DIY Ruffle Hem Sweater For Date Night

DIY Ruffle Hem Sweater

A year or so ago I started to sew and put together a small date night capsule consisting of a few dressy separates. I’d previously made a unilateral decision (lol!) that hubby and I should be going out more often on regular date nights. I decided our social life was somewhat lacking and so we made a point of dining out together regularly and then we found a fab and snazzy local gastropub. On a Saturday they have a dress code and there is quite a glam vibe going on. I love an opportunity to dress up and the food is fabulous too so it’s fast become our favourite place to go to.

I love that I can put on something fancier and a pair of heels, and this ruffle hem sweater makes a great addition to my ‘going out’ capsule.  I actually made it a while ago and have only just decided to blog about it… such is a bloggers life eh?

DIY Ruffle Hem Sweater

The main fabric in my sweater is a lovely soft, slightly fuzzy and lightweight acrylic and wool blend sweater knit that I got from Truro Fabrics in the UK. Sadly, it’s not available anymore. I can’t recall where the sheer georgette came fom…hmm…perhaps could have been Truro too? When I bought the fabric I ordered about 3 metres and the first sweater I made can be seen in this post. I also have one more cut out and ready to sew into a cropped style very soon.

So, as the title says my top is a DIY and by that, I mean that I pretty much self-drafted/designed it myself. It’s quite straightforward to do and I’ll go into my process for you…

Your starting point is any basic, fairly fitted, long-sleeved top pattern. I would guess that most sewists have something suitable in their pattern stash. My particular pattern is one that I rubbed off a long-sleeved tee shirt a few years ago and it’s formed the base of many of my tops. In fact, my pattern is pretty dog-eared now and I’m planning to re-draw it onto some manilla pattern card for something more permanent. I have a few more old and much-used patterns that I need to do the same for…never enough hours in the day are there???

I only made a couple of very simple changes to the body pieces of the pattern before adding the ruffle. The first was to change the round neck into a slightly asymmetrically shaped one and the other was to angle the hemline. See photo:

DIY Ruffle Hem Sweater

My neckline has a narrow bias binding sewn using some of the georgette ruffle fabric and the sleeve hems are literally just overlocked and machined up.

Onto the double ruffles next and what I did, first of all, was to draw my initial pattern shapes like this:

DIY Ruffle Hem Sweater

Then each piece has to be slashed almost all the way through at regular intervals and spread out. I didn’t spread my pattern too much because I didn’t want a very ruffly look. The more you spread, the more fullness you’ll have. Copy these spread out pieces onto a fresh piece of paper and you have your ruffle pattern shapes.

Once the side seams of each ruffle were sewn up (I actually decided to have a slit one side) I hemmed them before I attached them to my sweater just because I found it easier to handle.

You could use whatever method you like to hem the ruffles, but I made roll hems on my overlocker and I set the differential feed to stretch as I stitched for a slight ‘lettuce’ effect. There’s a ‘How To’ about roll hemming in this blog post. Another method you could try is a tiny twice-stitched hem like the one I used on this blouse.

DIY Ruffle Hem Sweater

After I finished doing the hemming, I just basted my ruffles together along the top edges and then attached them to the bottom of my sweater. And that’s it…done! Fun for a date night don’t you think?

DIY Ruffle Hem Sweater
Whatcha doin’ mum? 

In other news, I did my Summer/Winter wardrobe switcheroo yesterday (you may have read about it in my IG post) and as I hung up my Winter skirts I came to the conclusion that I’m going to be struggling to combine my tops with some of them as there are too many random colours. All of a sudden I find myself craving more neutrals. I have a few more amongst my Summer-y wear, so I need to make sure that my cold weather clothes play together more harmoniously. I think it may be a slight style shift actually. I’m wanting more texture and subtle tones and a smidge less colour. Food for thought…

Do you like to switch out between seasons? I haven’t got the room for all seasons of clothing in my closet, but to be honest I rather like putting out-of-season stuff away because I get to look at it all with fresh eyes when I change things back again and often donate or add pieces, which can only be a good thing as it helps keep my wardrobe fresh and my look updated.

