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It’s A Ruffled Life

Lisa Kettell Designs

By Lisa Kettell

April 2, 2014

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Project Description

I updated an older white tank top I had sitting around in my drawer. As a fan of vintage ruffles and couture, I decided to upcycle the shirt by dyeing it with pearl grey liquid Rit dye. I added ruffled trim which I dyed with a mix of pearl grey and purple liquid Rit Dye. This project involves quick and easy stitching. So simple and no fail. Just dye, a tank top, ruffle trim and rhinestone buttons.


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Prep, dyeing & Rinse time: About 2 hours

Rit Products Used


You'll Also Need

  •   white tank top

  •    2 1/2 yards white ruffled trim

  •    5-6 rhinestone buttons

  •   sewing needle

  •    sewing thread (grey)

  •    scissors

  •    large pan

  •    Rit dye fixative

  •   4 gallon pot

  •   latex gloves

  •   liquid detergent

  •   measuring cup

  •   large metal spoon

  •   old towel

  •   paper towels

  •   plastic table cover

Step By Step

  1. Directions to Dye the Shirt and Ruffles: 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 container with 10 cups of boiled hot water. Then pour in about ½ the container of pearl grey liquid 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 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

  4. Once you have dyed the shirt to its desired color remove the dyed shirt and ring out the excess dye in the sink. Now add a tablespoon of purple liquid dye to the dye bath and stir.

  5. Drop the ruffle trim into the purple tinted dye bath and stir. Let sit in the dye bath for 5 minutes. Remove the ruffled trim when desired color is achieved, then rinse in the sink. Save remaining dye bath by pouring into an air tight container for future dyeing.

  6. Now put the shirt and ruffles back into a clean pot and pour a bottle of Rit Dye Fixative over them. Next pour Luke warm water over the shirt until it is covered in the Dye Fixative solution. Leave the shirt in this fixative bath for 15-20 minutes.

  7. Remove the shirt and rinse in the sink with Luke warm water. Use dish detergent or soap to final rinse the shirt. Let air dry or place in the dryer.

  8. Directions for the Embellishment of the shirt: Line the ruffled trim unto the center of tank top, pin in place with sewing pins. Stitch the ruffled trim in place using a needle and thread. Attach 5-6 rhinestone buttons onto the top of the stitched ruffles. Now your tank top is ready to wear.

  9. Tips/Tricks: -You can also use fabri-tac glue to stop any fraying. -This will work with any Rit Dye. -This can be done with t-shirts, button downs and skirts.




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