It has been seersucker heaven around here. And dress heaven too. I have a pile of almost-done projects to share with y’all, most with red seersucker as the main event. Oh, and the aforementioned in-the-works J Crew knock off (for me, remember?) is a blue seersucker number. Fourth of July here we come.
You’ll be thrilled that part of the dress heaven (today’s part, in fact) includes a tutorial for Piper Jane’s J Crew-y, ruffle-y, Orange Crush-y dress. So those of you who have been hounding me via email can call off the troops.
It’s no secret that I love J Crew. It delights my preppy little heart. I can. not. wait until Piper Jane is big enough to fit into the Crewcuts line. Until that happens, I’ve been trying to fill Piper Jane’s closet with handmade ruffle-y, preppy little numbers. Which also means I’ve been attempting to streamline the process for making the J Crew-y ruffle dress.
And even though the J Crew-y Ruffle Dress v2.0 (aka the Orange Crush Dress) still couldn’t be categorized as ‘low maintenance,’ it is simpler than the first version, and darn cute to boot.
Want to make one for a little one in your life? You’ll need:
-a ‘template dress’ in the size you are making
-a thriftstore bound t-shirt (I used a men’s size large)
-contrasting t-shirt strips (for the striped ruffles)
-sewing machine and supplies
1. Measure your ‘template dress’ for length. Cut the t-shirt off at that length (you won’t be hemming the top or the bottom, so no need to add inches to compensate), under the arms, leaving a tube that will become your dress. Make diagonal ‘sleeve’ cuts at each corner (approximately 2″ deep and 3″ tall).
2. Sew a basting stitch (the longest stitch length on your machine) along the top edges on the front and the back of your tube.
3. Pull your basting stitch taut, ruffling the top edges.
4. Set aside. Cut a 5″ strip of matching fabric from the t-shirt material that remains. Iron this strip of fabric in half and in half again, creating a sort of wide bias tape that will encase your edges and also become your ‘sleeves.’
5. With the remaining t-shirt fabric, also cut 1″ wide strips of fabric, about twice the length of your dress. Sew a basting stitch down the center of these fabric strips and gather until the ruffle length matches the dress length. If you’re making stripes in a different color, repeat this process with your other t-shirt color. For reference, I used eight ruffled strips on the front (four orange and four white) and eight on the back, so sixteen total.
6. Pin the ruffled strips in place, alternating colors to make stripes. Sew onto the dress.
7. Take your ‘bias tape,’ and fold over the top edges of your dress. The goal is to loop from the front to the back. The closed edge of the loop will become one sleeve and the open edge will become a tie (also functioning as the other sleeve). Pin in place. Measure against your template dress (or dress wearer) to estimate sleeve allowance. Sew in place.
8. Done! Your soft, ruffle-y, preppy J Crew-y dress is finished!
Stay tuned for several variations on this dress (and more sewing tips… I keep figuring out ways to make the dress more sturdy and the sewing easier)… and some other dress-ish goodness.
And for those of you who are moms-of-boys, I haven’t forgotten you! A couple pieces of that red seersucker-y goodness are for Burke and Easton (my nephew).
What have y’all been sewing? Dresses? Shorts? Presents? Seersucker? Do share!