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High Low Shirt Pattern (free sewing pattern for girl’s sz 3 to 14)

In today’s post: How to make a high low shirt. Use today’s free pattern to make an adorable High Low Ruffle Shirt for girls. The pattern is designed for knit fabric and is available as a pdf download in sizes 3 to 14.

hig low top pattern
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Girl’s High Low Ruffle Top Pattern

Good news, everyone! 

I’m sharing a new version of this adorable High Low Ruffle Top Pattern. (The original version was just a pattern hack of my Basic T-shirt pattern.)

This complete pattern comes in a range of girl’s sizes (3 to 14) and has a paper-saving print option. (The ruffle is basically just a large rectangle, so if you want to save paper, I give you the ruffle dimensions to cut out on your own, to save ink, paper.)

Why make this pattern?

  • A fun twist on a basic t-shirt pattern.
  • The longer length makes it a great choice to pair with leggings. (and we all know how our littles love their leggings.)
  • Free printable pdf in multiple sizes with 3 different sleeve length options.
  • I would consider this pattern an advanced beginner level, due to the working with knits, but there are no buttonholes, zippers, or elastic to install, just basic sewing. (You can find tips for sewing with knits below.)
How to sew a high low top: High Low Ruffle Tunic Top (free pattern, girls size 3 to 14)

Pattern Details

  • The High/Low Tunic Top has a Ruffled Bottom and is available in girls sizes 3 to 14. The pattern is based on my basic t-shirt pattern, so if you are like the fit of that t-shirt pattern, you will love the fun high/low ruffled bottom on this tunic top! (My basic T-shirt Pattern has about 2 inches of wearing ease through the chest and 1.5 inches in the upper arm.)
  • The pattern is designed for knit fabrics. 
  • Time needed to complete the top: about 2 -3 hours
  • You will need about 1 yard of 58-inch wide fabric for the largest size. (fabric amount chart can be found below.)
  • Print the full pattern or the paper-saving pattern. The bottom ruffle of the top is a large rectangle, which means you can print only the bodice, neck binding, and sleeve pattern, and cut the ruffle from the dimensions I give. (You’ll find the ruffle cutting dimensions under sewing instructions.) However, if you plan to make more than one of these tops, using the template/pattern for the ruffle is helpful.
How to sew a high low top: High-Low Ruffle Tunic (free pattern, girls size 3 to 14)

My lil’ missy was quite the sport for this little modeling session, she got up and got ready at for me 7 am on a Saturday morning in order to help me get these photos done.  (Hubby and I were heading out of town on a quick trip and I knew if we didn’t get the pictures done before I left, there would be another week’s delay.  So please pardon her frowns and puffy sleep-filled eyes, she was actually happy to model and pose but was still a bit sleepy and I was rushing it, lol!) 

Why We Love this High/Low Tunic Pattern

What we love about this High Low Ruffle Tunic, (other than the yummy fabric- which is a silky, stretchy rayon jersey blend that is now sold out, though you can find similar fabrics here) is:

  • The length of the tunic top – it’s long enough to wear with leggings.
  • The swingy-ness of the high low ruffle.
  • The trendy 3/4 sleeves.  (The High Low Pattern comes with a short and 3/4 sleeve cut line. Choose whatever fits the season and your fabric best.)
How to sew a high low top: High-Low Ruffle Tunic (free pattern, girls size 3 to 14)

The great thing about sewing your own clothing items, you can take a basic pattern and customize it for a perfect fit based on your body type!

how to make a high low top
free high low top pattern

More Sewing Projects For Girls

How to Make a High Low Ruffle Tunic. 

Ready to make your own version of this High Low Ruffle Tunic? Keep Reading. Or if you just want to download the t-shirt pattern go here. Pin for later here.

