Ruffle Knit Play Dress

Sewing, Tutorial

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Get the free DIY for a cute, girls knit dress pattern!  This beginner-friendly tutorial will help you sew a comfortable, easy, ruffled dress for any little girl or toddler in your life.  Read on for the step-by-step process!

I’m thrilled to be a stop on Life Sew Savory’s Summer Fun Series!  I love being a part of such an amazing community of sewing talent and Emily is featuring some really great posts this year, so be sure to follow along via the links at the end of the post!

I’ve been DYING to try my hand at a cute little ruffly sleeve dress for one of my girls after seeing similar styles all over the women’s department of my favorite stores. I really love how this little number turned out and you’re gonna love how easy it is!

I’ve included a free pattern for size 2 and some instructions for how to adapt it to other sizes as well (find it below!).  Read on for the full tutorial!

“Hey mom!  I’m two!”
First, download the free pattern by clicking here!

Supplies needed:
2 yards knit fabric (I used a cotton spandex I’d been hoarding from Girl Charlee – any knit with a decent drape will work for this)
1 yard 1/4″ elastic
Coordinating thread

**Use a 3/8″ (1cm) seam allowance throughout**

1.  Download the free pattern and print it out. Be sure your printer isn’t scaling the pattern and that it prints at 100%. (Measure the 1″ calibration square in the pattern to double check this). There are 2 pages to it, but no need to trim either page. Just butt each page up together and tape.

Cut out the paper pattern and then cut out your fabric.  You’ll need 2 bodices (cut on fold), 2 ruffles (cut on fold) and 2 skirt pieces.

2. Sew your bodice together by placing front and back right sides together and stitching along side seams. Press well.

3. Hem the underarm portion of your bodice by folding raw edge over 1/4″ and stitching down. I didn’t finish these raw edges but you can, if desired.

4.  Sew your ruffle into one continuous loop by matching up right sides together and stitching short ends. Press well.

5. Finish the raw edges of the OUTSIDE of your ruffle (the outer edge of the circle); I used my serger. Fold finished edges under 1/4″ and stitch down.  Alternatively you can use a double fold baby hem.

6. Attach ruffle to bodice by matching up centers of front and back bodice pieces to two equidistant points on ruffle; be sure to sew WRONG side of ruffle to RIGHT side of bodice (so that right sides of both pieces are visible). Stitch together.

7. Fold raw edges of inside of ruffle/bodice neckline to the inside by about 1/2″ and press. Stitch close to raw edge, creating a casing for the elastic. Leave about 2″ of the casing open.

8. Insert elastic into this casing and pull through. Pin ends of elastic together and try on your little girl. Adjust elastic so that the ruffles stay on her shoulders (or have her sport the off-the-shoulder look!). Stitch elastic ends together and cut off excess. Stitch casing closed.

9. Create skirt by sewing rectangle pieces RST, along the short sides.  Press well.

10.  Gather top of skirt by running 2 lengths of basting stitches along top raw edge.  Pull bobbin threads taut to gather fabric; pin gathered edge of skirt to bodice waist, right sides together, adjusting gathers to fit.

11. Stitch skirt to bodice and finish raw edges if desired.  Press well and remove any basting stitches that show on the front of the skirt.

12. Hem skirt by either finishing the raw edge and turning under 1/4″ or with a double fold baby hem.

And that’s it!  Isn’t it just the cutest little style?  A few tips on sizing up for a larger little girl: take a t-shirt that fits your model well and lay the bodice pattern over it, making note of how much bigger your little girl’s shirt is than the pattern.  Then adjust the pattern to fit.  For the skirt, you’ll mainly need to just adjust for length since the gathering can be as tight or as loose as needed to match the bodice opening.  The ruffle also has plenty of width, just add a bit of length if desired for anything bigger than a size 4 or 5.

Don’t forget to get the free pattern straight into your inbox…

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  • Reply
    July 28, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    so so cute! Both the girl and the dress ;o) Thanks for sharing in the summer fun series! Emily

    • Reply
      July 29, 2017 at 9:29 am

      Thanks for hosting, Emily!

  • Reply
    Tutorial and pattern: Little girl’s ruffle shoulder play dress – Sewing
    July 29, 2017 at 8:44 am

    […] Ruffle Knit Play Dress, by Bonnie and Blithe […]

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