ruffly heart shirt tutorial

want to make a sweet valentine’s day shirt for your little one? even if she doesn’t smile in pictures? then, read on!

Click below for more details!

for this shirt, you’ll need:
one t-shirt
fat quarter of material, or large scrap

sewing machine
disappearing ink pen

first, cut two strips of fabric 22×2 inches
fold them in half lengthwise, and sew 1/4 inch seam down the side, making a tube.
turn inside out ( i use tweezers…it takes forever…anyone have a trick?), and press with iron, pressing the seam to the back.

as you all know, i am blond (though not naturally), and pregnant (naturally), so I had forgotten the safety pin trick! In the comments, Nikki kindly reminded me of that trick. (though i really needed a smack on the noggin) thanks Nikki!

so, the trick: when you turn the tube inside out, you pin a safety pin on one end, and pull it through, inching it down the tube, and then pulling the fabric through.

then, cut out a heart shape out of paper in the size you’d like for your shirt.
trace around it with your disappearing ink pen.
next, starting at the top arch, sew onto your shirt, following the line, and pleating and rufflying (is that a word?), til you reach the end of one side of your heart, making sure to tuck both ends under and sew down, backing up a few stitches on both ends.

then, using your other tube, start from the bottom of the heart going to the top. when you’re done, clip your threads and admire your super cute, easy peasy valentines day shirt!

it may not be perfect, but it sure is cute!

featured on craft gossip!

***If you have used any of my tutorials, I’d love if you’d add a quick pic to my flicker group! Thanks!***


  1. I want a little girl to do all this for!!! so cute!

  2. But it is perfect! The perfect thing to go with the ruffly skirt I just made my daughter! Thanks for the idea & tute!

  3. Very cleaver Jess! Very nice fabric too was it from your stash?

  4. When you turn the tube inside out, if you pin a safety pin on one end, and pull it through, inching it down the tube, and then pulling the fabric. (did that make sense?) It’s way faster!
    Cute shirt!!

  5. I’m giving away a little sumthin’-sumthin’ on my blog, come see me!

  6. Love it…it is darling! Oh and I LOVE the blocks…thank you so much!!!

  7. Nikki-DUH! I am such a pregnant blond. I totally know that trick, but it must have fallen out of my head. lol. thanks!!

    Laurel-yup the fabric’s from my stash, i think it’s designed by sandi henderson.

  8. so cute! Love it!

  9. I say it’s super cute! I always admire your creativity!

    Donna 🙂

  10. genious! i want to make these for my girls! what fabric did you use? it’s perfect.

  11. So cute! Have you tried on of these?

    I just got it at Joann’s – not too bad with a 40% off coupn. It’s more expensive than the safety pin trick but is SO easy to use!

  12. When I am trying to turn a tube I use the eraser end of a pencil, it is really handy! The eraser part catches on the fabric and it goes very quickly 🙂

  13. That actually looks like something I can do. Thanks for the tutorial. Love it! And Sadie is looking so much older!!

  14. Thanks for sharing-that’s adorable! I want to make tshirts for my girls and I love this!

  15. Very Cute, If you do alot of this type of turning tubes, you would love these, I have used them for years and it’s so much faster than a bobby pin

  16. thanks for all the great tips!

  17. not sure if anyone put this turning trick out there or not but, place a peice of string inside the folded strip and sew a few times across the end to secure it. then sew as you normally would to close the tube being careful not to catch the string in your stitches. once you are done, you pull the string and it turns the tube right side out. once you get the turning started, it just pulls right out. hope this helps going forward.

  18. How do u do the ruffle part ?

  19. A great trick for turning it out as well is drop a crayola marker (In the side that you did not sew shut) let it fall to the end, take a dowel rod and find the cap of the marker push the dowel up threw pushing out the marker and the tubing is now right side out on the dowel rod. Press and sew…

    Love this idea by the way, I will definitely be making this shirt!

  20. This shirt is adorable! I had to pin it on the CraftBliss Red Valentine Bliss Board on Pinterest and link back to you. ~Dee

  21. Lora Cotton says

    I always use a set of elastic “guides” I’ve had for years. They are actually for threading elastic through casing but they work GREAT with turning tubes too! They have an enlarged “eye” on the one end, so I feed one end of the tube thru the eye (you might want to use a small safety pin to hold the fabric in the eye) and then I just pull the long “tail” and poof, the tube is turned!!! Love this idea! Think I’ll be making this for my baby granddaughter!!!


  1. […] Ruffle Heart Shirt – Craftiness Is Not Optional […]

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  3. […] Jess from  Bits for Baby and craftiness is not optional (AKA The Adventures of Rory and Jess and Sadie) shows how to make this fun ruffled heart Valentine’s Day shirt for a little girl.  Start with a store-bought shirt and follow her instructions to add this easy ruffled heart outline.  Go to the tutorial. […]

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