Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Trends: Ruffle-Hem + Bell Sleeve Dress

 photo DIYRuffleBellSleeveDress1_zpscrvckrop.jpg
Italian super-high quality shirting & too many ideas for what to do with it → Stop trying to pick one and combine everything in one dress. Bell sleeve: ✓, Ruffled hem: ✓, lace detail: ✓. The last one skipped down the Maiyet runway and straight into my heart. It looks like this dress started something, and here I experimented with the raw-edge ruffle. Will 100% be taking this further in the form of a triple-ruffle maxi dress one of these days...

 photo 0 Tools_zpspn5xldnd.jpg
2 m of fabric (I used 100% Italian cotton)  |  Fabric marker  |  Scissors  |  Pins  |  Thread & Sewing machine, needle  |  Bias tape  |  Fray-stop

I. Here were my cut pieces with some indicative measurements (again, I'm a EU36/US4), and these got me a pretty loose-fitting dress. In addition to these pieces I also cut the bell portion of the sleeve & the ruffle later, as well as some long slithers of fabric out of which I made the string and loops for the neckline lacing detail.
 photo 1 Cut pieces_zpscfscfq1p.jpg
II. First I placed the front and back pieces right sides facing, pinning the shoulders, and sewed those seams (did a basic seam, pressed seam allowance towards the back piece, and top-stitched on right side a few mm from the first seam).
 photo 2 Shoulders done_zps2dq9euuc.jpg
III. Next I finished the neckline with bias tape using the method from my previous post. The only difference here was that instead of edge-stitching as the last step, I hand-stitched the bias tape in place so there would be no visible stitch on the right side.
 photo 3 Bias-bound neckline_zpsms2gz8dq.jpg
IV. Then I pinned the first parts of the sleeves into the arm holes, right sides facing, and sewed in place.
 photo 4 Sleeves added_zps94hzmlqg.jpg
V. Next I cut the bell portions of the sleeves..
 photo 6 Sleeve pieces cut_zpspcspk5wc.jpg
.. And pinned them at the ends of the sleeves, right sides facing.
 photo 7 Bell sleeves pinned_zps6as2tpuq.jpg
Sewed, zig-zagged seam allowances, and pressed the seam open.
 photo 8 Bell attached_zpsmcwyl4wd.jpg
VII. Then pinned the sleeve under seam and the sides together, and sewed.
 photo 9 Sleeve underseam pinned_zps3skpk2xt.jpg
VIII. I finished the sleeves with the same bias tape method as I did the neckline.
 photo 10 Bias-bound sleeve_zpswjtjvdno.jpg
IX. To make my ruffle, I first cut out a long rectangle, which measured 24 cm in width and a total of 2 m in length (I had to cut it in two pieces and sew them together to make it long enough). I then treated one long edge of it with fray-stop glue and let it dry completely.
 photo 5 Fray stop_zpsfapicb4v.jpg
X. I then added my basting stitch to that same long edge. When ruffling a firm fabric like cotton, I like to do my basting stitch with top-stitching thread. It's thick enough to handle the pulling when you ruffle the fabric. There's nothing more frustrating than your basting thread breaking when trying to do this.
 photo 11 Ruffle basting stitch_zpsgc0fkbbo.jpg
After gathering the fabric (by pulling the bobbin thread) enough for the total length of the ruffle to match the circumference of my dress hem, I pressed the ruffle with my iron.
 photo 12 Ruffled_zpsjydrwd8a.jpg
.. And then started pinning it onto the right side of the dress, so the edge of the ruffle was about 1.5 cm above the hem. After pinning all around, I sewed the ruffle onto the hem, right next to the basting stitch.
 photo 13 Pin to hem_zpsnox9ekkz.jpg
XI. After that I removed the basting stitch and completed the ruffle by sewing short edges of the rectangle together.
 photo 14 Sewn to hem_zpscghblgmw.jpg
XII. The last detail I added was the little neckline lacing I stole from Maiyet FW2016. I first made the string (total of about 80 cm, most of which was for the string + four little pieces about 3 cm each I cut from the end, for the loops). I used the spaghetti strap method from this post.
 photo 15 String and loops_zps92cm0ftu.jpg
XIII. I folded the short pieces into loops and hand-sewed 2 on either side of the neckline.
 photo 16 Loops attached_zpsb6nqazhq.jpg
Then just inserted the lacing, and hemmed the ruffle with a simple single fold, and hand-sewed to avoid visible stitching.
 photo DIYRuffleBellSleeveDress5_zpsskgn2c9e.jpg  photo DIYRuffleBellSleeveDress2_zpsgfssirgj.jpg  photo DIYRuffleBellSleeveDress4_zps3ueqgh3i.jpg



  1. Super nice!!! Love the detailed hand stitching

  2. i love the ruffle hem!!

  3. Hi there! Just let me say I love your blog, and you have really inspired me to start sewing! Just a quick question, do your measurements in the first photo include seam allowance?

    1. Hi! This is the best thing I could hear!! So happy you're planning on getting into sewing:) All my projects include a standard 0.5-1 cm seam allowance - what you see is what you get. The measurements I put in the image are the full measurements of the cut piece, seam allowances included. The reason they're sometimes random is that I trace and cut my pieces first and then measure them:) I hope that helps!


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