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Long Ruffled Maxi Dress (using pre-ruffled fabric)

I’ve showed you other ways to use this ruffle fabric……(here and here).
Are you in love with this stuff like I am????
Well, this time, the project was for me……..and my gosh, this may be my favorite of all of my ruffle fabric uses. 
A perfectly ruffled maxi dress.
This fabric has some stretch to it, so it can be snug and easily give contour to your shape…………all the while, those lovely little ruffles will hide those minor flaws some of us may have.  (What?  You don’t have any flaws?  Well, this will still look fantastic on you. :) Promise.)
However, I’m not a bare top/shoulder showing type of gal…… give me a shrug and call it good.
(This mannequin is shorter than I am, so my maxi dress looks really long.  But it hits me right below my ankles.)
Oh……and a necklace.  (or wrap a belt around that waist)
And this stretchy and airy fabric works all year round.
And may become your favorite fabric to wear.  It’s that comfortable.  Don’t blame me if you buy excess yardage of it and begin wearing it everywhere.  Even as pajamas. :)
Would you like to make your own ruffly Maxi Dress?
Good.  You’ll love it.

I purchased my ruffle fabric here. (check out all of the other great ruffles they have.)
And my polka dot fabric can be found here.  The ruffles are each 1 inch and was the perfect ruffle length for this dress, and still allowed the contour of the dress shape to show.
Now cutting this dress shape is very forgiving… don’t stress.  But you will pretty much be sewing a long piece of ruffle fabric into a tube.  However, you want the top of the dress to be more narrow and snug, to give you some shape.  So with the fabric folded in half lengthwise, cut a curved diagonal line from the top (where it will hit about your bust line) down to where you are at your biggest (most likely your hips).
[Holding this fabric up to yourself is the best way to get an idea of how tight or loose you want it.]

Make sure you have added about an extra 1-2 inches at the top, to create an elastic casing.  Depending on your size, you may have to leave all of the width of the fabric…….or trim down the sides a bit.  Just measure yourself around your bust, waist, and hips and determine how much fabric you want around you.  I added a few inches to my measurements because I didn’t want it skin tight…..but still wanted it to contour my shape, from my waist up.
(**This fabric comes about 50 inches wide……so if you want your dress to be bigger than 50 inches around at some point, then you’ll need to buy twice as much fabric and sew a front and back piece…..with seams on the sides instead of one down the back like I show here.  And then you’ll have to curve in both sides with your scissors.  I originally had 2 yards to work with, and had some leftovers.)
Fold the fabric with right sides together and sew the two long edges together. Sew slowly and make sure you are folding each ruffle down the right way and are matching up each row.  Then serge or zig-zag the raw edges.  (If your fabric is pulling and stretching out while you sew, increase your stitch length,
Now, if you turn your dress right side out and have the seam going down the back, it should look like this: more narrow at the top and curved out until the hips……then straight down.
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**Now, try it on.  If it needs to be taken in a bit more at some point……adjust your seam and trim off the extra fabric.  I tried mine on and adjusted it about 3 times after taking the above picture.  Since the fabric is stretchy, it’s hard to tell how it will fit exactly until you try it on.
Now, with your tube right side out, trim off the very top ruffle (at the top of the dress), to give you more unruffled fabric to create a casing with.  Trimming doesn’t have to be perfect but be careful not to cut through the main piece of fabric.
Then fold over the top of the fabric 3/4 of an inch and sew in place……leaving a one inch opening nearthe back seam.
Then thread a piece of 1/2 inch wide elastic, that will fit snugly right above your bust line (with a little extra length added for a seam allowance).
Sew the elastic ends together, then sew the opening of the casing closed.
Next, cut two long strips of 3 rows of the ruffles……long enough to fit over your shoulders and with some seam allowance added onto each end.
Then attach each strap to the dress, making two seams along each end……one above the elastic and one below it.
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Try it on and see how it looks.  Make any adjustments to the straps if necessary.
Now wear it alone or match it up with a Tee….or your favorite shrug.

And I can assure you…… will adore the comfort of your new ruffled maxi dress.
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Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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