Okay, so you know how I get the crazy eye in my closet sometimes. No article of clothing feels terribly secure of remaining the same when that happens.
But you’d think that with Valentine’s Day approaching, this red wrap dress would be safe! It’s a lovely soft jersey fabric which I love, but I have not worn this dress once in the year I’ve owned it. So although I picked it up on uber-sale for about $6, it was still a waste of money. [I'm still learning the lesson of spending a little more on pieces I love rather than buying 10 cheap pieces I don't love.]
So under the knife it went! [Or... scissors, rotary cutter, and sewing machine, in this case] First, I cut off the two tie waist strips.
Then I laid the dress flat in half so the two side seams matched up. [There's a lot of fabric on the front half of the dress because that is where the wrap overlapped.]
I decided about how long I wanted my cardi (by wearing it and counting how many “dots” from the bottom it was), and then I cut off the extra bottom fabric, cutting the back of the dress first…
…And then curving my cut up from the side seams to where the waist ties had been attached.
I could have stopped there (remember, jersey doesn’t fray, so no need to hem)…
…But the siren’s call of the ruffles beckoned me… So I cut off the hem from the bottom fabric I’d removed so my long strip of fabric was raw on top and bottom.
Then I cut that wide strip into two narrow strips (mine were about 3-3/4 inches wide, and I choose that width by taking the most narrow width of the wide piece and dividing it in half.
So you will end up with two long strips, each almost the length from waist tie spot to waist tie spot.
Sew the two strips end-to-end, right sides together.
Then pin the long ruffle strip all along the bottom edge of your cardi (from one former waist tie spot all the way around to the other), right sides together. I eyeball my pinning by finding the half way point of my soon-to-be ruffle and pinning that to the center of the laid flat cardi, then repeating: halfway point of one side of soon-to-be ruffle pinned to halfway point of one side of cardi, and so on until you have the ruffle pinned to the cardi every eight inches or so. [If you feel more comfortable pre-ruffling your long strip and then attaching it, follow this super easy tute on how to ruffle fabric here.]
I love doing the pin and ruffle way. Just scrunch the ruffle fabric into folds on top of the flat cardi fabric as you sew, and–voila–instant ruffle!
[Please forgive the blurred image, but my favorite three-year-old was the cameraman on the job, ha!] I love how ruffles flounce and whirl. Such a happy clothing detail!
I’m actually considering adding back the waist ties and making it a wrap cardi instead of open front, but even if I don’t, it cascades so nicely!
Yay! Valentine’s-ready cardi! Free and done in under 30 minutes, huzzah!!