Helpful tips for sewing with knit fabrics

  • New to sewing with knits? Grab an old cotton tee and just try sewing a few stitches!
  • Always use a ballpoint needle.  A ballpoint needle has a rounded tip and allows the needle to move in between the thread fibers instead of piercing the thread fibers. (Which will cause holes in the fabric.)
  • When sewing seams that need to stretch, be sure to use either a narrow zigzag stitch- set at a medium stitch length or many newer machines have additional stretch stitches you can use.  (Refer to your manual to find out which ones your machine does.)
  • It helps to loosen the needle thread tension just a tiny bit. (experiment on scraps til you find what works best on your fabric.)
  • For seams that don’t need to stretch (like side seams) a regular straight stitch is fine. To keep the fabric from stretching when you sew, you can try a slightly longer stitch length and loosening the needle thread tension just a tiny bit.  ALWAYS do a few practice stitches on the fabric you will be using and then make any adjustments needed.
  • If you are working on a fabric that keeps curling, use fabric starch and your iron to flatten out the fabric.  This technique is helpful on all knits as the starch makes it less stretchy and moves through the machine smoother.
  • For hemming on knits, you have a few choices: 1. Leave the edge raw.  This looks fine on casual garments. 2.  Add a bound edge.  (You can see examples of how adding a bound hem works here and here.)  3. Use a walking foot and hem the edge with either a zig-zag or other stretch stitch or using a twin needle. (The walking foot helps feed the material through the machine with less stretching.)
  • Remember to try a slightly longer stitch length and to loosen the needle thread tension just a tiny bit!
  • If your fabric is getting sucked into the machine or is still stretching, you can place a piece of thin tissue paper between the fabric and bottom feed dogs.  After you are done sewing, you can gently tear the tissue paper away.

Where to purchase knit Fabrics

Knit fabric comes in so many different weights, content, and stretch.  It is important to use the right fabric for your project.  I’ve tried a few different fabrics and definitely have my favorites.  In this project, I used a light to mid-weight flowy rayon jersey blend with about 50% stretch.  (this particular print is sold out, but these from Girl Charlee and these, from Fabric.com, are similar.

How Do I Get the High Low top Pattern?

To receive the free girl’s high low tunic top pattern, visit the pattern page in my shop HERE. <<== click that link.

Add the pattern to your cart and navigate through the checkout process. (Takes about 15 seconds to process.) After the check-out process is complete you will receive an email with a link that downloads the pattern and directs you to the sewing instructions. (You will also see a button prompting you to download the pattern on the thank you page). 

Pattern Fit Information

  • Size 3:   Height-  38.5 inches,  Weight-  32 lbs,  Finished chest:  23.125 inches
  • Size 4:   Height-  41.5 inches,  Weight-  36 lbs,  Finished chest:  23.75
  • Size 5:   Height-  44.5 inches,  Weight-  42 lbs,  Finished chest: 24.375
  • Size 6:   Height-  46.5 inches,  Weight- 48 lbs,   Finished chest: 25.75
  • Size 7:   Height-  51 inches,    Weight- 60 lbs,   Finished chest: 27.25
  • Size 8:   Height-  53 inches,    Weight- 66 lbs,   Finished chest: 28.5
  • Size 10: Height-  55 inches,    Weight- 74 lbs,   Finished chest: 29.5
  • Size 12: Height-  57.5 inches,  Weight- 84 lbs,  Finished chest: 30.75
  • Size 14: Height-  60 inches,    Weight- 96 lbs,  Finished chest: 32.375

Requred fabric amounts

  • Sizes 10 and up, using a 54 inch knit fabric needs 1 ¼ yard to sew a ¾ sleeve or long sleeve version. 1 yard for the short sleeve version.
  • All other sizes and versions, using a 54-inch fabric will need 1 yard or less. 

Pattern notes:

Use a ⅜ inch seam allowance and ½ inch bottom and sleeve hem unless otherwise noted.

Materials needed:

Sewing Instructions:

Step One: Print and assemble the pattern.

Print your pattern, cut out the size needed, and tape it together.  

high low top pattern

I recommend doing a test print. Print only page 2 and check that the one-inch square is printed at one inch. Once you have confirmed your printer settings you can print the entire pattern.

FYI, there’s a new printing option for you!

You can now print only the size needed. (This pattern only, I’ll slowly go back and start updating the older patterns.) This function is super handy and makes it much less confusing when cutting the pattern, plus I love that it enables me to print in black and white. (Color ink can be pricey!)  Make sure the side menu panel is open, click the icon that looks like a stack of papers, then toggle the “eyeballs” on/off for the pattern size you want to print.

high low top pattern

Paper Saving Option

If you want to print the paper-saving option, print pages 2-4, 6-8, and 10-12.

