MN2303 Briar / MN4303 Mini Briar / Sewalongs

Ruffled Sleeve Briar Tee Tutorial

How to sew a Briar tee with ruffle sleeves // tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

Hi, my name is Sarah and I have a scrolling addiction to Anthropologie’s website. Honestly, I find inspiration for my sewn garments all over the place, but Anthropologie probably provides more inspiration than any other retail store. Fortunately, I sew, so I can often take a garment I see on their website and make my own version. About a month ago, I came across this fun ruffled sleeve tee on their site. I loved it. Ruffles are huge right now and I’m definitely loving the trend. I immediately thought of the Briar Sweater and T-shirt pattern and knew that I could a ruffled sleeve Briar tee happen! I’ve done quite a few hacks with the Mini Briar pattern but hadn’t sewn up the women’s version for myself yet.

Taking a look at the image from Anthropologie, there were a couple design elements I really wanted to emulate. The ruffle on the sleeve doesn’t just go around the armscye. It actually extends out to the front and back of the shirt and seams were created to tuck in the ruffle and add an interesting design element I found quite pleasing. The ruffle itself was also not hemmed but left raw. I’m not a huge fan of a raw hem on knits, so I opted to hem the pattern piece. Now that the garment is finished, I can see how it may have been beneficial to leave the edge unfinished. The ruffle would have laid nicer with a smoother drape. But, I still like my hemmed version, it just creates a slightly different look. If you prefer the unfinished hem, you can certainly follow this tutorial as is and just skip the step of hemming the ruffle. You won’t even need to change the ruffle pattern piece. This particular shirt has short sleeves, but I opted to sew up a long sleeve version because I really need some long sleeve shirts right now. However, this tutorial will certainly work with the Briar Tee short sleeve version.

To create this look we will need to alter the front and back pattern pieces and create a ruffle pattern piece. It took me cutting into my fabric a few times before figuring out exactly what shape I needed the ruffle piece to be. I went ahead and created a pdf for you, so you can skip the trial and error stage. Since the ruffle will be tucked into a seam and doesn’t need to butt up against an end, it doesn’t matter what size you are sewing. This piece will work for every size.


  • Briar Sweater and T-shirt Pattern
  • Ruffle Pattern Piece (PDF copy of mine HERE)
  • Paper for tracing and creating new pattern pieces
  • Extra Fabric only needed for the two small ruffle pieces.
  • Clear elastic for shoulder seams (optional)

Step 1: After tracing out your size for all pattern pieces, it’s time to get to work. Starting with the front piece (1). Measure the 5/8″ seam allowance along the armscye and shoulder seams and draw a line where your seams will be (dashed line in the graphic above). About 2″ down from the shoulder seam, the armscye seam line will start to turn out (under the armpit). Extend that 2″ line down about 5″ further and then curve down into the side seam. Use the graphic above to get a better idea of sizing and shape. The good news here is the exact measurements are not important. Create a shape you find pleasing to your eye. Just make sure to be aware of the seam allowances. You don’t want to create a shape thinking it is going to look bigger on your finished garment. Make sure to add some markings along the curve line to aid with the construction of the garment.

Step 2: Now that you have created 2 separate shapes on your front pattern piece, you need to create 2 separate pattern pieces for those shapes with seam allowances. Trace both pattern pieces separately and then add the 5/8″ seam allowance for the curved line you created. Make sure that you transferred the markings along the new curved line you had made in Step 1. We will call the new small pattern piece #8.

Step 3: Moving on to the back pattern piece. We will be doing the same process as the front, but instead of curving the new seam into the side seam, we will continue the line down to the bottom hem. I chose to follow the curve of the side seam, I think it created a nice flattering line. My new seam line is about 3″ from the side of the back pattern piece.

Step 4: Just like Step 2, we will be creating 2 new pattern pieces for the back. Make sure to transfer the markings to your new patten pieces and add the 5/8″ seam allowance to the new side you created. We will call the new long narrow pattern piece #9.

Step 5: Cut all your fabric with your new pattern pieces. You will need 2 mirror images of each of the new pattern pieces (8 & 9). Go ahead and sew the shoulder seams just like the Briar tutorial describes.

*Helpful tip: You may consider using a clear elastic for the shoulder seams since the ruffles might weigh the sleeve down the shoulder a bit. I wish I had added this to mine.

Step 6: Hem the outer edge of the ruffle piece by folding 1/2″ under and sewing with a twin needle or a zig-zag stitch. You can certainly opt to skip this step if you would like to have a raw finish. Trim the seam allowance that crosses over the inner circle after hemming.

Step 7: Now, we get to sew on that ruffle! We will just be basting it in place first. Place the ruffle piece and the front (1) right side together with the inner curve of the ruffle matching up with the armscye of the top. Make sure to match up the centre marking of the ruffle with the shoulder seam. Pin the ruffle down making sure to not overstretch your fabric. Baste the ruffle in place 1/2″.

Step 8: Repeat Step 6 on the opposite shoulder. Go ahead and measure the distance the ruffle went down the front and back of the first side, so you can make sure your ruffles are symmetrical.

Step 9: Attach the new smaller front pattern piece (8) to the front (1). Right sides together, match up your markings and pin in place. This will be a bit challenging because of the shape of the curves, but trust your markings and you will be fine. Make sure the ruffle is sandwiched between the two pattern pieces face down against the front (1). Once you know everything is in place, sew the curved seam. Press the seam towards the centre of the top. Repeat on the opposite side.

Step 10: Attach the long narrow back piece (9) to the back (2). Right sides together, match your markings and again, make sure the ruffle is sandwiched between the two pieces. Sew the seam and press towards the centre of the top. Repeat for the other backside.

Step 11: From here, you will be putting the garment together just as the Briar instructions describe. Make sure your ruffle is pushed up and towards the top while attaching the sleeves. There will be a lot of layers, so take your time.

That’s it! I hope you found this tutorial helpful. I’m really loving my ruffled sweater and want to make a short-sleeved version with the raw hem now. This tutorial can certainly be used on the Mini Briar, with a smaller version of the ruffle. I know my daughter loves ruffles, so I may have to make her one someday. Let me know if you decide to try out this hack!

Happy Sewing!


Don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNbriar and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!

Don’t have the pattern yet?

Briar & Briar Curve

Order Briar today in sizes 0-20 and Curve sizes 14-30

About Author

Sarah Beth writes part time for the Megan Nielsen Patterns blog, working hard to create fantastic tutorials, tips and features. Sarah is more than a little obsessed with sewing, and also has her own blog Lace and Pine Designs where she shares gorgeous makes for herself and her girls. She appreciates the feminine and traditional life while also enjoying the country life and the great outdoors.

Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 years ago

I love the colour and like the design. This is my favourite pattern! Thanks for sharing.