With that thought, I’ll sign off now. See you soon! xx


DIY Ruffle hem sweater

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  1. Ingunn
    October 12, 2018 / 6:25 am

    It is beautiful, and it suits you perfectly, Diane! What a great idea to have more date nights for so many reasons. We do the same:)

    • diane
      October 12, 2018 / 8:48 am

      Thanks Ingunn. I’m glad you like it. It’s really comfy too!

  2. October 12, 2018 / 11:21 am

    I love this top and it’s just what I’ve been looking for so I may be copying very soon! Thank you! I also switch out my wardrobe, due to lack of space, but I agree, it does allow me to see my seasonal clothes in their entirety as I put them away and I realise what I no longer wear and thus donate or refashion. It’s a fun time!

    • diane
      October 12, 2018 / 3:27 pm

      Thanks so much Sue! By all means, copy away. I’m glad you like it and I think the style would suit you.
      Yes, it is a fun time reassessing our wardrobes as the seasons change. I’m plotting as wee speak!

  3. SJ
    October 12, 2018 / 1:47 pm

    One of my favorites! Well done!!!

    • diane
      October 12, 2018 / 3:28 pm

      That’s lovely of you to say, thanks SJ!

  4. October 12, 2018 / 2:56 pm

    Love this top, Diane.I’m such a fan of anything with a ruffle or peplum as they are so flattering.Your fabric choice gives such a airy look to the ruffle. I also switch out my clothes each season and enjoy the process for the same reasons you do, I feel like I’m curating my wardrobe.

    • diane
      October 12, 2018 / 3:30 pm

      Thanks so much Linda. I know you love your peplums and ruffles. I consider you the ruffle Queen 😉 Good to know how you enjoy the seasonal wardrobe switch too.

  5. October 12, 2018 / 7:16 pm

    I love it. Your plans are sound. I need to go through my wardrobe. As you say, not enough hours.

    • diane
      October 12, 2018 / 7:50 pm

      Thanks, Anne, glad you like it.
      Yes, sadly never enough hours to do everything we want eh? I sometimes wonder what kind of wardrobe I would end up with if I started completely from scratch?

  6. Christine
    October 12, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    What a great idea and it looks wonderful on you. Thanks for sharing. I swap out my closet twice a year and find it a good opportunity to reassess as well a meet with old friends.

    • diane
      October 12, 2018 / 9:30 pm

      Thanks Christine! I like that *meet with old friends*…yes 😊

  7. Tammy
    October 13, 2018 / 1:49 am

    This is an elegant statement piece.

    • diane
      October 13, 2018 / 10:08 am

      Thank you, Tammy!

  8. October 13, 2018 / 10:13 am

    A perfect top for a date night, and it will not “date” either! It’s such a classic in colour and cut. Good for you organising a night off the cooking! Must be fun dressing up to go out. Whenever we go away the weather is invariably awful, and all plans for smart clothes tend to go astray, and it’s warm and practical instead…especially as tramping in the rain and wind sometimes happens! Look forward to seeing your next top out of this lovely knit.

    • diane
      October 13, 2018 / 11:00 am

      Thanks Sarah Liz. I know what you mean about holidays. It happens to us too. It’s one of the reasons that I love to go away where I can have guaranteed good weather and I sorely missed my Greek hol this year. A night out to a nice restaurant for a local date night is ideal and not having to cook is so lovely!

  9. October 14, 2018 / 9:43 pm

    EVERYTHING you make is so beautyful – makes me want to copy it all!

    • diane
      October 15, 2018 / 9:33 am

      Ohh, thanks Faye!

  10. Eli cat
    October 17, 2018 / 12:52 pm

    What a great idea! The sweater looks so elegant on you. I didn’t realize that the top was asymmetrical. I really love the ruffle hem details. Thank you for the tips.

    • diane
      October 17, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      Thanks Eli! Yes, the asymmetry is quite subtle, but highlighted by the ruffle being longer on the lower side.

  11. Celeste B
    October 18, 2018 / 3:26 pm

    Beautiful top and so easy to wear. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • diane
      October 18, 2018 / 4:25 pm

      You’re very kind, thanks, Celeste!

  12. October 21, 2018 / 4:23 pm

    Wow, I really like the asymmetrical collar. If it was even a teeny bit wobbly it might have looked like a mistake but it’s so neat and deliberate! Very cool!

    • diane
      October 21, 2018 / 4:41 pm

      Thanks so much! I do love a bit of asymmetry.

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