Ruffle cutting dimensions for the paper-saving option (cut on the fold.):

  • Size   Width   Height  (inches)
  • 3:      18.75     8.25
  • 4:      19.125   8.625
  • 5:      19.5       8.875
  • 6:      20.25     9.125
  • 7:      21          9.375
  • 8:      21.375   9.5
  • 10:    26.625   9.75
  • 12:    24.75    10.25
  • 14:    26.25    10.75

Step 2:  Assemble the Bodice/Sleeves.

1st, hem the bottom of both sleeves.  (pattern includes a 1/2 hem allowance.)

Line up front and back bodice pieces, right sides together and sew along the shoulder seams.

Line the sleeves up at the shoulder seams and sew in place.  (If you prefer set-in sleeves, wait to attach sleeves until after the ruffle is added.)

Line up the side seam and arm seams and sew along the edges (3/8 inch seam allowance) on one side only!

Step 3: Assemble the ruffle.

Hem the bottom of the ruffle. (half-inch hem allowance included in the pattern.)

Sew a gathering/basting stitch along the top of the ruffle.

Gather the ruffle piece until it is the same width as the bottom of the bodice.  (remember, you only sewed one side seam together, so it is much easier to attach the ruffle.)

Right sides together, line up the raw edges of your ruffle piece with the bottom of the bodice piece and sew along the gathering stitch to attach the ruffle.  Take care to remove pins as you sew.

Line up the side seams and sleeve edges and sew along the edge with a 3/8 seam allowance. 

(If you waited to do set-in sleeves, do those now.)

Remove any of the gathering stitches that might be showing around the ruffle and gently press the ruffle flat. 

Optional step: Topstitch around the ruffle seam.

Step 4: Add Neck binding.

Tip: If your neck binding fabric is less than 50% stretch, you will want to measure the neck opening and cut your strip of fabric about 88 to 92% of that measurement.

Cut your neck binding strip.  Fold in half and press.

Open the strip and sew the ends together with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.  Trim the seam edge to about 1/8th inch. Fold back into the pressed position.

Divide the neck binding into 4ths and the neck opening of the tee into 4ths.  Mark with pins.

Keep in mind, the front neckline is deeper, so the 2 side pins will not line up with the shoulder seams.

Pin the binding strip to the neckline at the corresponding marks.

Sew the binding to the neckline, pin to pin, using a 3/8 inch seam allowance, stretching the binding strip as you sew. 

Take care to not let the neckline fabric stretch.  (Go slow and know this may take practice.)

Press the neckline flat. Using a lot of steam will help if your neckline is a bit stretched out)

Optional: Topstitch around the neckline binding.

You are done!

high low t-shirt pattern

If you end up making one of these tops, be sure to share a finished photo on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram so I can see what you’ve made! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

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Yield: 1 High Low Top

High Low Shirt Pattern Sewng Instructions

High Low RuffleTop Pattern
Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty easy/intermediate
Estimated Cost $10

Materials

  • Stretch knit fabric (Similar fabric to what I used)
  • Pattern
  • Ribbed binding (usually has 50 to 70% stretch) or other stretchy knit for the neckline (you don’t want to use anything with less than 30% stretch-see notes under pattern tips and tricks)
  • Ballpoint/jersey needle
  • spray starch/iron
  • Basic sewing supplies

Instructions

Step 1: Print And Assemble The Pattern.

  1. Print your pattern, cut out the size needed, and tape it together.  
  2. I recommend doing a test print. Print only page 2 and check that the one-inch square is printed at one inch. Once you have confirmed your printer settings you can print the entire pattern.
  3. FYI, there’s a new printing option for you!
  4. You can now print only the size needed. (This pattern only, I’ll slowly go back and start updating the older patterns.) This function is super handy and makes it much less confusing when cutting the pattern, plus I love that it enables me to print in black and white. (Color ink can be pricey!)  Make sure the side menu panel is open, click the icon that looks like a stack of papers, then toggle the “eyeballs” on/off for the pattern size you want to print.
  5. Paper Saving Option
  6. If you want to print the paper-saving option, print pages 2-4, 6-8, and 10-12.
  7. Ruffle cutting dimensions for the paper-saving option:

Size   Width   Height  (inches)

3:      18.75     8.25

4:      19.125   8.625

5:      19.5       8.875

6:      20.25     9.125

7:      21          9.375

8:      21.375   9.5

10:    26.625   9.75

12:    24.75    10.25

14:    26.25    10.75

Step 2:  Assemble The Bodice/Sleeves.

