Another tutorial using Ruffle Fabric – wahoo! This time, a whole dress. It takes longer than the 5 minute skirt, but it’s definitely doable in a naptime. And really, blogging this tutorial took longer than actually making the dress.
I went with light pink because I thought ruffles would be perfect for an Easter Dress. This tutorial is zipper and button free! Ruffle fabric is stretchy, so with the V-neck and the stretch in the fabric, no closures are needed.
This took a lot less fabric than I thought – I was able to get 2 dresses out of 1 1/2 yards of fabric (my girls are 4 and 6). I bought fabric to line the top as well – I used the swim/dancewear stuff (found it at JoAnn’s) since it’s really stretchy, just like the ruffle fabric stuff, so it would stretch over their heads.
Here we go – a tutorial on how to make a ruffle dress. You can do this!
Grab a dress that fits her well – trace around it’s bodice:
But instead of making it a scoop neck, draw a diagonal line down:
Cut 2 and over lap them for the front – see:
Trace a piece for the back as well:
Did you notice that the ruffles on the bodice go diagonal?? – love that little touch – see:
To do that, when you cut the fabric, put the diagonal edge on the edge of the fabric – in the picture below, the ruffles are cascading towards the top of the picture:
Cut the back of the bodice:
And cut the same pieces out of lining:
Lay out your 2 front bodice pieces:
And then put your back bodice piece on top of it, face down. Sew the shoulders – where the white dotted line is – and do the same with the lining pieces.
Now, lay it out flat with the ruffles on top – then lay out your lining. Pin it together. Sew where the black dotted lines are as shown below. Note that on the armholes you stop and start sewing about 1 inch from the edge.
Now, the semi-tricky part. Mainly tricky to explain. First flip the whole contraption right-side out by pulling it through the shoulders. Try to iron where you sewed, but be really careful and use a cool iron. Then, at the bottom of the armhole, find the 2 edges of the lining and sew them right-sides together. Then sew that same spot but on the ruffle, right sides together. After that you’ll notice a small hole in the bottom of the armhole – sew that seam. It’ll make sense (I hope) when you see it.
So that’s it for the top – not too hard, right? Grab your girl and have her try on the bodice – overlap the V-neck and pin it to fit (I think I needed my make my 4 year olds a little tighter – but she kept wiggling, so it was hard to tell!). Then where the 2 pieces overlap, sew them together along the bottom edge.
For the bottom part, cut 2 rectangles and sew up the side seams – I didn’t take pictures of that part. I traced the well-fitting dress again to get the size right. Flip the skirt inside-out. Put the bodice, which is right-side out, upside-down inside the skirt. Pin those edges:
When pinning, I didn’t pin the lining, so it just hangs inside the dress. Oh, and I didn’t line the skirt part – you could if you wanted. Sew it together and you’re done! Great job!
A quick heads up – if you sew a long stitch down the middle of a strip of ruffle fabric, and gather it, you can glue it to a hairclip and it looks great!
More of my models – can you tell it was really cold and windy? ? (that’s why there are a few without my 4 year old – she bailed early) Oh, I forgot to mention I just tied a ribbon around their waist to add a little interest and shape. Super cute – super easy – what more do you need!