DIY Ruffle Top With Side Gathers

DIY ruffle top with gathers
[AD] This DIY ruffle top is my April make for the BurdaStyle Influencer team (and actually my penultimate one too!). I was provided with the PDF pattern free of charge to make up and share with you all.

I’ve been wanting to add another long sleeved jersey top to my wardrobe, but I didn’t want just a basic top with a simple design so enter BurdaStyle 113 from November 2018 collection. It has some nice detailing in the diagonal body seam and side gathers and suits light to mid-weight jersey fabrics.

DIY ruffle top with side gathers

A quick word about my fabric choice first. It’s an olive lightweight viscose jersey that I bought a few months ago from Clothspot and it has a lovely soft handle and drape. Olive is a colour that I love to mix with cream, coral, mint and red in the Spring and Summer…I bet it would also go great under my blush trench coat too. Kind of a versatile neutral with a twist.

The design of this top really appealed to me because that diagonal seam line really lends itself to further modification. Imagine piping or pleating or eyelets along the seam. Or imagine the upper section in a sheer stretch lace or stretch pleather or colour blocked in a different colour….and so on and so on…. 🙂 Lots of scope for getting creative which is what floats my boat.

The pattern itself is quite straightforward to sew up and the first stage is to sew the diagonal seam on the front so I got to work making the ruffle to insert into it.

I cut a length of fabric about 1 ⅕  times the length of the seam and about 4cm deep plus seam allowance. To finish the edge of the ruffle I did a rolled hem on my overlocker (for tips on sewing roll hems see my flounce top post here) and as I did the roll hemming I tapered up to no depth at all at the one end to add a touch of asymmetry to it. Next, I gathered along the top edge and then inserted the ruffle between the upper and lower bodice.

DIY ruffle top with gathers

The rest of the top went together easily and I only strayed from the instructions a couple of times. The first thing was that I hemmed the sleeves with the ruffles before I stitched the underarm seams because I didn’t want to faff with a narrow opening… After I had attached the ruffles I pressed the seams upwards and did a row of topstitching to hold them in place.

And the second time I strayed from the instructions was for the neck edge which I added a binding to instead of just turning the seam allowance under and topstitching it. I think adding a neck binding adds a bit more substance and oomph IMHO.

DIY ruffle top with gathers
DIY ruffle top with gathers
DIY ruffle top with gathers

And there you have it…a long sleeved jersey top with a bit of extra pizazz. This was quite a fuss-free project that was easy to do, but unfortunately, when I was making it, I didn’t feel as enthusiastic as I could have been (you may have read about it in on of my posts on IG). The thing is that for a few days and while I was sewing I was experiencing a decidedly low mood and yet I carried on regardless with my top. I probably should have stopped, rested and gone back to it at a later date but I didn’t and the whole time I was thinking how I didn’t like the colour, the shape, the design…etc, etc. However, I did plough on through and as soon as I sewed the last few stitches I tried on the top, looked in the mirror and suddenly thought “ooh, I like it!” Thank goodness I didn’t end up chucking the project as a lost cause. It just goes to show that when we aren’t feeling 100% it’s not the best time for making judgments. Wait for the mood clouds to lift and look again with fresh eyes. Have you experienced something similar? I bet I’m not alone in feeling this way… let me know in comments.

DIY ruffle top with gathers

And with that, I’ll love you and leave you. Thanks for reading and see you soon.

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DIY ruffle top with side gathers
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16 Comments

  1. April 18, 2019 / 2:54 pm

    It’s always a pleasant surprise when I think something is going to turn out bad and yet it turns out wonderfully! This is a new idea for a top. As soon as you said colour blocking my imagination ran with it! Lovely work! 😍👍🏼

    • diane
      Author
      April 18, 2019 / 4:46 pm

      Thanks, Linda! Yes, lots of possibilities with this top design.

  2. April 15, 2019 / 11:20 pm

    Oh, I need this top, desperately! I absolutely love that color and have been searching for fabric just like yours locally and have had little success. I think you are so right about how it functions as a neutral with so many colors…the ruffles are perfection too.

    • diane
      Author
      April 16, 2019 / 11:14 am

      Thank you! Hehe, yes you need this top Linda! 🙂 Seriously though it would suit you so well.

  3. Kathy McKenna
    April 13, 2019 / 3:00 pm

    What a great top! Just the right amount of ooomph! May I ask how you did the binding on the neckline? Is it the same fabric (always trying to learn new tricks).

    • diane
      Author
      April 13, 2019 / 4:17 pm

      Ooh, thanks, Kathy! Yes, the neckline is bound using the same fabric and it’s just a single layer to cut down on bulk. So I cut a long piece of fabric about 3.5cm wide (cut across the jersey i.e selvedge to selvedge). Then I overlocked one long edge and stitched the un-overlocked edge of the binding around the neck with just a bit less than 1cm seam allowance. Simply wrap the fabric over to the inside and then stitch on the front in the ditch. On the inside, the stitch line will just butt up to the overclocking. So you see the underside isn’t folded under, it lies flat.

  4. lauraborealis
    April 12, 2019 / 11:39 pm

    What a fabulous idea – this looks great! The proportions of your ruffles are spot on. How did you determine what you were going to use?

    • diane
      Author
      April 13, 2019 / 10:11 am

      Thanks ever so much, Laura. Regarding the ruffles…I think it was a combination of things really. Firstly, I’m quite full busted so I didn’t want a much deeper ruffle that would add more volume. Secondly, I wanted to have the ruffled shape go off to nothing at one end and if it had been a lot deeper I think the angle might have just been way too steep and therefore look a bit forced. Finally, for this top, it was personal taste and I just wanted a subtle ruffle. Also as mentioned in my post I used about 1 1/5 times the length of the seam…you could do 2x the amount for more fullness.

  5. Joyce
    April 12, 2019 / 8:55 pm

    Lovely top on a lovely lady. I really like your color combinations; they are some of my favorites, too.
    Keep up the good work!

    • diane
      Author
      April 12, 2019 / 9:10 pm

      That’s so lovely of you to say, thank you!

  6. April 12, 2019 / 8:04 pm

    Very cool top and colour! Also loving the pics!!

    • diane
      Author
      April 12, 2019 / 8:07 pm

      Thanks so much, hon! Super chuffed that you like it..and my pics 🙂

  7. Christine Trory
    April 12, 2019 / 6:37 pm

    This is a lovely top on you and I am sure you will get a lot of wear out of it as it looks such a versatile top.

    • diane
      Author
      April 12, 2019 / 7:18 pm

      Thanks ever so much, Chris!

  8. April 12, 2019 / 1:06 pm

    Oooooooo I really really like this Diane!! Not usually a big fan of ruffles, I may need to copy you on this one I like it so much. I like the way you carried the ‘ruffle’ theme to the sleeves too. Again, thank you for construction info….. and completely agree binding makes such a huge difference in necklines. 🙂

    • diane
      Author
      April 12, 2019 / 4:32 pm

      Yay! So glad you like it, Lisa xxx. I could really see you in this style…would be fab!

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