Repurposed T-Shirt Ruffled Bow Tutorial

Ruffled Bow Finished

I am clearly going through my nesting period right now as I am going through everything I can in an effort to clean out and de-clutter with a new baby coming in August.  I recently went through my repurpose clothing bin and I have quite the collection.  It did however stir the desire to start sewing and crafting again, which I am ever so excited about!


Here is a small basket of the fabrics I am wanting to use in the coming weeks before the baby comes!  Overachiever, yes! 

I was making a dress for Addie out of a women’s denim shirt and wanted to decorate the waist line with a ruffled bow.  It was so easy and they are so cute that I decided to make a smaller one for a hair clip as well.

I made these from a piece of the repurposed t-shirt I used on the waist of the dress but you could use almost any material for this project.  With this ruffled bow tutorial you can make this bow, or two or three in fifteen minutes!

Repurposed T-Shirt Ruffled Bow Tutorial

Ruffled Flower Material

To create a long piece on the t-shirt I cut about a 2 to 2 1/2 inch slit on the side seam and then started cutting my t-shirt all the way around the t-shirt.

Ruffled Bow material strips

Depending on the size you are wanting, one long string may be all you are need but you can join two together if need be.

Ruffled Bow Gather

Then either hand sew a running stitch or machine sew (on the longest stitch you can) right down the center of the material, do not back stitch.  Gently pull on one string to gather.  Continue until the entire strip is gathered to the amount you are nappy with.

Ruffled Bow center

On one end, fold the material in half on the stitch and start to roll the material to create the center of the flower.

Ruffled Bow Backside Stitching

To hold the flower in place, I stitched the back together with every few rolls, being sure to sew through all the layers of fabric.   Once I was finished rolling the fabric, I again stitched the back side of the fabric to secure all the layers together.

Ruffled Flower Backside

I added about a half-dollar size piece of felt onto the back to help make the flower more stable.  I just did a slip-stitch all the way around the felt onto the flower.

denim dress upcycle bow

You are now ready to attach your flower onto a dress, hair clip, head band or gift!   The dress tutorial will be up next week so pop back to see how we turned this long sleeve shirt into this cute dress!

What ways have you repurposed your old t-shirts?

16 thoughts on “Repurposed T-Shirt Ruffled Bow Tutorial”

  1. Well, I think I’m going to have to pin it. You never know when I might need to do this. I’m thinking that the ruffle part would be cute to put at the bottom of a long dress that is becoming a bit too short. Or maybe on the hems of jeans??

  2. I am seriously the most UNcrafty person on the planet (lol) but this looks like something I might want to try for my nieces!

      1. You can do it by hand and it is super easy! Just up and down stitches in the middle of the material and then gently pull the string to create the gather. It really is simple!

  3. Oh my goodness, that is SO cute! Your pics are so well explained that I almost believe I could do that. As for repurposing t-shirts….does cutting them up for cleaning rags count?

    1. That is what happens to all of Hubby’s old work shirts that are full of holes and paint! Better to use them for something than just toss them.

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