this top would be perfect, if only…

You know those garments you have that you like, but that you could LOVE if only…that one thing about it could be changed? Those little pretties are ripe for refashion. Here’s my latest.

printed sleeveless tank: before

before: cute top, dull tie.
When I still had an office job, this sleeveless top spent most of its time underneath jackets and cardigan sweaters when I wore it to the office. I really liked the colors and the small-scale geometric print.

I wasn’t so much a fan of the little tie. It’s okay, but not really “me”. However, back then I wasn’t that concerned with making my outfits “me,” I was more concerned with the office dress code. So I never did anything about it (my mistake).

top with tie removed from neckline removed strap a165space


step one: remove the tie
To make this top more “me,” I decided to turn the bland tie into a cute little ruffle. I love me some ruffles! So I took a seam ripper to the tie and removed it from the neckline of the tank top.

I was left with two raw edges – one along the neckline, the other on the tie, where it was attached to the neckline. I finished the neckline by just turning the raw edge under once, and stitching it down with a narrow zig zag stitch.

hole left in tie hole closed with blind stitcha165space

step two: close the hole
For my plan to work, I needed finished edges all around the tie. So I turned it inside-out, and sewed the raw edge closed (using a zig zag stitch – my serger is in my closet and stays there), where it used to be attached to the neckline.

I left a small hole so I could turn it right-side out again, and then closed that hole with a blind stitch (see? invisible!).

double line of basting stitches down the center finished ruffle a165space

step three: make the ruffle
Now to turn the tie into a ruffle! I ran two long basting stitches right down the center of the tie, and then gathered them to create a full, tight ruffle.

My plan was to stitch it along the neckline, right down the center like a tuxedo ruffle. But naturally, after gathering into a ruffle, the tie wasn’t long enough to reach all the way around the neckline…what to do?

finished back collar

step four: applying the ruffle
I decided I really only needed the ruffle to go along the front V of the neckline.

With a little bit of time with my tape measure, I figured out how much of the tie needed to be flat to lay against the back neckline, and how much needed to be ruffled to decorate the front V neck.

Then I pinned and sewed the ruffle to the neckline, using a narrow zig zag stitch right down the center of the ruffle. Along the neckline, the flattened tie folded over to form a narrow little collar. Adorable!

finished top with new ruffled neckline

after: cute top with ruffled neckline!
The finished shirt is so much cuter, and something I’m much happier to wear, because it feels so much more like me! And it was super easy to do…I didn’t even need any additional fabric or notions.

Do you have anything in your closet that you sort of like, but that you know you could LOVE? That would be absolutely perfect and fun to wear, if only…?


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