Friday, June 8, 2012

You are My Sunshine - Ruffle Dress

There goes my unintentional sewing strike!  :)

I sewed this up during naptime today.  I needed to relax and keep my hands busy, because naptime didn't exactly go smoothly today.  It's like that with 3 year olds... especially 3 year olds that think they are 9.  So to vent my frustrations with her huge tiny personality, I made Raina a dress.  Obviously.  :)

There was a dress at Baby Gap a few months ago made from yellow ruffle fabric, and Raina was in serious love with it.  She called it a "Belle dress" (Beauty and the Beast), and she wanted it bad.  

"Raina, I can make you a dress just like that if you want!"
She would shoot me a forlorn look, and we would move on.

I know, it's not the same unless it's the one you fall in love with in the store.  I just didn't think she'd learn that at such a young age!  (Although with me as her mom, I shouldn't be surprised!)

This dress is actually nothing like the one at Gap, except that it is made from yellow ruffle fabric.  That could be a good thing, or it could mean I am going to be making TWO yellow ruffle dresses this summer.

Here's how I made it, in under two hours:

My starting pattern, for bodice size, is the Toddler Swing Tank.  (It's a free pattern from a lovely blog titled True Bias!)

On top, I laid a dress that is a good length and skirt width on Princess Raina.

I used pins to measure a few inches down from the hem.  I definitely didn't want it to be too short, since that would make it unwearable in her eyes, and I figured if it ended up too long I could always make it shorter later!

There are 2 pieces here, cut on the fold.  I opened them up, pinned right sides together, and sewed across the shoulders and down the sides.  The ruffle fabric really does not need to be hemmed, so the bottom is done!  I suppose you could leave the neck and armholes as is as well, but I was afraid that with lots of wear (wishful thinking!), it would pull and fray.  So here's my solution:

Bias tape!

Beautiful handmade bias tape from a beautiful store in Cambridge MA called Gather Here.  I had a good time figuring out how to make bias tape on my own, but I don't always want to add an extra night on to a project.  And this rainbow one is so pretty!  

Since the dress is basically the same front and back, I just picked the side where the ruffles ended up slightly less pretty and decided that would be the back... and the place where the bias tape seams would be.


  1. SO pretty and I LOVE the rainbow bias tape!! It adds a wonderful touch!

  2. Great job and thanks so much for the shout out. The dress is adorable. The bias tape is great too.

  3. So cute!! I will definitely have to check out Gather Here the next time I head towards the city. Thanks for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!