I’ve only recently discovered ruffle fabric, and I’m starting to get quite addicted to it. I’ve been buying mine from Fabric.com – they have a great selection for a reasonable price (and it’s delivered to my door, which is awesome).
It makes such adorable things in such little time! I feel like I’m cheating a little when I sew with it, but I can’t deny the great results.
Last week, I made a birthday outfit for my very good friend‘s little girl who was turning five years old.
I drafted a very simple a-line dress for her (with ruffle and lace embellishments, of course!) and made this super-quick leggings to wear with it. They were so easy to make!
Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and my girls (and hubby!) and I are really excited to celebrate it this year. I love my little family, and any chance I can get to show them how much I love them is worth spending some time on!
I recently ordered another big pile of fabric from my favourite online place to get it from (fabric.com), and when it arrived via the UPS man (or the “GPS man”, as Little C calls him) I instantly ripped it open and ogled over all of the lovely textiles. This pre-ruffled red fabric was among my treasure. I asked Little C which fabric she wanted a Valentine’s Day dress made out of, and without hesitation she pointed to the red ruffly one. Success!
I made this DIY dress in under a couple of hours. The pre-ruffled fabric made it really easy to get a boutique look with little time involved! The heart applique is optional, so you could save even more time there. The stretchy, ruffly fabric is comfy for a baby or young child to wear (it’s so soft!) and it looks so adorable!
1/4 yard contrasting knit fabric for heart applique if desired
Find a pattern for a slim-fitted peasant dress that is your child’s size (I drafted my own, but you could use this free one) and cut out two main dress pieces and two sleeves. Try to arrange the pattern on your ruffle fabric so that there is a full ruffle on the bottom of each piece (the hem of the dress and the bottom of the sleeve) – be careful not to cut that ruffle off!
Sew down the side seams of the dress, and the underarm seam of the sleeves (I used a serger, but you could also use a regular machine – this fabric doesn’t fray). Sew the sleeves to the dress.
Serge the raw edges of the neckline and sleeves (optional), and then turn each under about 1/2″ and sew to leave a 1/4″ casing. Leave an opening. Thread elastic through the casing (measure your child’s upper arm and where you want the neckline to fall to get the size of elastic you need) and then sew the holes shut.
If you want, you can add a heart applique to the chest of the dress by cutting out a heart shape from a contrasting fabric, pinning it like crazy to the dress, and zig-zagging it in place.
And, there you are! A simple little Valentine’s Day dress that looks much more complicated than it actually is to make. My little ruffle-lover has worn hers for two days straight.
Have you ever sewn with ruffle fabric? What are your tips?
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When it’s warm outside, nothing is more cute on a baby or toddler than a ruffly little dress! This dress design is based on the popular & very simple pillowcase dress idea, but I’ve added a unique ruffle embellishment. If you’re a beginner seamstress, this is a great starting project! The ruffle is completely optional – if you want to skip it, simply at a couple of inches to the dress length and machine-hem it instead. This sweet dress also makes a great gift!
1 yard main fabric 44-45″ wide
1/2 yard coordinating fabric 44-45″ wide
serger (optional, but helpful!)
rotary cutter & mat (optional, but helpful!)
1. From the main fabric, cut a two squares that are 22″ wide each (should be able to cut both from the width of the fabric) and the following length depending on age:
6 months: 15″
12 months: 16″
18 months: 17″
24 months / 2 years: 19″
3 years: 20″
4 years: 21″
5 years: 22″
6 years: 24″
Fold the squares in half lengthwise, and cut a “J” shape from the outer corner that is approximately 2″ wide and 5″ long (see picture).
2. From the coordinating fabric, cut 2 strips that are the full width of the fabric and 4″ high (for tie) and 2 strips that are the full width of the fabric and 3″ high (for the ruffle).
3. Sew the ruffle strips together at the short ends to make one long strip. Ruffle the strip on one long end with your serger or using a long running stitch on your sewing machine and pulling one thread to gather.
4. Place the ruffled edge of the ruffle, right sides together, on one of the bottoms of the main dress piece. Sew/serge together. Cut off excess. Repeat with second dress piece with remaining ruffle strip. Cut off excess.
5. Place the dress pieces with ruffle right-sides together. Sew/serge along side seams.
6. To finish the armholes, turn the raw edges of the “J” cuts in 1/4″ all around the curve. Press. Turn in 1/4″ again. Press.
7. Sew this rolled hem in place on the sewing machine.
8. Turn the tie piece in half lengthwise, right sides together. Sew along short ends and long end, leaving a 2″ opening. Turn right side out. Sew opening closed with machine.
9. To make the casing for the tie, turn each upper edge of the dress sides over 1/2″, then again over 1.5″. Sew in place.
10. To finish the ruffle, use a serger to narrow-roll hem the edge OR fold over 1/4″ then 1/4″ again and stitch with a machine. Optional: stitch a stitchline 1/4″ above the ruffle, catching the seam allowance and helping the ruffle stay down (see photo).
11. Thread the tie piece into one casing using a safety pin attached to one end to make it easy to find and move through the casing. Turn, thread through the second casing on the second side.
12. Tie the strap piece on one side in a bow. You can gather and adjust the dress casing to fit your child.
13. All done!
Christina Dennis is the creator and designer behind Golly Gee Baby, a collection of unique and colourful baby clothing and accessories that are ethically manufactured.