It seems that this season, gingham is EVERYWHERE. Which, in all honesty, is just fine with me. I'm a huge fan. So when I found this gingham fabric on sale for about $1.99/yard, I bought the rest of the bolt. (Which, unfortunately, was only about a yard and a half, but stilll....)
I really , really wanted to make this shirt (from the movie Country Strong - have you seen it? I loved it.) Unfortunately, I did not have enough fabric for the sleeves. Boo. (Plus, I accidentally cut a huge hole in the fabric in my excitement over the gingham.)
The construction of this shirt is pretty simple. First, find a loose-fitting blouse that had the shape that you want, and trace the front and back onto the fabric. Then cut out the two shapes, allowing about 1/2 inch seam allowance. (It works best if you fold the fabric in half and cut out so that it's symmetrical. Otherwise, your shirt may be lopsided.)
Sew together the front and back, with right sides facing. (Be careful not to sew up the arm holes!!!)
Now cut a two-inch wide strip that is about twice the length of your neckline. Sew a ruffle stitch down the center (just like in the ruffle cardigan tutorial) and sew onto the neckline of your shirt with a straight stitch.
Although I couldn't copy the Country Strong sleeves, the ones I came up with ended up being my favorite part of the shirt. Nice and ruffly without being poofy. Perfect. To make these, cut out two rectangles with the remaining fabric. They should be about six inches in length, and the width should equal the width of your sleeve openings, plus a little extra for seam allowances.
Sew the rectangles onto the sleeve openings (right sides facing) and sew up the bottoms of the rectangles so they make what will look like huge, boxy sleeves.(Like my drawing? I'm a pretty awesome artist, I know.)
Once the sleeves are attached, sew a ruffle stitch along the top of each sleeve, then overlay it with a top stitch to hold it in place. (See the awesome drawing above.) Your sleeves should now be nice and ruffled on top. (Pretty, right?)
Now, while this ruffle reduces the size of the TOP of your sleeve, the bottom of your sleeve will still be huge, just like the left sleeve shown below. To remedy this, simply fold the bottom of the sleeve in half twice and stitch it in place.
Your sleeve should end up looking like this:
Now, all you have to do is finish the hems, and you have yourself a ruffly gingham shirt, all for about $3.00.