June 16, 2014

Sundress with Ruffled Bodice Tutorial

This tutorial is part of the 30 Days of Sundresses over at Melly Sews. Head over here for a great giveaway too!

See my full disclosure policy here.

I've been seeing lots of cute sundresses with the ruffle on the bodice. At first, I thought it was just gathered, but when I saw one in a store, I realized that it was actually a circle. I thought about it and thought about it and finally came up with a way to draft a pattern for it.

I made it out of a tribal print knit, which I like, but it makes it a little difficult to see the ruffle in the pictures. It's there. I promise. 

Here it is on my cute little model. She has a hard life. She wanted to wear it sooner, but I wouldn't let her until we took pictures. Now she wears it whenever it's clean.

Like her dance moves?

And her farmer's tan? On a side note, I am so jealous of my children's skin. They get more tan by the end of May than I could ever dream of being by August.

Anyway, here's a back view. I didn't add the ruffle to the back, but you could if you wanted too.

Here's how to make your own. Note: if you want to use expensive fabric for this, I suggest making a muslin to make sure your dress is going to work before cutting into your expensive fabric.

First, draft your basic dress pattern. I just used another dress as a guide. You could also use a dress pattern you already have. Either way, make sure you use knit fabric.

You'll use the basic dress outline to make your ruffle piece, then draft it similar to a circle skirt. I used this tutorial for help.  To calculate the radius of your circle, measure from the center of your bodice (fold line) to a point above the side seam (red line). My total was 6.125 inches. Then use the formula in the tutorial, except it will be a little different. R=((length of your red line x 4) / 6.28). You will have to multiply the number you came up with for your red line by 4 (since your bodice is on the fold, and it's only the front half of your dress).

My total was 4 (I rounded), so I made a circle with a 4 inch radius.

I wanted my ruffle to be 5" long, so I drew another circle 5 inches from the first one. 

I cut out my circle pattern, then marked one end the fold.

Swing your circle around, and line it up with the side seam of your dress. Trace the underarm, and then cut it out.

This is now your ruffle pattern piece. The curve between your fold line and underarm curve is the neckline.

Cut some strips for your binding. You'll need a front and back binding, and some longer binding pieces for the underarms/ties.

Cut out your ruffle piece and finish the bottom edge. I used a lettuce edge.

Line up the ruffle with the bodice and baste the two pieces together (shown by the red lines).

Sew the front and back of the dress together along the side seams.

Use your shorter binding pieces to bind the neck edge on both the front and back pieces of the dress.

Mark the center of the arm binding and line it up with the side seam (at the underarm).

Enclose all of the raw edges with the binding.

Sew up the binding, starting at one end, going all the way down the dress and back up to the other end of the binding. Finish the ends-I just tied a knot.

Finish the dress hem. I used a lettuce edge again. And there you are!


Melissa said...

I am in love with that print! Thanks for sewing along for the third year.

Skirt Fixation said...

We included your adorable dress in our roundup of things to sew with geometric fabric. http://skirtfixation.com/2014/06/20-things-sew-geometric-fabric/

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