I have a 4 and a half years old daughter that only wants to wear dresses, specially twirly or ruffled dresses. We have a huge conflict each time I make her wear a pair of pants, even in winter (and we are in winter right now. Freezing cold winter actually!).
So I put myself to work on something she could wear during the cold days. I love the A line style dress because she can wear layered with with turtle neck t-shirts, but A line dresses are not her favorite at all, so I figured out a solution to keep both of us happy :D
I used the Kate's dress pattern and added some ruffles at the bottom, resulting on a A-line (makes mommy happy), super ruffled (makes Sophia happy) dress. She loved it! Mission accomplished!
Here is how to do it!
You will need:
- Kate's dress sewing pattern, you can get it from my Etsy shop.
- 1/2 yard of fabric (for the 1st and 3rd layers of ruffles)
- 1/4 yard of fabric (for the 2nd layer of ruffles)
- color coordinated thread, scissors or rotary cutter and pins
- sewing machine
First of all use your copy of Kate's dress to sew the complete dress, do not hem the bottom edge of the dress, you will attach 1 layer of ruffles later.
Take the measurements:
Each layer of ruffles need to be the double length of the bottom edge of the dress. So, measure along the bottom edge of the dress, use that measurement to cut each strip for the ruffles.
In example: for a size 6 the circumference is approximately 40". So your measurement for the ruffles will the 40".
Let's do it!
1. Cut 3 strips of fabric:
- 4 strips out of the same fabric X" long and 4" high (in the example would be 40" x 4").
- 2 strip out of the other fabric fabric X" long and 4" high (in the example would be 40" x 4").
2. Take 2 strips for each layer and join by the short edges.
3. Finish the long edges for the top and middle layer of ruffles and only 1 the bottom edge for the bottom layer of ruffles.
In this case I rolled hem the edge with my serger, but you can also make a rolled hem or regular hem using the regular sewing machine.
4. Set your sewing machine to a long straight stitch. Take the bottom layer and basting stitch along the top (unfinished) edge. Pull the threads to gather the fabric until you reach the size of the bottom edge of the dress.
5. Set your sewing machine back to a regular stitch.
6. Lay the bottom layer of ruffles around the dress, right side of the ruffles facing the right side of the dress. Align the gathered edge of the ruffle with the bottom edge of the dress. Align the side seams of the ruffle with the side seams of the dress. Pin to secure in place.
7. Sew along the edge and finish with zig-zag or serger.
8. Fold the seam allowance towards the dress and press. Using a slightly longer stitch, top stitch about 1/4" from the seam.
9. Set your sewing machine to a long straight stitch.
10. Take one of the other layers of ruffles and basting stitch along the top edge, about 1/4" from the edge. Align the presser foot with the previous row of stitches and sew a second row.
11. Pull the threads to gather the fabric until you reach the size of the bottom edge of the dress.
12. Repeat steps #10 and #11 with the other layer.
13. Set your sewing machine back to a regular stitch.
14. Lay the second layer of ruffles around the dress. Make sure that this layer overlaps the bottom layer approximately 1/2".
15. Sew to attach the ruffle to the dress. Sew between the 2 rows of basting stitches. Then carefully remove the basting stitches.
16. Repeat steps #14 and #15 to attach the last layer of ruffles.