While flipping through the October issue of Elle, I came across a Banana Republic ad featuring an adorable , Anne Hathaway looking girl wearing the cutest ruffled cardigan. And unlike some of the more extravagantly draped gowns and blouses in there that make my heart go pitter-patter, this one looked simple to replicate.
And it was!!
Love all the texture and of course the tone-on-tone gray, a wardrobe staple.
All you need is one plain cardigan sweater ( this one was thrifted for $1) and several strips of fabric, 20 inches or longer.
Different textured materials such as cotton, lace, satin, tulle, linen and ribbon in a monochromatic palette add lots of interest. Leave unhemmed to achieve a shabby look.
Arrange the strips on the sweater how ever you find pleasing. I used: black zipper, gray/white stripe cotton weave, gray lace, printed cotton voile (Alexander Henry Como leftovers from this dress), gray/white pinstripe, black tulle, and gray satin. Take a pic if you need help remembering the placement - I know I do!
Ruffle your strips either with a gathering foot or baste and gather by hand. Pull out the ruffles to the length your sweater requires.
Pin the first strip in place. This photo shows starting furthest from the opening, but on the other side I started from the opening and liked the results much better.
Sew the ruffle strips on, starting from the bottom of the sweater.
If you start from the sweater opening, be careful not to sew the previous ruffle down by accident.
With all the ruffles sewn on, it should look something like this. Repeat on the other side of sweater.
Here you can see why I started from the opening the second time around. The ruffles on the left side are 4 inches higher than the right side. I started to pick the stitches out but wow! they are really in there tight! Rather than abandon the project in frustration, I chose to emphasize the unevenness by adding some black ribbon rosettes. Hopefully no one will make my same mistake!
Thanks Banana for the inspiration; you can keep the $98 price tag.