MN2303 Briar / Sewalongs

Briar Variation: Ruffle Hem


When I was in design school at FIT, ruffles were my thing. Seriously, my classmates always knew which garments were mine because they ALWAYS had some sort of ruffle in the design. So it was a no brainer for me to add a ruffle hem to the Briar top. In fact, I kind of want to make another one on a longer version, too.

Read on to see how I did it…

1. Cut a long strip of fabric, about 2 times the width of your hem. You probably won’t be able to cut one continuous strip, so cut more than one, and sew together with a zig-zag stitch or overlock machine to create a loop. For the width of your strip – decide how wide you want your ruffle, and double it. Then add about an inch to that, too, for your seam allowance. (For reference, I used a total width of 4”).

2. Fold in half, wrong sides together so the right side is facing out, and press.

3. Sew a long basting stitch along the outer edge. Pull your thread to gather the fabric and create your ruffle.

4. Gather evenly until it matches up with the hem of your top. Pin to your hem, and then sew using a zig-zag stitch or overlock machine.


– I made a fairly small ruffle, but I think a larger ruffle (like this one) would look really good, too!

– I also decided to fold over the fabric to create a clean edge. But you could also use a single layer for the ruffle, and just leave the edge raw (since it won’t unravel). For that, the width of your strip/loop should just be your desired ruffle width + seam allowance.

– It is very important to utilize any and all methods you have for eliminating fabric stretch when you are sewing the ruffle to the hem. Believe me, I know from experience (this was actually my second go at it. My first hem was not so pretty). Loosen your presser foot pressure, use tissue paper under your fabric, etc. Any tricks you have to keep from pulling and stretching the fabric as you sew, definitely do it here. A misshapen, deformed, and stretched out hem is never fun.

– If you would like to see more photos of my outfit, I will be sharing more over at my blog today – HollyDolly.

About Author

Holly writes part time for the Megan Nielsen blog– sewing like crazy, creating tutorials and sewalongs. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has her degree in apparel design. Now she’s a stay at home mama, and spends all her free nap times at her sewing machine.

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11 years ago

Oooh, absolutely love this! How cute!!!

Dee Durrant
11 years ago

Very cute – my favourite variation so far!

Carolyn Steenson
Carolyn Steenson
11 years ago

Thank you, thank you. I am a sewing teacher for a group of older adults (over 50) we are an 29 year old volunteer group that holds classes once a week for seniors. Wonderful group. Wonderful computer blogs. The ladies want to know how to use a double needle for their t-shirts, euro hem their jeans and alter patterns to fit things such as larger bust and large tummy.
I have found wonderful answers on the computer and can not believe all of the information available just for the touch of a key board.

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10 years ago

I love this, and I love the skirt, can I use the same technique for the skirt


[…] posted a few variations for the briar top on her blog and I came across this sleeveless version and this ruffle version. I fell in love with the two versions, so I decided to combine them into one and I […]