Kids’ Ruffle Tank Top Tutorial with Free Sewing Pattern

Make your cute little princess a ruffle tank top for some fun in the sun this summer. This free sewing pattern features a flared hem and ruffle details. The ruffle tank top is an easy and quick beginner-friendly sewing project that can be made entirely on a home sewing machine.

In this ruffle tank top sewing tutorial, I will also be sharing with you my favorite way to make easy and quick ruffles using an elastic band. I’m not a huge a fan of the “sew two rows of basting and pull threads to gather” technique. The threads break, get tangled, or some ruffles just end up missing as the fabric has shifted during sewing. So, this is my current go-to ruffle-making technique.

If you make this Ruffle Tank Top, be sure to share pics of your finished project by tagging me @sew_zune on Instagram or post on the Zune’s Sewing Therapy Facebook. I’d love to see your creation!

Now, let’s make a ruffle tank top together!

Pattern Pieces

  1. Front
  2. Back
  3. Ruffle Hem
  4. Neck Binding
  5. Armhole Binding

*Finished garment measurement around the chest is 24″. It should fit a 5-6 year old, or a child with a chest measurement of under 23″.


  1. Fabric – 1 yard (if making top from one fabric). 1/2 yard self, 12″ contrast fabric (if contrasting bindings & ruffles)
  2. Matching Thread
  3. Stretch Twin Needles – Optional

Download the PATTERN – This FREE pattern is available to all my newsletter subscribers. Check your inbox or junk folder for the confirmation email. Be sure to have your pop up blocker disabled on your browser. Print from laptop or computer. 

Seam Allowance: 3/8” included unless otherwise stated. 

Prepare Your Fabric: Pre-shrink your fabric by laundering it before cutting and sewing your garment. Be sure to press it using the correct heat setting for your fabric. 

Stitch: Long straight stitch, small zig zag. Serge or wide zig zag the raw edge.

Optional: Twin needles or a coverstitch machine, for hemming. 

The pieces all cut out and ready for sewing!

1. With RIGHT sides together, pin and stitch the FRONT and BACK shoulders with a 3/8” seam allowance. Press the seam allowance towards the back bodice. Divide and mark the neck opening into quarters.

2. With RIGHT sides together, pin and stitch the short ends of the NECK BINDING with a 3/8” seam allowance. Press the seam allowance open. Divide and mark the neck binding into quarters. 

3. Divide the neckline into quarters. With RIGHT sides together, match and pin the quarter markings of the NECK BINDING to the quarter markings of the neckline. Stitch with a 3/8” seam allowance using a zig zag stitch. Press seams away from the bodice.

4. Wrap the NECKING BINDING along the raw edge of the neckline. Edgestitch along the neck seam. 

5. With RIGHT sides together, pin the ARMHOLE BINDING along the armhole and stitch with a 3/8” seam allowance using a zigzag stitch. Edgestitch along the seam.

6. Press the hem up 1/5” and stitch using a zigzag stitch. Alternatively, use twin needles, a coverstitch machine, or any stretchy stitch on your sewing machine. 

Top Ruffle Hem: I sewed a line of stitching 1/2″ from the raw edge and used it as a folding guide. Then, I removed that guide with a seam ripper after finishing the hem.

7. You can use any gathering method of your choice. In this tutorial, however, I’ll be sharing with you my favorite gathering technique using a regular knit elastic. Mark about 13.5″ on the elastic. The elastic should be shorter than the hem as the elastic will stretch out after sewing. Divide and mark your elastic and the hem into halves or quarters. I personally like to divide it into quarters as matching up shorter lengths is easier to sew. After the band has been sewn to the elastic, it should be somewhat shorter than the bodice waist. (See 2nd Picture). That way it is easier to stretch and fit the bodice waist. Then, stitch the ruffles to the bodice waist. Lastly, remove the elastic with a seam ripper.

8. With RIGHT sides together, stitch the side seam with a 3/8” seam allowance. Tack the binding seam toward the back of bodice.

Give the top a good final pressing using the appropriate heat setting for your fabric, and that’s it! Until next time…stress less, sew more!

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