Gathered and Ruffled Dress
Beginner-friendly and a nice design to practice sewing French seams. The illustrations are plentiful and clear.
Size Range and Fitting:
European sizes 30 to 58 (US 00 to 26) for busts 29-3/4 inches to 63 inches, waists 22.8 inches to 58-1/2 inches, and hips 32-1/2 inches to 74-3/4 inches. This pattern is planned for a person who is 5 feet 7 inches tall. The loose fit is voluminous, so size up or down depending on the degree of fit you are looking for.
The designer recommends lightweight to medium-weight woven fabric with a crisp hand or drape, such as cotton, dotted swiss, cotton voile, poplin, linen, chiffon, cotton gauze, silk, and challis. Take advantage of the large sections to showcase oversized prints or graphics. Try sheer fabric for the sleeves, neckband, and ruffle, contrasted with an opaque fabric for the dress body. The short sleeveless dress version (viewable online) also works in lightweight jersey, worn as a jumper with a shirt and tights beneath.
Style and Sewing Details:
Our tester called this look “Boho meets ‘Little House on The Prairie.’” Select components to create a blouse, short dress, or tiered maxi dress with a wide hem ruffle. The design has a gathered neckline to tie in different ways. Make it with or without the raglan-style puff sleeves. Cinch volume at the waist with an optional elastic casing to create another silhouette.
- The thorough instructions include a detailed table of contents, making it easy to locate the info you want. The designer spells out every step of your sewing journey.
- A project planner sheet at the end of the instructions keeps all your notes (such as notions, fabric swatch, sketch, adjustments, and modifications) together.
- French seams are used throughout, including the seam that attaches the hem ruffle to the dress. It is a clever way to hide the raw edges.
- Walk the seams on the pattern pieces to double-check the lengths. There are many cutting lines on the neckband pattern, so highlight the appropriate one before cutting, and check the length against the neckline.
- Make threading the elastic into the narrow casing easier by using a flexible bodkin, such as the Schaller Easy Threader, or a long doll needle.
- Enjoy many ways to wear this design: as a top, dress, or beach cover-up, for example.
This review was originally published in Threads #221, Spring 2023. Have you made this pattern? If so, be sure to share pictures in our Readers Closet gallery.
Photos: Jack Deutsch. Illustrations: Cassandra Bernier.