Red to Ruffles: Simple Upcycled Wrap Dress To Cardi

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.

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 01 before

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.]

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 02 cut straps

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.

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 03 side seams

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.]

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 04 cut off bottom

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…

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 05 cut off front bottom

…And then curving my cut up from the side seams to where the waist ties had been attached.

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 06 cut cardi

I could have stopped there (remember, jersey doesn’t fray, so no need to hem)…

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 07 cut ruffle fabric 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.

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 08 cut ruffle fabric in half

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.

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 09 ruffle fabric cut

So you will end up with two long strips, each almost the length from waist tie spot to waist tie spot.

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 10 join two strips

Sew the two strips end-to-end, right sides together.

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 11 pin ruffle

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.]

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 12 sew ruffle

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!

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 13 ruffles in action

[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!

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 14 wrap or open

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!

wrap dress to cardi upcycle 15 after

Yay! Valentine’s-ready cardi! Free and done in under 30 minutes, huzzah!!

6 responses to “Red to Ruffles: Simple Upcycled Wrap Dress To Cardi

  1. Pingback: Bleach Splash On A Dress? {simple fix} | CampClem·

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