How to Make a Ruffled Dress

Pink ruffled dress

One thing you’ll learn about me quickly is that once I find a pattern or designer I like, I stick with them!

I prefer to find a great fitting pattern and simply modify it to fit my needs for a project.

This dress is no different. I used the bodice from Stella by Violette Field Threads, which unfortunately has been retired. My daughter is sized out of this now, so I really need to find a new one shoulder pattern. If you have one you love, I’d love to hear about it.

Back to the dress!

Again, this is one I made a few years ago, so I may not have as many photos as I’d like. I’ll do my best to walk you through my process though.

I found this pretty glittery pink fabric at Joann’s and knew it would be perfect for this design. It has kind of a different texture to it and doesn’t really fray, which is nice.

I didn’t have any real plan except I wanted ruffles.

Lots and lots of ruffles! After playing around with circles and spirals, I decided to go with 4” circles. I then cut a slit halfway through it.

And yes, this was a total pain in the rear to do, lol. The skirt alone took over 350 circles. I actually went and bought a Sizzix die cut machine so I didn’t have to hand cut all those circles. Best investment EVER!

I wanted a circle skirt for maximum twirl and had one from another pattern I was able to use. I finished the bottom edge with a rolled hem.

I layered the circles every 1 1/2″ so they would just barely overlap.

I laid out my circle skirt and measured down 1 1/2″ and drew a line all the way around. And really just repeated that until I had the whole skirt with lines drawn. Spread your circle along the center cut.

See that awesome ruffle it creates!

This is a recreated photo 🙂

Overlap starting at the center point of the previous circle. It should be: Sew the first half of the circle, overlap next circle and sew to the center of that one, overlap, etc.

Repeat for the next line up. You’ll want to stagger the centers from the row beneath.

Continue until you reach the waistline.

Look at all the rows of ruffles!

I used the bodice and layered two rows of the circle ruffles, but only separated them by 1/2″. I liked the look of them being a little closer together here.

After attaching the two rows, I placed the lining over the top, right sides together and sewed around the neckline and armscye.

Turn right side out and topstitch around the neckline and armscye. Fold the opposite side in 1/2″ and iron. 

I made a placket in the side of the skirt to allow for the zipper.

I did add a pettiskirt underneath this dress to give it a little extra oomph. I cut a slit in the pettiskirt where the side seam is so it wouldn’t interfere with the zipper. Baste the pettiskirt to the ruffled skirt. Attach the skirt to the bodice. Install the zipper.

There you have it!

A one of a kind dress full of texture that you created yourself!

Ruffled dress

Pink ruffled dress

One shoulder ruffle dress

Pink one shoulder textured dress

What do you think of creating your own texture?  Are there any textures you’d like to create?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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