Sewing pattern dolman ruffle dress

So I have to say… the Clementine Dress is the most made dress in our household! It’s classic and timeless, no neckbands to mess with, and a SUPER QUICK sew!

That being said, I always feel like a terrible mother come back-to-school time because I get so caught up on business that I end up just having my daughter where something she loves from her closet. NOT this year… I was committed to making her a new dress for her first day but of course I decided this Sunday afternoon and she started on Monday so I needed to act fast!

I want to do something extra special in my time crunch… elevate it if you will. Make her squeal when she saw it. How do I do that?!? Add a big beautiful RUFFLE!

Mission. Accomplished!┬áHere’s how I did it.

You will need a ruler, a pen, scissors/rotary cutter.

First, decide how tall you would like your ruffle to be! I decided on 6″. Give or take seams/hem allowances. Let’s start from there. From the bottom of your skirt piece measure 6″ (or whatever number you choose) and make a mark along the fold.

Then from the top of your skirt pattern piece, measure from the waist to that marking you just made. In my case it was 7.75″. Measure that same amount from the waist along the side seam and make a mark.

Draw a new hem line from the 2 markings you just made and cut out your new pattern piece.

But do you see the problem? Your new hem line isn’t the same shape as the original. And frankly, it’s not even very close! Here’s how to fix that.

Line up the original hem line with your new pattern piece. Start by lining up the side seam hem points and tilt it until your fold line intersects with the original hem line. Draw a new hem line using that as a guide.

Trim it accordingly and now it’s perfect! Whew!

Using a measuring tape (because it’s nice and bendy), take a rough measurement of your new hem line. Mine was 10.5″. Take that number and multiply it by 2. This is your ruffle width… 21″! Don’t forget that’s a cut on the fold measurement.

Now remember the 6″ we originally took off the length? We need to add a seam allowance of 1/2″ to that (1/4″ is what this pattern calls for and we add 2 of those… one to account for each of the new pattern pieces we created, the skirt and the ruffle).

So now, our ruffle measurement is 6.5″ long by 21″ wide (cut on fold). Unfolded it will be 6.5″ x 42. And we need 2 of those, one for the front and one for the back skirt.

Cut all that gorgeousness out!

Assemble your dress per the instructions for everything except the hem.

Construct your ruffles by sewing together the short ends of both your ruffle pieces to form one big continuous circle. Hem one of the long edges 1/2″ all the way around. Gather the other long edge until it’s half it’s original size. Even out your gathers.

With right sides together, sew your ruffle to your dress.

Flip your ruffle down and revel in the beauty that is your modified Clementine!

Now, back to work on our next pattern!




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