The Raglan With The Ruffle

A few months ago I bought a RTW top that really isn’t a style that I would normally go for. I’m not above the odd ruffle but this design carries distinct frill factor which, on me, feels…different. The top was from an ex-y European label and the price was heavily reduced. That fact, plus an enabling thumbs up from my sister, tipped me over the purchasing edge and it’s turned out to be one of my most favourite spring wears. I’ve worn it a few times in the shop and every time I did, I was repeatedly asked, “Did you make your top?”. It didn’t take long to figure out that even though I didn’t, I very easily could. And so I did.

The top is really, truly SUPER simple and if you’re interested in having a go, I thought I’d share how I did it. My original is blue and made up in a fine cotton muslin so for this one I chose our White Hail Spot cotton voile. There’s quite a lot of gathering in that frill so a lightweight/voile fabric is definitely the way to go. And no need to fear bra show because that placement of the frill across the chest is perfect.

Choose a woven raglan top pattern. I found this vintage 1969 beauty in my stash – Butterick 5111. I’ve used it before and knew it was a good fit. This time, I lowered the neckline by 1cm which was further reduced when I sewed on the binding. For the back closure, I transferred the opening/facing from our Georgie Top.

Basically, you’re going to sew up the whole top, finishing your neckline and attaching the sleeves but (most important!) before sewing up the side seams, you need to attach the ruffle so you can sew it on the flat.

The ruffle is basically two super long rectangles measuring 125cm by 15cm, joined to make a circle. I did a narrow hem on both top and bottom which gave the frill a finished length of 12.5cm (5in).

To attach the ruffle, I just did a row of gathering stitches and pinned it to the top while it was on my dress form. I kept trying it on until the placement was basically straight and you want the ruffle hem to completely cover the sleeves.

Once the ruffle is sewn on, join up your side seams, hem your sleeves and bodice and you’re done!

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