  1. 1st, hem the bottom of both sleeves.  (pattern includes a 1/2 hem allowance.)
  2. Line up front and back bodice pieces, right sides together and sew along the shoulder seams
  3. Line the sleeves up at the shoulder seams and sew in place.  (If you prefer set-in sleeves, wait to attach sleeves until after the ruffle is added.
  4. Line up the side seam and arm seams and sew along the edges (3/8 inch seam allowance) on one side only!

Step 3: Assemble The Ruffle.

  1. Hem the bottom of the ruffle. (half-inch hem allowance included in the pattern.)
  2. Sew a gathering/basting stitch along the top of the ruffle.
  3. Gather the ruffle piece until it is the same width as the bottom of the bodice.  (remember, you only sewed one side seam together, so it is much easier to attach the ruffle.)
  4. Right sides together, line up the raw edges of your ruffle piece with the bottom of the bodice piece and sew along the gathering stitch to attach the ruffle.  Take care to remove pins as you sew
  5. Line up the side seams and sleeve edges and sew along the edge with a 3/8 seam allowance. 
  6. (If you waited to do set-in sleeves, do those now.)
  7. Remove any of the gathering stitches that might be showing around the ruffle and gently press the ruffle flat. 
  8. Optional step: Topstitch around the ruffle seam.

Step 4: Add Neck Binding.

  1. Tip: If your neck binding fabric is less than 50% stretch, you will want to measure the neck opening and cut your strip of fabric about 88 to 92% of that measurement.
  2. Cut your neck binding strip.  Fold in half and press
  3. Open the strip and sew the ends together with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.  Trim the seam edge to about 1/8th inch. Fold back into the pressed position.
  4. Divide the neck binding into 4ths and the neck opening of the tee into 4ths.  Mark with pins.
  5. Keep in mind, the front neckline is deeper, so the 2 side pins will not line up with the shoulder seams
  6. Pin the binding strip to the neckline at the corresponding marks
  7. Sew the binding to the neckline, pin to pin, using a 3/8 inch seam allowance, stretching the binding strip as you sew. 
  8. Take care to not let the neckline fabric stretch.  (Go slow and know this may take practice.)
  9. Press the neckline flat. Using a lot of steam will help if your neckline is a bit stretched out)
  10. Optional: Topstitch around the neckline binding.

You are done!

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18 Comments

  1. Do you cut the ruffle on a fold? Total width for a size 10 52″ and not 26.5?

  2. Sheila Robson says:

    Love this top! Must make some for my granddaughters.

  3. Robyn Dilley says:

    Where do I go to download this pattern?

  4. Pamela Regensburger says:

    Do you think this could be made with Raglan sleeves ?

  5. Võ Thuý Hoa says:

    Love it so much. The fabric is great too. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Fortnite Hack says:

    Love it! This is a great looking combination with the boots.

  7. marie bartling says:

    made it for my granddaughter. She loved it and so did i.

    1. Pamela Williams says:

      Thank you so very much… about to whip out a batch of these for my GrandFairy… thank you for your efforts and generosity… Pamelalala in Alaska 💕PS I grew up in an other time in Houston.

  8. Love the floral print on your fabric. Gotta try making this top soon, thank you so much for the pattern!

  9. Just made this for my 10 year old granddaughter. So cute. Tried to post a photo here, but couldn’t. Not sure why.

  10. I can’t wait to try it for my 3 year old. Thanks for sharing!

  11. hai jamie. iam ayu from malaysia…tq so much for your sharing..

  12. Thank you for this shirt pattern. I have used it several times making shirts for my girls. I totally agree they don’t need tight shirts which is why I reach for your pattern over and over!