About this time last year, I was a few months pregnant with Piper Jane. And I should tell y’all, I get so sick when I’m pregnant. Like nine-months-of-vomit sick. In the middle of all of the yuck, I remember writing a funny note to Babycakes #2 (now Piper Jane) about how I am lousy at making boy stuff, and how I’m better at sewing for girls. I promised a whole wardrobe of cute dresses to Baby #2 should she, in fact, be a SHE.
Fast forward to August when Little Miss Priss joined our family. This fluffy, ruffle-y goodness is what I had in mind.
To make a layers-of-white-and-cream dress for a baby girl in your life, you’ll need:
-eleven or twelve strips of 4″ tall fabric (I used silk and cotton)
-a large rectangle of jersey (your size will be determined by your ‘model’)
-a length of elastic, about the same length as your wearer’s waist measurement
-a sleeveless onesie in your wearer’s size
-ribbon for a belt (mine is a yard and a half of velvet ribbon)
-small circles of chiffon, silk and cotton for the belt ruffles
1. Measure your little ‘model’ from her sternum to below her knees. This will be the height of your jersey rectangle (which will be the base of the bottom of your dress). Measure the circumference of her waist/chest and double or triple (or somewhere in between), depending on how fluffy you want your dress to me (mine is doubled). This number will be the length of your jersey rectangle. Cut your jersey rectangle and sew together into a tube (you could also use the bottom of a white tshirt since that is already a tube of jersey). Rip long strips of silk and cotton (this gives the edges that gently tattered look). They should be about 4″ tall and longer than your tube of jersey. You’ll gather the top edge of each one, so they don’t have to be uniform in length, just longer than the jersey.
2. Starting at the bottom, start sewing on the strips of fabric one at a time. Alternate materials and colors (play with this beforehand to find an order that’s pleasing to the eye). Make sure the bottom of one ruffle/fabric strip entirely covers the top of the next.
3. When you have a ruffled tube of jersey, fold down the top and sew a ‘tunnel’ (this will be your elastic casing). I ended up having to then sew down the bottom of the top ruffle so that it wasn’t sticking straight out. Thread elastic into the casing (measure your little one first to see how much elastic you’ll need) and sew the two ends of elastic together to cinch the top of the tube (it should look like a ruffle-y skirt at this point).
4. In keeping with the ‘only jersey touching the skin’ rule, I used a sleeveless onesie for the bodice. First, I sewed a ‘ruffle’ (another fabric strip with tattered edges) along the top of the onesie, across the bottom of the neckline, alomg each armhole, with the tattered bottom edge dipping about an inch below the base of the armholes.
5. Then I made a long, thing strip of pleated jersey (pin in place as shown and then stitch down the middle). I pinned the strip around the collar, slightly overlapping the ‘ruffle’ from step 4 and sewed in place.
6. To attach the ruffled bottom to the now ruffled top, turn the skirt inside out. Slide the ruffled onesie into the tube/bottom until the top of the tube meets up with the fabric strip ruffle. Lift the ruffle and pin the top of the tube under the ruffle on the onesie. At this point, the inside out, upside down ruffled bottom should be pinned in place on the onesie.
7. Sew the two pieces together, being careful not to catch the ruffled bottom or the ruffle that’s sewn on the onesie in your line of stitching. You’re just attaching the bottom to the top.
8. Make a belt using the same ruffling method as I described in the tutorial for the winter wonderland headband. Tie in place below the spot where the top and the bottom meet (mine was along the top, sewn-down ruffle of the bottom piece).
9. Pair with a cute headband and you’re done.