I’m not sure where I came up with this idea, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I made it. I spent one whole afternoon designing and creating this dress! When it was finished I couldn’t help but think it sorta looks alice in wonderland, maybe like an interpretation of the caterpillar or something!
Anyways, isn’t the ruching awesome!? I gathered the front of the dress before cutting out the pattern piece, essentially making one huge RUFFLE! Then I pinned everything in place and assembled the dress normally.
To make this dress, you need a basic slight a-line girl’s dress pattern. I drafted mine but you can also use a commercial pattern. Cut out the back pieces normally.
For the front pieces, make sure you have at least double the length of the front dress pattern.
Set your stitch length to the highest it goes and baste right down the middle of the long piece of fabric. Then gather it up.
When it’s all gathered, press the gathers down and put your pattern piece right on top of one side of the gathers. The gathering line will be the middle of the dress, so line of the middle of the pattern piece with that stitch. Pin the pattern piece on, making sure to pin all the pleats and tucks and gathers along each edge.
Then stitch around the pattern piece. This is a weird step, it’s just to keep your ruching in place while we assemble the rest of the dress.
You can cut off the excess fabric, but make sure you don’t cut off the stitching you just made. You will treat the stay-stitching as the edge of the piece of fabric. Repeat for the other side of the dress.
Now your front piece will look something like this:
Pin the front piece to the back:
And sew together. You’ll note that the front is NOT lined up with the back piece, but the stitching line of the front is lined up with the edges of the back. We have to account for the extra fabric we left on.
Then assemble the rest of your dress! I added a peter pan collar, big shiny button, and little puffed sleeves.
“Curiouser and curiouser!”