Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How To Make A Tiered Jersey Ruffle Maxi Dress

The other day I went on the hunt for a new church dress. By the end of the day I was so frustrated and still didn't have myself a new dress. Every dress I saw was either older looking (I'm only 26) or they were going to show my bottom or top half. Really?! It was actually kinda pathetic. Seriously, is it to much to ask to be able to find something young looking and modest?! Ok... rant over!

So, I decided to make my own dress. I have seen these Maxi dresses before and thought it would be fairly easy. I also made the Jersey Ruffle Hair bows from my shirt leftovers.

In this tutorial I am doing my youngest daughter's dress.

Don't look to closely to our group photo. Hubby took it and the kiddos kept wanting to run out of the picture. So I was trying to smile and play "watch dog". hehe

You will Need:
* Fitted Shirt
* Jersey Knit Material

The amount of jersey knit you will need depends on the size you are doing. FYI... if you are doing multiple dresses like I did, you can buy a Jersey Knit Sheet Set for about $21! Also, jersey knit is great because guess what... it doesn't fray!

Ok, shall we begin?

First, try the shirt on and mark with a water soluble pen where you want to cut it. (Ooops! I forgot to take a picture of the cut shirt.)

After you cut the bottom part off your shirt, measure the bottom of your shirt and double that number. Ex. If it's 9 1/2" across the front, then your entire shirt measurement is 19".

Now measure from the bottom of your cut shirt to the length you want. Ex. mine was 14". So I would cut 2 pieces of jersey knit 14" (length) x 19" (width). This will be the base to sew your ruffles to. Sew the sides together, making one big loop/tube.

Time to cut your ruffle strips. To get your measurements, take the length of the big piece you just cut and divide it by the number of ruffles you want. This will give you the height the ruffles need to be. Ex. I just cut my ruffles 4" x 19" (width from earlier, remember?) You will cut 2 strips at your measurement per ruffle. I wanted 4 ruffles, so I cut 8 4"x19" strips. I only took a picture of 4.

Take 2 of your ruffle strips and sew each end together, making a loop. Do this for all your strips.

Now it's time to ruffle the ends of your loops.

Set your machine on a zigzag stitch and set the length to your liking. I set mine length to 0.5

See here?

Do this for each loop.

Sew the small zigzag stitch on the edge of your fabric. While sewing, pull both the front and the back of the fabric stretching it. This will give you the ruffled edge. Neat huh?

After all your ruffle ends have been ruffled, place them one at a time around your base piece from earlier. Pin and sew.

Once you have sewn all ruffles on to your base piece, turn your piece inside out and place your cut shirt inside. Your shirt stays right sides out. Your skirt portion and shirt will be right sides together.

Pleat and pin until your skirt portion is fitted to your shirt size. Sew.

Turn your dress right sides out and try it on, checking your length. If you're happy with it, ruffle the main end of your dress.

That's it! All done! It's not hard at all, just a little time consuming. But, personally I think ruffles are worth the time! I just love some ruffles!

My dress has a more fitted waist. I just ruffled the edge of one long piece and sewed it around the waist part except for about 3 inches where it ties. Then I added to flower hair bow to my tie to give it a little extra something. I also added a piece of cream colored lace under my v-neck shirt.

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