Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ruffled Jacket Refashion

Remember this skirt from my Wendi Reed cardigan make-over? Well, there was a jacket that came along with it (thanks mom for the hand-me-downs).

Jacket Before

Of course, I couldn't just leave it as is. I had seen this jacket on Modcloth a while back and wanted to attempt a version.

My version

Here's how if you want to give it a try:

You'll need to start with an existing jacket. Measure the width of your jacket along the bottom seam - mine was 40 inches. Add 2 inches to this number. Cut a piece of fabric 9 inches by your width + 2 number (42 for me). I used an old sheet for this because it was long enough. If you don't have a sheet handy you may have to seam your piece to get the correct length. (I actually cheated a little here as well and used my existing sheet seam - 1 less seam to sew, but if you do this, don't forget to cut your strip 1 inch less width-wise - 8 inches). This will be your foundation piece to which you will sew your ruffles.

Fold each short end over 1/2 inch and then 1/2 inch again and hem. Do the same along the bottom if you're not using a pre-hemmed sheet.

Now, you need to cut the fabric for your ruffles. I like the masculine/feminine fabric contrast that I used in the Wendi Reed sweater, so I went with a floral fabric for my ruffles. Cut 4 inch strips. You will need 3 total strips approximately twice as long as your jacket width - you will probably have to seam your strips to get this length. I needed approximately 80 inch long strips.

Hem your short edges and 1 of your long edges on each strip.

Sew a basting stitch (long stitch length, low thread tension) along your raw edge of each strip. Now you can gently pull on your end threads to ruffle your fabric (do not pull too hard or you will break the thread and this won't work). You want to adjust the length of your strips to match the length of your jacket and foundation piece.

Pin 1 ruffle strip onto the front side of your foundation piece - you want the bottom of your ruffle to fall just barely lower than the bottom of the foundation piece. Sew down.

Repeat with your second ruffle - you want the bottom of the second ruffle to fall just barely over the raw edge of the first ruffle.

The final ruffle you will sew down slightly differently so you won't have any exposed raw edges. Lay your last ruffle down so the bottom falls just barely over the raw edge of the second ruffle. Now carefully flip upwards and over - so your right sides are now together. Pin in place and sew down.

Iron your last ruffle down so that the right side is showing. Top stitch along the edge to hold it down. Your piece will now look like this:

Fold the excess foundation fabric over half-way, and then over again and press well. It will look like this:

back side

front side

Pin to your jacket and sew in place. I used 2 rows of stitching to hold it well. You also want to make sure you have a heavy-duty needle in your machine for this part as you will be sewing through your jacket plus several layers of fabric.

I also replaced the drab grey/brown buttons with solid black ones. (I wanted to add the ruffles along the pockets but had run out of floral fabric so it had to be finished).


  1. That is gorgeous!!! Thank you for sharing this--I would have never thought to do this to a jacket.

  2. Cute, cute jacket!! How big is your closet??

    I did real number on Amazon last night. And I blame it on your blog. Lucky me had a gift card for Amazon from Wendy and Darin. I bought a bunch of historical fiction. I'll post them on my blog.

  3. What a difference the ruffles can make! Bravo for the beautiful result

  4. wow what a great combo. ruffles look very cute. well done Jenn!

  5. This is so cute, I love when you can remake something that is a little boring and make it special.

  6. That came out so pretty, I love it! Thanks so much for adding this to the One Pretty Thing Flickr pool, I'll be linking in Sunday's Weekend Roundup.

  7. I'm also thinking that it might not be too difficult to make different ruffle "thingies" and maybe snap them into place rather than sew to the existing sweater/jacket to change the look even more. Very inspiring!

    I love tutorials that make me think, "I can do that!"

  8. Just saw your jacket this morning and what a difference some ruffles make. Although you bought new buttons, I saw in my mind fabric covered ones echoing the same material, Ahh! next time perhaps.

  9. My current jacket is a few inches too short and the pockets show if I move my arms, so this is a godsend. Thank you for sharing.