Friday, May 23, 2014

Ruffled Top Refashion

Happy Friday, everyone! Are you looking forward to the weekend as much as I am? Although I'm not working outside the home right now, I love weekends since I get to have my husband home for a couple of days.

So, I've told you how I am trying to extend the life of my wardrobe in the interest of saving a little cash. Last week I showed you how to lengthen shirts by adding lace. This week's refashion is a little bit more involved, but so much fun.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing





I had this darling one-shoulder top that I never, ever wore, because it was what I call "high-maintenance clothing". That's what I call any of my clothes that require a special bra, or a tank top or cami to be worn underneath--basically if I can't grab it and throw it on without having to make sure that something else is clean first, it's "high maintenance". This top was in that category because, being one-shouldered, I had to wear a strapless bra with it, which is just so uncomfortable.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

I knew I would wear this shirt more often if it had a strap on it, but of course I couldn't go and find fabric that would match exactly. I didn't want the strap to look out of place, so I decided to incorporate the strap fabric into other places on the shirt so it would look like it belonged. I am so, so happy with how it turned out!

When I went in search of fabric, I absolutely fell in love with this gorgeous print. I have a special fondness for damask, and when this multicolored damask caught my eye I just couldn't say no.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

Even though there's no navy in the damask pattern itself, I thought it looked great with the navy shirt.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

The first thing I did was try on the shirt and mark where I wanted the strap to go (basically where it would cover my bra strap).

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

It's a little difficult to see, but there are two pins in the picture above marking the point where I wanted the strap centered. I also took a rough over-the-shoulder measurement to see about how long I should cut the strap. I added on a couple of extra inches just to have plenty of wiggle-room, and cut out two pieces of fabric for the strap.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

To make the strap "fit in", I decided to add a piece to the bottom of the shirt, and an extra ruffle sandwiched between the two previously-existing ruffles.

To cut out the bottom piece, I just laid the shirt out on top of my two layers of fabric, about 4 or 5 inches up from the raw edge, since that was how thick I wanted the bottom band.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

Then I cut the band pieces the width of the shirt plus 1/2" on each side for seam allowance.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

To make the ruffle piece, I took a rough measurement of the finished ruffle length after it was gathered. I just laid the tape measure across it, following the curve, and used that measurement; it didn't need to be exact.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

Then I doubled the length I measured to get the total length of the ruffle for the front and back, because I was going to sew it all in one piece. The finished length measured about 24", so I knew it would take 48" to cover the front and back. Then I doubled that whole measurement again to get the extra amount I would need for the ruffle, for a total of 96". (I know, I know, too much math for a Friday!)

Since the ruffle is on the bias (a diagonal line, not parallel or perpendicular to the grain line of the fabric) I decided to cut the new ruffle on the bias, too.
Fortunately my cutting mat has a 45­° angle marked on it, so that was easy. I cut four 24" strips about 4" wide, on the bias. (I didn't bother adding seam allowance, since it was going to be gathered).

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

After cutting out all the pieces, I started the sewing by doing the strap first. With right sides together, I sewed the side seams. I decided to make my strap a little wider in the front and taper it to a slightly narrower strap, which is why my sewing line looks a little crooked.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

I turned it right-side out and gave it a good press.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

I tucked the raw edges in on the ends and topstitched them closed, and then pinned it onto the shirt where I had previously marked in the front. I sewed the front of the strap on just by topstitching it in place. I stitched on top of the stitching line already on the shirt so you don't notice the extra stitching.
Here's how it looks on the inside:

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

After sewing the front of the strap in place, I had my husband pin the back of it for me until it felt comfortable (yep, I'm teaching that man to pin, ha!) and then I attached the back of the strap the same way as I did the front.

To add the bottom band, first I ripped out the original hem in the shirt and pressed it flat.
I sewed the sides of the band pieces together, and then hemmed the band.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

Next, I just lined up the side seams on the band with the side seams on the shirt and sewed it on to the bottom. (And apparently didn't take pictures of that part).

Finally, I created the new ruffle. I sewed all of the ruffle pieces together end to end, creating a big loop of fabric--pretty much just like the bottom band, only longer. I then hemmed the bottom edge and serged the top edge. Sorry I didn't get a picture of this part, either, but really it looked just like the picture of the bottom band above, except about twice as wide. I ran a gathering stitch along the top edge of the ruffle, and then gathered it to fit the shirt.

I lifted up the top ruffle and sewed the new ruffle to the underneath one.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

The top edge of the new ruffle is hidden when the ruffles are all laying down as it's being worn.

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

Ta-da! My refashioned shirt was complete!

Ruffled Top Refashion | Apples to Applique #sewing

Now I love, love, love this shirt and wear it all the time! It's just so sassy, and I like the bright summery look the new fabric gives it.

I know not everyone will have a shirt like this in their closet, but I hope this tutorial will inspire you to look at unworn clothes in your own wardrobe, think about why you don't wear them, and what creative things you can do to fix them.

What kinds of things do you have in your closet that you never wear? Have you thought about trying to refashion them?

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please subscribe to my email list and follow me on social media; the buttons are at the top-right corner of my blog. Thank you!

Linking up with KSWB's Sunday Link-Up and Happiness is Homemade.

22 comments:

  1. How adorable and creative! You are a wonder! Pinning!

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    1. Thank you, Ronda, I appreciate it!

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  2. Cute top! Love the fabric you chose to remake it with.

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  3. How super cute!!! What a great idea. I love the finished product! Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it and that it inspired you!

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  4. You lost me at sewing machine. That is a skill I did not ///sadly// inherit from my mom. BUT you did a good job. I could def not wear this shirt wo a strap and the added touch made for so much color!

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    1. I think sewing skips a generation; I learned from my grandmother, but my mom does not sew, lol!
      Yes, I wear it MUCH more now that it has a strap, and love the added color.

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  5. I love the fabric you used for this! If I was a sewer, I'd be all over this idea!

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    1. I fell in love with this fabric as soon as I saw it! I'm glad I had a project to use it for.

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  6. This is so cute...and it looks easy enough that even I (as an extreme beginner sewer) can do it!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! If you have items in your wardrobe you don't wear, they're great to practice on--if they don't turn out, you're not really out anything, and if they do, you've extended the life of your wardrobe. :)

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  7. Unfortunately the pictures wouldn't load because my internet is slow. Sounds like a cute idea. I am not handy in this way but I might pay someone to do this for me. You are so creative! Blessings~

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    1. I'm sorry the pictures wouldn't load; that's always frustrating.
      This would be a fun project to have a sewing friend do for you. ;)

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  8. You really gave that piece a fun new updo that makes it more of a fun summer piece. too cute!

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    1. Thank you; I'm so happy with it, and I think the new colors do make it a lot more summery.

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  9. Replies
    1. Thank you! I understand it can be intimidating, but I also like to encourage people to try it; I find it so fun to create things with fabric. :)

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  10. SO CUTE!!! And I love that the band at the bottom added some extra length! I need to refashion a couple of tops in my closet now :D

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I am all about adding length to shirts as you saw in my post about adding lace last week. :) I would love to see your refashioned designs!

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  11. Cute! Wish I was better at sewing, but I may just have to work at it more after seeing this!

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    1. I hope you decide to give it a try! When I first started sewing I made some terrible looking things, but with practice I kept getting better and better. It's a fun skill to have!

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