Thursday, July 2, 2015

How to Make a Cascading Ruffle & a Black Lace Toddler Dress

Everyone needs a little black dress (or two or three...). Who says toddlers can't join in this philosophy?  This stunning black lace dress you see on the left was handed over to me by my daughter to refashion for her own little girl.  I transformed it into a classy toddler dress with a cascading white and black dotted ruffle. This is my second attempt at making a cascading ruffle. The first you may remember was here.

This dress request came about a few months ago when, per my request, my daughter sent me several links to toddler dresses she loved. The first dress was finished before my trip in May to see this sweet girl. I also took this partially sewn black dress along for a fitting. When I showed her the second dress, she told me that she only meant for me to make one of the dresses, not both. Being a little of an over-achiever, of course I had made both. I'm sure they will get plenty of use when my daugher has her second daughter in a few short months. 

First, a few details about the dress and then I'll share with you how to make this type of cascading ruffle. 

Along the hem of the dress I added a beautiful three and a half inch wide lace layer to show off that beautiful lace detail.

Since I didn't know how to make this type of cascading ruffle, I asked the smartest seamstress I know, Catherine Griffith. She happens to be married to one of my nephews and blogs at Cathgrace.  She explained to me that I needed to cut a circle into a snail's shell shape.  Thank goodness for her expertise! Since the white polka dot fabric was a little sheer, I lined my dots up before I cut out this ruffle.  Here are photos I took of the process she described to make this ruffle:

When you hold your fabric up, it naturally twists into a cascading ruffle.  After determining the length needed for this toddler dress, I cut off the narrowest end of the snail shell shape.  I pinned and then basted the cascading ruffle onto the center of the neckline.  Then I sewed the dress lining all around the neck area.

For the back closure, I added a 7 inch black zipper to the outside of the dress. Then I sewed five inches of white grosgrain ribbon onto the end of the zipper pull.  If you want to add this accent to a zipper, just make sure you fold the raw edges inside the ribbon and stitch them along the bottom of the ribbon and as close to the zipper hole as possible. Trust me on this one.

In case you're wondering about the cups my granddaughter is holding here, the weather was over 100 degrees where this cutie lives. So to keep her cool while snapping a few photos, my daughter gave her cups filled with ice cubes.  As you can see, she loves her ice!

Have a cool summer! xoxo Grandma

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Toddler Cascading Ruffle Dress

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