Semi-Handmade Spring Wardrobe Series: Part 3

Today I am revealing two semi-handmade looks that are so super-simple.  Even if you are a beginner sewer, you can definitely feel confident tackling these two projects.
Both of these looks, the cupcake dress and the ruffle capris, started off as two very basic clothing pieces and were transformed into something a little more special through the use of ruffles and fun fabric.
For the cupcake dress, I started out with a basic peasant style denim dress that was purchased from target.  Savannah got a lot of wear out of this dress last summer, but unfortunately it was just getting a little too short for her.
For the cupcake applique, I simply cut out the cupcake piece from the badly stained Gymboree shirt that we had.  I thought this cupcake was adorable, but the shirt had seen better days.  All I did was straight-stitch around the edge of the applique to secure it to the dress.
I chose a fabric that coordinated with the cupcake to extend the length of the dress through the use of a ruffle.  The ruffle was cut to be 2.5 times the entire bottom measurement of the dress.  I had to join two pieces together in order to make it long enough.  I wanted to add about 2 inches to the dress length, so I cut the ruffle 4 inches wide because it is folded in half (which means no hemming!).
The bottom of the dress is top-stitched (1/8″ seam allowance) to make sure the ruffle stays down after washing.  Plus, I always like top-stitching, it gives it a more finished look.
I’m so happy we are going to be re-using this dress for the next several seasons.  I loved it before, but I love it even more now!
I typically wouldn’t cut up a perfectly good pair of pants, but here was the one exception.  The ruffled capri look was created because I loved these little pants but the fit was sort of odd for the size.  They are actually a size 2T (Savannah wears a 4T) – the length was definitely a 2T, but the waist was more like a 4T/5T.  So we never got too much wear out of them because by the time the waist fit, the length was just a little too short.
This was the quickest look out of all to create……it took longer to measure and cut for the ruffles than the actual sewing portion.  I just cut the pants off and added a ruffle.  How easy is that?  I did top-stitch (1/8″ seam allowance) around the bottom of the pants to make sure the ruffles didn’t flip up after washing.  My mother-in-law purchased this coordinating shirt for Savannah (not knowing we already had these pants) in a size 4, so we have the perfect shirt to go with these cute little capris.
You could do this with any pair of pants.  You can either make them into capris (like I did here) or extend the length of them to make the pants longer for the next size up.  My children are averaged sized, but I would imagine this could work really well if you have a thin little string-bean on your hands.

So there you go, two easy, totally new looks with the addition of some ruffles!  What do you think?  Have any pants or dresses that you would like to extend the life out of or make just a little bit more special?  I challenge you to pull them out and make it happen.  And when you’re all finished, add your pictures to The Cottage Home flickr group so we can all see your amazing work!
Tomorrow I will be revealing two little dresses and a fun, easy skirt – see you then!

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  1. Great refashions! I love the idea of adding a ruffle to make a dress longer. The dress is beautiful. I’m committing to going through my daughter’s closet this morning! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I love what you did to the denim dress!!! I am in the process of working on my daughters summer wardrobe, also. Thanks for some inspiration!!!

  3. Love the denim dress! I love the Tea for Two line! And the brown JP is a favorite! Wish I could get my hands on some 🙂

  4. What a great idea with the ruffles! And cute too! Both items are adorable.

  5. Very cute! I love them both. I know my daughter has several pairs of pants that will not fit her till she’s outgrown the length! That’s a great idea.

  6. I like the idea of cutting off just the applique if that’s all you can save! Sometimes it really is, haha. I’m pretty good for treating stuff but sometimes I forget and send Nicole to her grandma’s in something cute and that almost always ends in tears. (for me.)
    I’m planning on doing something similar with the ruffle/denim… my sister bought me a dress for my baby girl that looks meh but actually fits ADORABLY. However, it has a ruffle on the bottom which is a) barely a ruffle and b) really really faded looking. It also has some appliques that have definitely seen better days. But the denim is still in excellent condition so I’m definitely going to do a little surgery on that one! I might even make it match a peasant dress I’m going to make, because when the dress gets too short it will be a peasant top and with any luck the denim dress will still fit when that happens and they can be a set. ohoho.

  7. loving your re-fashions! They are inspiring! 🙂

  8. This is so fun to see your new (old) creations! 🙂 Great job, girl! Can’t wait to see tomorrow!

  9. Thanks so much for this series. I just recently found your site and LOVE it! I’m new to sewing but I think some of what you are doing this week I can completely do!! Thanks for taking the time to share with the rest of us.