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Vintage Orchid Ruffle Shirt

Lisa Kettell Designs

By Lisa Kettell

February 1, 2014

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Project Description

I recently bought a long white stretchy shirt. It had pockets but was onsale for a $3.00. After I got home I noticed a rip and some light staining. As a fan of vintage rufffles and couture, I decided to make the shirt over tweeking the Orchid Rit Dye Formulas by removing petal pink and adding grey. This project involves easy stitching and design. So simple and no fail. P.S. I made the necklace too, works with my new shirt.


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Prep, dyeing & Rinse time: About 2 hours

Rit Products Used


You'll Also Need

  •   Old or new long white stretchy shirt (short sleeve)

  •    sewing needle

  •    sewing thread (grey)

  •    scissors

  •    large pan

  •    Rit dye fixative

  •    dish detergent or soap

  •   4 gallon pot

  •   latex gloves

  •   measuring cup

  •   large metal spoon

  •   old towel

  •   paper towels

  •   plastic table cover

Step By Step

  1. Directions to Dye the shirt: Prep your surface. Lay plastic table cover or large old towel on the surface you will working over. Put on your rubber or latex gloves

  2. Make your dye bath. Fill a large 3 or 4 gallon container full of boiled hot water about 2 ½ gallons of water. Then pour about ½ the container of grey powder dye with 1 ½ Tablespoons of liquid purple dye. Use a scrap cloth or paper towel to test the color before your add your shirt.

  3. Next saturate your shirt in water. Do this by placing your shirt in a sink and run ordinary tap water through it to wet. Then transfer the wet shirt into your dye bath. Stir the shirt around till the shirt is completely immersed and saturated with the dye. Leave in dye bath for around 25-30 minutes stirring every 5 minutes.

  4. Once you have dyed the shirt to its desired color remove the dyed shirt and ring out the excess dye in the sink. Pour out your dye bath in a large container to save for future dying.

  5. Now put the shirt back in your 4 gallon pot and pour a bottle of Rit Dye Fixative over the dyed shirt. Next pour Luke warm over the shirt until it is covered in the Dye Fixative solution. Leave the shirt in this fixative bath for 15-20 minutes.

  6. Remove the shirt and rinse in the sink with Luke warm water. Use dish detergent or soap to final rinse the shirt. Place on a hanger and let air dry 24 hours.

  7. Directions for the Embellishment of the shirt: Cut 2 inches off the bottom length of the shirt. Set this bottom rim strip aside. Re-hem the bottom of the shirt to hide the strays. Due this by folding the end of the shirt under (to hide frays) and sewing a running stitch with grey thread to hold/secure the hem in place. You can also use a sewing machine or hand sewing machine to do this for sturdy and faster results. (see images)

  8. Now for the additional details. Pinch in the center of the fabric about 1/4 inch, hold in place with sewing pins. Turn the shirt inside out and stitch that pinched center fabric in place.( hand stitched running stitch or sewing machine.)See steps 1-4

  9. Now take the bottom rim strip you cut off earlier and cut one end open. This will give you a longer strip of fabric. Next form the shirt ruffles by pinching and pleating the fabric strip starting at one end, securing in place with a sewing needle and thread, attach to the neckline of the shirt. See steps 5-8

  10. Tips/Tricks: -My shirt had sheer pockets in the front of it. I cut them off and used them to add dimension to my ruffle fringe.-You can also use fabri-tac glue to hold the bottom of the shirt's hemline in place before you stitch it.-Try adding rhinestone buttons or beads to your shirt for more fun.-This will work with any Rit Dye.-This can be done with tank tops or men's t-shirts.

  • http://www.theritstudio.com Angela Daniels

    This is a fantastic improvement on your original shirt! Love it!

  • http://www.ritdye.com Nancy Tinta Melkonian

    Really nice!




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