A Blog for the Perpetually Frustrated Home Sewist

Fruity Frock: Ruffle Gingham Dress

Hello everyone and welcome back!Today's post is about a ruffle gingham dress I made at the end of last summer. Read more below to see the process and more pictures! 

I absolutely love fruit themed clothing; fruit is my favorite food group, and I love all the cute prints available in fruit each year. I also love all the novelty purses in fruit shapes. 

I didn't follow a commercial pattern for this project. Instead, I used the dress slopers contained in the Built by Wendy Dress book. I think I received this book in either 9th or 10th grade and used it for a while in high school. It features 3 types of dress blocks, which can be altered to a variety of dresses in the book. When I was learning in high school, I found this useful to build up my skills. Even now, the book is fun and inspirational. 

For this dress, though, I didn't follow any instructions in the book. I just used the slopers and modified them to have a somewhat straight princess seam to insert a ruffle into. The book I referred to do this was the Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong, currently available here. I initially used this book for a pattern class I took; it's a nice overview for all pattern drafting.


The black and white gingham dress is available from Mod Dolly London. 

This dress was very heavily influenced by the gingham dresses above as well as the ruffle trend that's been going on the last couple years. 

I knew I wanted to use a gingham, as evidenced by the inspiration photos above. But I didn't want a plain gingham, so I was delighted to find this adorable fruit gingham on eBay. It's worth mentioning, however, that it is not a true gingham in the sense that the yarns are not dyed. The gingham print and fruits are simply printed onto the fabric like a normal cotton print. 

What would I do differently? 

I did make a mock up for this dress, but there are still some things I would change if I made it again. I would make the ruffle larger for a more exaggerated effect. It looked big enough on the mock-up, but the ruffle gets somewhat lost in the gingham.

If I were to make this dress again, I would also choose to use a combination facing rather than a full lining. Initially, I intended to use a full lining to prevent the gingham from being too transparent, as some ginghams are. However, this gingham was thick enough to render a full lining unnecessary. But I pushed forward, as I had never sewn a full sleeveless dress lining and wanted to learn the process. I followed the wonderful tutorial by Megan Nielsen here. The only thing I couldn't figure out was a method to understitch the lining around the sleeves, but it wasn't truly necessary. Overall, the lining itself is fine, it just adds unnecessary bulk to an otherwise summery and loose dress. It would be more comfortable without it. Oh well, you live and you learn!

Even though I tried my best to press the lining down, it still peeks out a little bit. 

The only other thing I might change would be to add some sleeves. This is simply a personal preference, as I usually like to keep my upper arms covered.


The purse is from ModCloth.com.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope this post was informative; let me know your thoughts down below. Stay tuned for another gingham dress post coming soon! 

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