Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Striped and ruffled rose tank tutorial!

A while ago (I feel bad how long ago it was, actually), a reader, Rachel from Polka Dots and Puppies, wrote on my Facebook group with a pic of this very cute striped tank from Kate Spade:
Very cute, right!?
She asked for a tutorial, and I had the perfect tee in my pile of "to make over" garments!  Unfortunately it's taken me a while to do the tutorial, what with moving, and running out of fold over elastic... you'll see what I mean when you follow the tutorial. ;)  Anyway, here it is!

  • Take an old tee, like this long-sleeved Hanna Andersson top I found at Goodwill Outlet--bought it cuz I love navy and white, and stripes!
  • Use a pattern or a tank that fits to get the pattern.  Pick any tank shape you want.
  • I like to cut out the first half, then use that half to cut the other side symmetrically.
  • Cut apart the sleeves so you have only usable pieces.
  • Cut off the triangles of the sleeves so you have only rectangular pieces.
  • Cut the piece from one of the sleeves into vertical striped pieces, and the other into horizontal striped pieces, all the same width--I recommend 2" wide pieces.
  • Sew your short but horizontally striped pieces together on the short seams so you make a couple looong pieces.  Press your (tiny) seam allowances one way.
  • Now you have all the pieces cut out.  Assemble the tank's side seams if you needed to take in the shirt you used.  Press seams open.
  • Finish the neck and sleeve edges of the tee.  If you're using two tees, you may have enough fabric to make bias tape from the knit fabric and make it match the picture, but I didn't have enough.  I used fold over elastic (FOE) in the color of the stripe to match, and sewed it on.  If you've never used FOE before, check out the great info and tutorial on Angry Chicken!  I bought mine for like 0.50 cents/yard at Mill End in Beaverton, OR.
  • For the ruffles--they're actually pleated strips.  Pleat every 2" or so along all your strips, hiding about 1" in each pleat (1/2" deep pleats).
  • Now, begin assembling your circle.  I used a plate to trace a circle in the middle of the tank, and then used that to scale down my ruffle circles.
  • Now, sew your ruffles down in a circular pattern.  I alternated horizontal striped pieces and vertical ones, like the original tank, but didn't worry about matching it exactly.  You can if you want, but it'll get the look without doing that!  Continue in a swirling pattern, starting each new piece where the old one left off.
  • I cut a couple of smaller pieces to do the very inside of the circle.

That's it!
You may want to sew down by hand some of the top ruffles, depending on how stiff your fabric is.  Have fun, and wear it before fall sets in for sure!  I'm hoping for an Indian Summer here.


  1. WOW WOW WOW! That is seriously amazing! I love the alternating stripes...so snazzy!

  2. Great tutorial! I've never used FOE before, but I have been itching to try some. The first thing I made the Angry Chicken's 5 minute skirt, although without FOE and surger, and it being my first try, it was a 5 hour skirt. lol


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  4. I am in luck then! Here in South Alabama we will have 80 degree days until the end of November!

  5. Love it!!! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  6. Anonymous9/11/2010

    Very cute! This is a fabulous tutorial. I hope it stays warm enough here that I can make a few more "summer" items before fall hits.

  7. You have so much talent! I never would have thought to do something like that. Who would have thought it could be so easy?

  8. Adorable. I am featuring this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

  9. LOVE IT! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  10. GREAT work! I adore it and you're so talented!


  11. What a great tutorial! I love reconstructing boring t-shirt into something fabulous like this. I like it so much, I ended up including it on my blog... http://darlingadventures.com/?p=574



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