Thursday, October 24, 2013

Whimsy-fy a vintage blouse (with a ruffled hem!)

I love simple designs with little whimsical embelishments.I was online window shopping a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon this dainty little number and instantly fell in love.

I won't say where I found it or how much it cost (hint: somewhere around an arm and a leg) but suffice it to say that my reaction was, "Hey, I can make that for SO much less!" And so I did. I happened to have a Victorian-esque blouse with sumptuously puffed sleeves that I bought for an absolute bargain at a local vintage store, Netty Vintage. I can't remember the exact price but I'm 100% sure it wasn't more than $15. Then I simply headed over to my local crafts store to get a matching fabric for the ruffle and voila!

Vintage blouse whimsy-fied!

This is the first major refashion project I've done and I'm quite happy with the way it turned out.The stitching is a bit messy because I'm still a newbie on the sewing machine but you can hardly tell from afar. What's important was that the ruffled hem was in place, my blouse now has the whimsical touch I was aiming for, my wardrobe has something new, so I'm happy!

Full tutorial (with pictures!) after the jump.

Ruffle-hemmed blouse

Blouse (mine is 100% polyester)
Matching fabric (I used 100% cotton)
Measuring tape/ruler
Pen/pencil for marking
Straight pins
Needle and thread OR sewing machine

Measure and cut the fabric for your ruffle. You can adjust the length and width of your fabric depending on the how long and how ruffly you'd like your ruffle to be. For the amount of ruffle I wanted, I cut the fabric to about 10" longer than my blouse's hem and doubled the width because I wanted my ruffle to be double-layered. So what I ended up with were TWO pieces of fabric measuring 32"x7".

Align both pieces of fabric together with right sides facing each other. Stitch both ends of the fabric along the width to form a circle or loop. Press the seams and turn the loop inside out.

Fold the loop in half and press. Sew a basting stich along the seam. If you don't know how to sew a basting stitch, this is basically how I did it: Set you stitch length to the maximum (mine was 4mm), set your tension to "0" (not pictured here) and simply straight stitch along the open length of the fabric with a 1/2" seam. DO NOT back stitch and secure the ends -- you'll need the loose ends to create the ruffles!

Next, pull on ONLY THE TOP thread of the stitch to create ruffles. Adjust the length of the gathered fabric to fit the width of your blouse and distribute the ruffles roughly evenly. Once you are happy with the way they look, knot the threads to keep the ruffles in place.

Pin the ruffled hem underneath the hem of your blouse and top stitch it into place. Use a thread colour that matches your blouse and try your best to sew parallel to your blouse's original hem stitch.

Voila! If the seams of your blouse's hem tends to turn upwards, like mine did, you can simply press it and it'll stay down.

Happy whimsy-fying!
My mom was excited about this cupcake because it perfectly matched my blouse so she snapped a picture of it. Cupcakes and polka-dots make a cute combo, don't you think?