I ran into Old Navy the other day and happened to see this dress. It was from this season but marked 50% off since it is an online only item that was returned to the store.
It is a lightweight sweater jersey fabric, super soft and cozy and a perfect color for fall.
The only problem–well, besides its extremely long length–was that it was a size large. Which I am not. So it was a bit schlumpy.
But seeing its potential, I brought it home. The first thing I did was tighten up the waist.
Since it had a ribbed waistband, I used that as my guide and ran five rows of stitches back and forth across it (matching thread), pleating/cinching/ruffling the fabric as I went. [I don’t know what the technical term is, or if there is one, but I bunched the material up in little folds as it approached the needle, so the folds were then sewn down thereby forming little pleats/ruffles and simultaneously cinching in the waist.]
Then I was on to the skirt: I made three cuts, one a few inches above my knee, one to cut off the bottom of the dress (so I had a raw edged “tube” and the bottom hem tube scrap), and a third to cut my fabric tube in half.
Then I cut my two halved tubes up one side and sewed them together end to end to form one mega tube.
Next, I pinned my mega tube onto the bottom of my cut dress (just like I would if I were adding a ruffle to some ruffle pants for my daughter). I estimated where to pin (the dress’s side seams) at the halfway points of my mega tube.
Then i kept halving and pinning until my mega tube was loosely pinned all the way around the skirt bottom (my dress is right side out, and my tube is inside out and upside down, so that the right sides of the skirt bottom and ruffle top meet).
Then I again finger ruffled/pleated as I went to add this lovely little ruffle to the bottom of my dress. I left the bottom edge raw. And I added a top stitch all the way around right above the ruffle just as I also do with ruffle pants.
And there we have it! I added beads, boots, and belt (optional, not necessary with the newly reduced waist), and I was set!
So here’s one more look at the before…
…and the after, ha cha cha!! I love a good makeover!
Okay, so please no one tell me you liked the before better… Oi! Of course, there was that moment as I sat and cut and sewed last night when I wondered what on EARTH I was thinking cutting up a brand new perfectly good dress! …But I think it all turned out in the end, phewf and WHEEEEE!
You might also like some of my other wardrobing adventures…