I Bought A Dress And Cut It Up

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.

01 teal dress makeover before

It is a lightweight sweater jersey fabric, super soft and cozy and a perfect color for fall.

02 teal dress makeover before schlumpy

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.

03 teal dress makeover waist

But seeing its potential, I brought it home. The first thing I did was tighten up the waist.

03 teal dress makeover waist narrowed

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.]

04 teal dress makeover cut off marks

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.

04 teal dress makeover cut off fabric

Then I cut my two halved tubes up one side and sewed them together end to end to form one mega tube.

05 teal dress makeover eyeballing the ruffle pins

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.

06 teal dress makeover ruffles pinned

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).

08 teal dress makeover after ruffle detail 2

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.

07 teal dress makeover after

And there we have it! I added beads, boots, and belt (optional, not necessary with the newly reduced waist), and I was set!

02 teal dress makeover before schlumpy

So here’s one more look at the before…

07 teal dress makeover after 2

…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…

LINK stripey shirt says buh-bye blue {cue the scissors}

LINK Anthropologie Inspired Glass Necklace Makeover {tutorial}

LINK Breaking Up One Suit, Three Looks


5 responses to “I Bought A Dress And Cut It Up

  1. This is absolutely the most adorable thing I’ve seen on your posts so far!! LOVE IT. You are so gifted. Thanks for sharing!! A blessed Thanksgiving to you and your family! Fondly, Stevanie Sweet


  2. Pingback: The “Learning Superpower” Ruffle Shirt | CampClem·

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