Sweetheart Ballet Tee Tutorial


Here’s yet another way to spice up your t-shirts when you get a little bored with the plainness of them all. I did this a few weeks ago to two of my plain tees. I’m threatening to do this on all of the t-shirts I own. Seriously. Watch out! This little ruching technique takes literally 2 minutes; the perfect way to jazz up an outfit on your way out the door. Here we go:

Fitted Tee
Sewing Machine
Coordinating thread
Elastic thread
Magic Erase Fabric Pen (not pictured)

Cut the collar off: only cut a little around the back & cut more around the front to make a deeper neckline. Don’t go too deep because the elastic thread will pull it lower. Toss excess collar aside.

Find the center of the front collar. Measure down 6-10 inches (depending on bust size), marking a line with your magic pen.

HAND wind your bobbin with elastic thread. Thread your machine with matching thread on top. Sew along your line. Don’t backstitch.

Turn your tee inside out and pull on the elastic thread until your shirt is as rouched as you’d like. Using a seam ripper, pull the front thread through to the back & tie a square knot with the two threads.

Trim loose ends after securing the thread in place with a square knot.

Dab the front of your shirt with water and a Q-tip to erase the magic marker line.

FINI! Click the button below to download the printer-friendly PDF version.

This tutorial is free for personal use and should not be distributed without my consent. If you would like to use this tutorial commercially, please email me. Thanks!

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  1. Turned out so cute! And it’s SO flattering to your shape.

  2. hey! love the new blog! sooo cute… wish wish wish i didn’t have huge knockers so i could wear shirts like this. :)

  3. Melissa this is SO cool! What a great way to spice up an old tee! Thank you!!

  4. Sarah says:

    Very cute – and doesn’t seem like it is that hard.

  5. Shaela says:

    adorable!! I think I may seriously try this one… for both me AND my daughter! :)

  6. Victoria says:

    Love it! it looks so easy to make too!

  7. Helena says:

    happened to stumble upon your absolutely super cute blog! great idea by the way :)

  8. this is FABULOUS! thanks for sharing :) xo.

  9. SarahJane says:

    Those are RAD pants. You’re so hip. Wherever did you find them?

  10. Whitney says:

    I love it! It’s definitely flattering and sweet. Also, where did you get your shoes? I absolutely adore them!

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you, Whitney!

      I got the shoes at Payless. Did you know that Payless’s online stores has a site-to-store option with no cost to the buyer? I took advantage of that when I bought those beauties. I LOVE the site-to-store shipping option!

  11. How fun and seems pretty easy with a great end result! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Rachel says:

    Aww, that is so pretty! I love the front. Thanks so much for the how-to, I’ll be linking.

  13. Cherish says:

    What a great idea. I so need a sewing machine!

  14. Andrea says:

    Looks great!! I hope you’ll consider linking to Make it Wear it Thursdays over at TheTrainToCrazy.com

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  20. katrina says:

    oh my god! Thank you so much. I’ve always wanted to be able to make my blah shirts bangin’.

  21. Juliana says:

    Yay! This is great for my old shirts. :) Thanks for sharing. :)

  22. Nisha says:

    haha, great idea!
    stumbled upon your page :)

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  24. Mariella says:

    Love to see more post

  25. Mary Ellen says:

    What about the neckline? Is it then just ragged?

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  28. thanks for sharing the article I love it.

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