05 October 2011

Ruffle Clover Tutorial

I know this is a summer dress, but I think it would be equally as cute with a cropped sweater and some warm leggings or tights.

And for those who have wondered aloud (actually, in writing), we have 5 days after the baby is born to decide on a name for the birth certificate.  You can actually leave the birthing center (or hospital) without giving your child a name.  Don't let them bully you.  If it goes past 5 days, it is a legal name change that we get modified by paying a fee and filling out a form.  We have a whole year (don't worry, we're bound to come up with something before that) before we have to change it through the courts.  We have spent hours discussing names and brainstorming.  Turns out, boys are a lot more difficult for us to name.  What do we call him in the meantime?  Baby boy Dill.  BBD for short.  Or just baby.  Or sweet boy.  Or whatever comes to mind in the moment.

* * *
I will be bringing home my guest post tutorials over the course of bringing home my baby.

So, it's a really big deal that I'm here today.  With Kathleen's sense of style paired with her impeccable workmanship, her creations are always astounding.  I love her eye for reinventing a piece she picks up at the second hand thrift shop.  It is such a gift to see the potential in something and have the ability to bring that to fruition.  So glad and definitely honored to be here today!

When Kathleen asked me to participate, I knew I wanted to share this Ruffled Clover Dress, which I actually drafted and created a year ago when I made all my girls coordinating dresses for Easter.  My little Clover grew out of it too quickly, so this was the perfect chance to make another, plus do a tutorial!
 The fabric I used was that 5yards/5 dollars you find on a piece of cardboard, very much like a cross between lining and taffeta=nothing fancy.  I started by cutting about 3 1/2 yards of it in strips, 6" wide.
 Sew all the strips together, press open seams and then fold entire piece in half lengthwise, pressing so edges are even with each other.
 Gather entire strip.  There are lots of ways you can do this, here are three option: I used a ruffling foot, you can also stitch two basting stitches along the edges and gather the fabric by pulling the threads from one side, or you can increase your thread tension and rest a couple of fingers on your top spool of thread, gathering as you go. 
To create the base of the dress measure your child or your child's shirt from center sleeve to center sleeve.  This will be the top of the back (or front depending on your preference).  Cut it at a slight A-line using a ruler, to the length desired.  Make sure to include seam allowances on all sides.
 Cut the two front pieces in the same shape as the back piece folded, but adding an inch on the inner edge for the placket.  Stitch side seams, right sides together and press.
 Pin first row of ruffles to the top, clipping out a space for the arm holes.  Stitch in place.
 Using store bought double fold 1/2" bias, or your own (for a better match), open up bias and stitch to the front around armhole.
 Fold bias back together and edge stitch along each side.
 Using a fabric pencil or marker, measure lines 2 1/4" down from the top of the dress.  This will put your next ruffle just under the first.  Continue marking the remainder of the dress.
 Pin the next ruffle on UPSIDE DOWN, matching the stitching line with your pencil/marker line.  Stitch in place.
 Flip your ruffle back down and edge stitch about 1/8", pulling the top up and the bottom down as you stitch.
 Next cut your straps out by cutting a rectangle of 16" X 4" on the grain.  Fold lengthwise and press. Fold raw edges toward the center crease and press, making sure edges line up.  Cut piece in half for your two straps.
 Position the trim without cutting the other side, pinning in place.  Position straps, lining them up with the armholes.  Fold trim around to the other side, making a sandwich with the straps in the middle.  Cut trim and fold under raw edges.  Stitch around the perimeter of the trim.
Finish the hem by turning under twice and stitching, making sure it doesn't show beneath the last row of ruffles.  Baste down each side of dress to keep ruffles in place.
Cut two pieces of fabric 4" wide and 1" longer than the side of the dress.  Fold and press as you did with the straps.
Unfold and pin the placket piece along the edge, with the top edges even and the placket extending at the bottom.  Stitch a ONE inch seam.  Fold once toward the back, the fold the extended end under and fold again, encompassing the placket entirely.  Edge stitch along both sides of placket.
Apply the front trim the same as the back trim, make your button holes and you're finished!
 Choosing buttons is one of my favorite parts of a project.


But, my other favorite part is big sisters who help get smiles from this little monkey. 
Thanks, Kathleen!  Your Free Pattern month has been so fun to follow.


  1. That's it. I'm just going to refer to him as "Bluto" now.

  2. I am so thankful I am not the only one who takes their time naming babies. It took me 2 weeks to name my fourth child and everyone around me was kind of ugly about me waiting. I feel naming a human being is super important and not to be rushed into. I adore the names you picked for your girls and can't wait to see what name little boy Dill is blessed with. xx

  3. I keep checking back to see what you've named that beautiful baby.Your girls all have such lovely names,I'm sure you'll come up with something great.
    In Canada we have 3 weeks to register the name with the government or the baby is appointed a name and then you have to go through the legal name change nonsense.
    Take your time-it'll be worth it in the end! :)

  4. Put perfectly by another one of your readers, your girls all have such lovely names. I have enjoyed the anticipation - checking daily to see if you've posted his name. :)

  5. Please don't worry about it. Baby Boy will get a name eventually! :) We named our son a few hours after he was born, and it took us a good 3 months before we ever used the name we chose. (we were stuck on our silly in-utero-nickname, or we just called him "baby")

  6. I bet your little guy isn't one bit bothered to have to wait for his name!

    The dress is ADORABLE, just like the sweet model.

  7. I keep thinking about the name "Carter" or "Carver" for some reason...
    I went through a million little names before I settled on the perfect one for our baby. My husband agreed, too. Cylas was the perfect name and Cylas he is!
    What a fabulously cute dress!! I love all your work.

  8. We did a legal name change for our 3rd when she was a few weeks old. It took a long time and was getting expensive going through an attorney so we finally drew up the papers ourselves using examples posted online. Finally got the new birth certificate when she was about 4 or 5 months old.

    Can't wait to see what you name your baby boy!

  9. You have colors, leaves, precious stones.... Now you need a spice or another herb for the herb. For example: Basil Dill or Curry Dill. How about Corey Anderson Dill.

  10. I love this!!! She could even wear a leotard and tights under and put on a hat and be a witch for Halloween. So so cute, but her eyes are the cutest!

  11. This dress is gorgeous as are your shots of your daughter modelling for you! If only I had a little girl to make one for! Thanks for sharing!

  12. This is toooo CUTE!!! I just love! Thank you for sharing the tutorial! Sharing it today with my lovelies over at { http://polkadotbungalow.blogspot.com/2011/10/ruffleeeee-goodness.html }

    I will be attempting this dress for my Miss B! {HUGS}

  13. http://www.macaskillphotography.com/Families/The-Bennett-Family-2011/19759873_Kr7hDZ#1552200059_VP7Wz8f

    Wanted to thank you for your perfect tutorial. My daughter loves this dress!
    Best wishes in all you do!

    Abby Bennett

  14. I love this dress!!! I will make it!
    Thanks so much for the tutorial.
    Rose @ arosiesweethome.com

  15. Really nice dress, your idea is so great

  16. Such a cute dress, Awesome idea. Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. ..............
    integrated receivables management

  17. This dress is so, so darling! I think I'll have to make one for my BF little girl, but with a couple of adjustments. Much wider straps, so they look like a bodice when finished, and add sleeves, I think some poufy, gathered sleeves. I am crazy about your color combination also! Normally I would always do some sort of print for a for a little girl's dress, at least a polka dot, but the solid here is perfect! Thank you for posting this! I can't wait to get started sewing!


Be a lamb & tell me what's on your mind.