+ "Boxy in the front, ruffly in the back" shirt tutorial

I’ve been bogged down with homework (not a lot of time to sew), even though this is the kind of homework I’m in love with. Yes, I love this kind of homework. In fact today I started drawing up this semester’s first collection and it is inspired by Spain. Hence the ruffles on this boxy top. This is a very simple top, with a little optional ruffly embellishment. I’m thinking about adding another row too. I think a perfect for those high waisted pants or pencil skirts.

1 yard of fabric (not too stiff) – I used a soft cotton

1. Lay out a boxy top you like the fit of, trace and cut out. Leave room for seam allowance. Cut out the neckline as well the depth you like.
2. Match right sides together and sew up the side seams and the shoulder seams. Leave 4 to 5 inches of the side seams open at the bottom of the shirt.
3. Hem the neckline and the sleeves. I did this by folding it in a quarter inch 2 times then topstitching on the inside near the edge of the fold (not the edge of the openings). When sewing around the neckline, you may have to cut a few snips here and there for the curve.
4. Hem the front and the back by fold/ironing in a quarter inch then an inch. topstitch on the inside near the edge of the fold (not the bottom of the hem). Fold in the edges of the sides inside twice then sew.
5. Cut two strips of fabric that are at least 1.5 – 2 times bigger then the width of the shirt. I made mine twice as long and 3.5 inches thick.
6. Hem one of the edges of both strips, then serge or zig zag stitch the other edge of both strips to prevent fraying.
7. Ruffle the strips to the width of the shirt.
8. Pin and sew them to the bottom back side of the shirt. Spacing them out at least 1.5″.
9. Fold and iron the ruffles down and top stitch it in place over the ruffle about an eighth of an inch down.


  1. Such a great concept: simple but so pretty. Can’t wait to try this… maybe in red to carry on with the Spanish theme?

    x Elena @ Randomly Happy

  2. Ah, this is so sweet! Would love to make this for Spring.

  3. Просто, красиво и оригинально! :)

  4. Really cute! Let us know how your classes are going ~ it’s so great to see someone living their dream :) All the best to you and your family :)

  5. adorable — and love your booties too! xo


  6. ahhhh this is sooo cute.
    and i wish i loved my homework…
    love this top though.


  7. darling:D

  8. LOVE it! Would be cute in a mini version too for a toddler to pair with bright leggings :o)


  9. Please please please tell me where you got this fabric?! I’ve been searching everywhere for this exact navy polka dot fabric!

    • I found it here in SF at a fabric discount store. It was super cheap too….I think 3 bucks for a 60″ wide yard. You could try online, I know…that is what everyone says. Shockingly, walmart will have cute polka dot fabrics too.

    • Reason #457 I miss living near LA’s fashion district…sigh. Thanks!

  10. So cute! I’ve been loving polka dots lately. I just found your blog yesterday and I have to say after looking through your many, many posts, you are definitely one of my favorite blogs. :)


  11. Adorable! I love how flattering that top is! How many credit hours can you get away with being a Mom. I am considering Fashion School online.

    • I’m taking 2 classes and it is quite doable…I’m not sure if taking a third would have been. But 2 for sure. You must do it, I’m so glad I did!

  12. LOVE this!!! so CUTE!!! So making one tomorrow!!

  13. Gorgeous top! Love your blog.


  14. lovely :)

  15. oh wow, that top is so cute!
    and you look so lovely in it!

    Kejmy ♥.

  16. I think the ruffles are so cute! Oh, and I love your hair too!
    xoxo anna


  17. Where are your shoes from???

  18. I love it. The ruffles in the back is a nice surprise touch!

  19. OMG so cute. Love this :)

  20. Pretty!!! Thank you for sharing this!

    Sparkle from http://ellecrafts.blogspot.fr

  21. Hi Lizzie,
    I’ve just discovered your blog and congratulations !! you’re such an inspiration, love everything you do :) and you are so gorgeous (you have to tell one day your hair products 😉 Keep going and good luck for your Master’s degree.

    Laura from France

  22. so cute! what a nice little detail!



  23. This looks so cute!

  24. I will be forwarding this to my son so that he could learn this..

  25. Clever idea for a casual top. Would look darling on my daughter. I like you ideas – cute, clever and simple.

  26. Adorable!

  27. Fran McGee says:

    I just love all of your ideas!

  28. It is without any doubt that stockings are the sexy weapon to both men and women. When come to cool season many wholesale stockings are available online and store. Would you like to have a try on Shiying wholesale sexy lingerie online store? Visit now and enjoy the amazing low offer!

  29. lot for sale salitran says:
  30. After looking into a number of the articles on your web site, I honestly like your way of blogging. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site too and tell me what you think.


  1. […] Boxy in the Front, Ruffle in the back shirt via Cotton + Curls […]

  2. […] "Boxy in the front, ruffly in the back" shirt tutorial […]