i didn't have any white knit *gasp* so I used a vanilla color - it was fine}

ruffle heart tank tutorial - step two

Step three.{optional}
I like to use basting spray AS MUCH AS IS POSSIBLE because this is some cool stuff. Washable spray FABRIC {temporary} glue! {why should quilters have all the fun?!} Baste-spray your ruffles to your knit. It will make your life so much easier! Ruffle knit is WONK-A-LICIOUS! A nice sturdy knit will help it behave.

ruffle heart tank tutorial - step three

Step four.
Turn your tank top inside out and pin your double layer of fabric --- ruffles side down --- to inside, front of tank top, making sure to cover heart shape in its entirety.

ruffle heart tank tutorial - step four

when you turn your tanktop right side out, it will look like this. Sew onto the top of the tank, right along your tracing line. Be careful not to hit a pin. Are you wearing safety goggles?

ruffle heart tank tutorial - step five

Step five.
Turn tanktop inside out and trim ruffles/knit to about 1/2, following heart shape you just sewed.

ruffle heart tank tutorial - step six

Step six.
Turn tank right side out and ever so carefully, make a hole with the point of your scissors JUST IN THE TANK TOP, not in the ruffles fabric. Once you make that hole, cut away the inside of the heart, leaving ruffles intact.

ruffle heart tank tutorial - step seven

I trim several times, a bit at a time until I get it just right.

ruffle heart tank tutorial - step seven02

ruffle tank tutorial- finished tank02


  1. I need more of this disease so I don't spend 17 bucks on a tank top.
    Did you use a serger or could I get away with a regular or zig zag stitch?

  2. Oh you did a FAB job! I am super impressed you own not only a water soluable marking pen but PINS!!! Even better YOU ARE USING THEM - GO JEN!

  3. Heather - you don't need a serger. Lmk if you need pieces of ruffles :)
    Wendy - thanks!

  4. Awesome, awesome post!! Love you before and can't wait to see and here more.

  5. Ugh, Melissa92, I just accidentally deleted your comment. SORRY :( Total slip of the fat finger. D'oh!

  6. Cuuuuuuute! And I totally do the same thing! I look at things and think, "I could make that."

    Basting Spray! THAT is what I need! I want to make a scrappy quilt blanket thing out of scraps of my favorite knit fabrics and was thinking I would need to baste them to another piece of knit to piece the quilt/blanket top/thing. I just need basting spray!!


  7. Oh heck, that's brilliant!! I need one in every color this summer (and I actually have basting spray, yay)!