J Crew inspired ‘orange crush’ ruffle dress

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!
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Comments

  1. Michele Pacey says

    Oh my, both model and dress are beyond cute! Sometimes makes me wish I had a little girl to dress-up… sometimes…

  2. Kelly says

    Another adorable dress! How old is your cutie? I can't wait to try out some cute dresses, I am just afraid once my little one is here I will not have time. I am trying to get some small stuff done before she comes. So I have been working on blankets, quilts, and lovies for her, and presents for my nieces. I also have bucket hats on my list for my twins and maternity shirts for me. Lots of projects, as usual!

  3. Sarah says

    SO CUTE! Almost makes me wish I had a little girl to sew for. Lucky for me there are plenty of little girls around I can sew for…

  4. The Reeds says

    Hi guys! Georgia here. This is adorable. If I were going to break into the crafting world (ha ha) and wanted to investing a sewing machine- what is the cheapest but best quality you would recommend for a baby beginner like me?

  5. Tonia @ TheGunnySack.com says

    Oh wow! This dress is adorable and so is Piper Jane! She is growing so fast! I have lots of old tees and am going to try this for one of my nieces!

  6. Kristie-Creating Chaos says

    I can't wait to see more pics of the green dress Piper Jane is wearing in the last shot. I like the style of the "orange crush" dress but I'm a little, er, a lot, afraid of bright colors.
    I made a skirt for my 3 y/o yesterday and was considering trying to make a dress for myself today. If I chicken out on the dress then my almost 2 y/o will be getting a skirt today.

  7. Taylor {Sew Much Love} says

    Oh that's adorable! It doesn't hurt that Piper is so cute too!

    I know some people don't like ruffles but I'm a southern mama that way where I think giant bows and ruffles are the only way to go! ;)

  8. kirstin & jordan says

    Y'all are so cute, and so ambitious! Thanks for all of the compliments, and the Piper Jane love. :)

    Kelly- Amen to the impending chaos (when is your due date?)! Piper Jane is almost 11 months old, but she is SUCH a teeny peanut (Burke was light, but she's lighter for sure).

    Georgia- I sew on a Brother PC-420 and LOVE it, but it's a little pricey. I learned on Adam's grandma's 1960s Singer and am so thankful for the training I got on that machine. Maybe you could find something on Craigslist?

  9. kirstin & jordan says

    Y'all are so cute, and so ambitious! Thanks for all of the compliments, and the Piper Jane love. :)

    Kelly- Amen to the impending chaos (when is your due date?)! Piper Jane is almost 11 months old, but she is SUCH a teeny peanut (Burke was light, but she's lighter for sure).

    Georgia- I sew on a Brother PC-420 and LOVE it, but it's a little pricey. I learned on Adam's grandma's 1960s Singer and am so thankful for the training I got on that machine. Maybe you could find something on Craigslist?

  10. Rachel@oneprettything.com says

    That is DARLING! I love the shirt your used too! Thanks a bunch, I'll be linking.

    • Kirstin says

      Thanks Jill! This tutorial was from awhile ago, but I am wanting to make more jersey dresses for Piper Jane- love the comfy softness! :)

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