I have to share the Easter dress I made for my girlie. It turned out so cute and was so simple to make.
Want to know how to make your own? Here’s how I did it.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 yard of Ruffle Fabric. (I got mine from Allego Fabrics. I know you can also buy it at RuffleFabric.com. Allegro Fabrics has a smaller selection, but their prices are a little bit lower and you can buy 1/2 yards. You may be able to use less than 1 full yard. My daughter is a size 8/10)
3/4 inch elastic (I used about 25 inches for my daughter.)
First, layout the fabric and fold it right sides together. You want the ruffles going the same direction. I cut my fabric in an A-line so it would be skinnier at the top and wider at the bottom. That way it would fit my daughter’s small frame better.
I used my cutting mat as a guide and just eyeballed where to lay it. Then I cut right along the edge of the mat with my scissors.
Since the board wasn’t long enough for the whole length of fabric, I just slid it down when I got closer to the bottom and finished cutting.
After you have the main piece cut, you need to trim one ruffle off the top and one off the bottom.
When you are trimming the top ruffle, you want to cut the ruffle only, not the fabric underneath. Like this:
The bottom ruffle needs to be cut off completely. When you trim it off, trim the underlying fabric close to the next ruffle up. You’ll want to go even higher than I went. I had to go back and trim it some more.
With the right sides folded together, pin the seam. I can’t stress anything more than PIN, PIN, PIN! Make sure as you are going that the ruffles line up and that there are no ruffles folded the wrong direction. Check every ruffle!
What you want is a finished seam that looks like this:
See how all of the ruffles are lined up and tucked inside the stich line?
So, after it’s pinned, just stich a straight seem down the entire length.
Now that you have the main body stitched, it’s time to make it fit!
I didn’t finish the bottom at all. The material won’t fray, so I just left it with a straight cut close the the seam of the last ruffle. But, the top needs to be finished and I finished it with elastic. What I wanted was for the top ruffle to hide the seam for the elastic casing. So, I turned the fabric right side out and folded the top underneath, then pinned. See how I held the top ruffle out of the way?
I didn’t get a good picture of exactly where to fold for the casing, so this photo from earlier will give you an idea of what I mean:
Next, sew a seam about 3/4 of an inch down from the fold. There are two things to keep in mind on this part. First, I sewed it from the right side of the fabric so I could see where the ruffles were. I held the top ruffle out of the way, but it makes it hard to measure 3/4”. I pretty much just eye balled it. The second thing to remember is to leave about a 1-inch opening at the beginning and end of the seam. It’s easiest to leave it at the back dress seam. You couldn’t sew straight through without going through a ruffle, anyway. Here’s a picture:
After you have the casing sewn, it’s time to put the elastic in. Get a safety pin and hook it to the end of the elastic so you can have something to help you pull it through.
Then pull, pull, pull, until the elastic goes all the way around. See how the elastic goes through the opening?
After you pull the elastic all the way around, you need to stitch the elastic together. I always do a stitch that resembles an N.
When the elastic is sewn together, then pull it all the way inside the casing. Re-adjust it so the fabric is evenly distributed.
To keep the elastic in place and prevent it from twisting, I sew a stitch right through the middle of the elastic. MAKE SURE you stretch the elastic and fabric before you sew through it. Otherwise, the elastic won’t be stretchy when it’s finished. See?
You have to keep pulling the elastic and fabric until you’ve sewed all the way around.
Now that that’s done, see how the elastic is hidden under the top ruffle? You can’t even tell there is a seam!
Lastly, you need to add straps to the top of the dress. I used part of the bottom ruffle to make the straps.
I folded them in half with the ruffle to one side. Then, stitched it.
After the straps are sewn in half, you need to add them to the dress. I had my daughter put on the dress and measured exactly how long to make each strap. I made a crisscross with the straps on the back of the dress, but I wish I would have just done it straight. My daughter has a hard time figuring out how to put the dress on!
Once the straps are pinned into place, sew them on. Just make sure you don’t accidentally sew over the front ruffle. The ruffles are pretty unforgiving and will get ruined if you have to un-pick. So, definitely make sure you don’t accidentally sew over one! I just straight stitched a small line, then back stitched, then straight stitched again.
And that’s it! Your dress is done!! I added a cardigan that we already had, and a ribbon as a belt.
I had a little bit of leftover ruffle, so I put together a quick hair flower to match. It all came together really well.
You can also use the same tutorial to make a skirt (just eliminate the straps). It was a really fast and fun project. Happy sewing!!
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