$5 Refashion: The Ruffled Tuxedo


Working in the same building as DownEast’s warehouse store can be a problem at times. A problem because there are so many inexpensive basics. DownEast’s basic tops fit fabulously, so I thought I’d use a couple of tops for a refashion.

Ruffles are in vogue these days. Very. and they’ve swept me off my feet. I saw this top at anthro, and instantly started brainstorming how I could make something similar (but different, of course). Predictably, a month after I got the idea and supplies I finally started working on my little project.


The shirt that I bought had a neckline that was uncomfortably high, so I chopped it off and sewed my own collar from the coordinating t-shirt. I believe this was what helped the ruffles and the tee come together the way it did.

cut tee shirt for ruffles

After I finished the collar (which surprisingly took about 10-15 minutes), I cut out the fabric for the ruffles and started gathering my fabric.

Assembling the ruffles

I laid the ruffles in the desired order, making sure the ruffles covered up any wonky sewing. I was very worried this would come out looking stupid; like a pirate shirt or an elementary craft project gone awry. Fortunately, I don’t think it did. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

after-1ruffle shirt completed 2

Side note: I wore this to work on Friday. I felt super fancy walking around in my high-waisted skirt, 80’s suede boots and ruffle shirt. My confidence in my outfit was boosted even more when a guy in the warehouse mistook me for one of the DownEast models.

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    1. Naomi says:

      that is unbelievably cute! nice work.

    2. Erin says:

      VERY cool Melissa! i am not surprised you were mistaken for a model– you look hot!

    3. Joy says:

      I love your shirt way more than the one you modeled it after! If you were selling one like it, I would buy it in a heartbeat. You look GREAT!

    4. Jenn says:

      Love this! Going to send to a friend who’s just recently gotten into refashioning. And you can totally be a model.

    5. Jill says:

      You are my creative hero.

    6. wow, it looks amazing…very inspiring.

    7. Paige says:

      This is adorable, I want to make my own right now.

    8. Ashley says:

      too freaking cute! really. I love the ruffles. I’m really becoming obsessed with ruffles. this could get dangerous. ;)

    9. emily sparks says:

      LOVE IT! i am definitely going to try this one.

    10. Jen Allyson says:

      So fabulous, and I am special enough to have seen it in person! It’s always great to be mistaken for a model too! That ALWAYS happens to me :P

    11. Shanna says:

      Melissa.. can you come refashion my wardrobe please? PLEASE? I can’t sew a lick, and even if I could, I would never think of this kind of stuff.

      So, I skipped ahead and looked at all the pics before reading and my first thought was ‘she needs to design for anthro’ hehe. you totally do. I like your shirt better than the one that your inspiration came from. very nice!

    12. made sweet says:

      melissa!! i love this one so much!!!! so fantastic.

    13. Kami says:

      darling, Melissa! You have such talent.

    14. Moni says:

      Lovely Melissa!

      I have a few Shade tshirts I’ve been wanting to refashion since I bought them (so comfy, but NOT so awesome necklines)

      Thanks for the inspiration!

    15. Autumn says:

      Wow, I want to make that! It looks comfortably fancy.

    16. HomageBlog says:

      That’s too funny! I saw this top on Today’s Creative Blog and stopped by to tell you it looks just like something that would be sold at Anthro :) I LOVE it! Thanks for the inspiration! ~K

    17. Alma says:

      I feel so special to know you!! Please move down to my neck of the woods.

    18. Magatha May says:

      Oh that t shirt is gorgeous. I love the ruffles and I agree that the different neckline draws it all together beautifully.

    19. Ceci says:

      I desperately covet your sewing skills. So pretty!


    20. Melissa says:

      Absolutely love it! You are a re-fashioning genius. You give me so much inspiration!!! Thanks!

    21. Chris says:

      Melissa, the next time someone in the warehouse mistakes you for one of the models, say, “No, I’m just the smoking hot girl that works upstairs.” Then flash your wedding ring, spin your decolletage around 180 degrees, and strut out the door.

    22. Lovesfool says:

      I’m going to attempt to do this. I’ll probably fail but at least I’m gonna try.

      Keep sharing more of these great wardrobe revamps.

    23. Nancy says:

      Gorgeous. If I send you a picture of a shirt that needs some tlc, could you give me some advice on how to go about glam-i-fying it? And, definitely do that thing that Chris suggested next time you’re so model-esque.

    24. summer says:

      definitely NOT a pirate shirt. your work is HOT and you look fabulous. great idea! and great execution!

    25. Allison says:

      You clever vixen, you! I mistake you for a model every time we hang out because you’re HAWT like that.

    26. Lola says:

      Melissa, I’m scared to death of sewing, but this I have got to try. Absolutely brilliant.

    27. j. caroline says:

      That is so clever and so cute! I saw a ruffled shirt at Talbot’s yesterday and I thought- not nearly as cute as Melissa’s! (And sewing on knits is not easy, IMHO.)

    28. Marie says:

      You are hot! I love that you just “figured” that out. I love your crafty brain!

    29. Angie says:

      Thats an amazing shirt and I love that warehouse. That would be so fun to be able to alter their shirts like you’ve shown.

    30. Brooke says:

      How absolutely brilliant! I must have one right.now.

      Just stumbled the heck out of your site because oh.my.gosh. It’s AMAZING! Keep up the gorgeous work, my sweet!

    31. […] $5 refashion, the ruffled tuxedo: this might just be the project that breaks my sewing machine out of […]

    32. Sarah says:

      Great work! You’ve inspired me, and I’m sure plenty of others! Thanks for sharing!

    33. […] $5 Refashion: The Ruffled Tuxedo at I Still Love You Filed Under: Uncategorized · Tagged With: add ruffles to a t-shirt, Ruffle tee, sew ruffles on a t-shirt, t-shirt refashion, t-shirt upcycle […]

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