Last month I shared my kids’ light and airy inspired Christmas outfits, including the two dresses that I drafted and sewed for my girls. I promised that I had free patterns coming for my girls dresses, and today I’m sharing the first! Read on to learn how to download the free girl’s ruffle dress pattern and follow the tutorial below to make your own dress!
I made this blush pink dress for Hattie, and used a blush pink crepe from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. It was the perfect drapey, soft fabric I imagined for this dress, and I recommend you use something similar. Using a stiff quilting cotton will make the finished dress look more like a tent, and won’t hang softly like it needs to.
The A-line shape to the dress helps give it some twirl factor (because priorities), and the ruffles on the sleeves and hem are the perfect detail added to the simple shape. And if you’re looking for even more free dress patterns for girls, we’ve got you covered in this post!
I finished the dress off with a gold fabric covered button, but you could use whatever you’d like. I love fabric covered buttons because it allows you to use whatever fabric you’d like, and the color options are endless!
I love dresses like this, that are easy for a little one to wear, but are still cute ;).
This free girl’s ruffle dress pattern is drafted for a 22″ chest measurement and 39-42″ height, which is a size 4 for Sew Much Ado patterns. Lucky for me, Hattie fits perfectly into that size at the moment, so it means no alterations when I sew for her!
Here we go!
(affiliate links below)
free girl’s ruffle dress pattern which is available HERE (Size 4 – body measurements: chest – 22″, height – 39-42″ / finished measurements: chest – 24″, length from center back – 24″)
drapy apparel fabric – double gauze, rayon challis, crepe, voile, etc – 1 5/8yd (45″ wide) OR 1 1/3yd (57-60″wide)
lining fabric (45″ wide) – 3/4yd
fusible woven lightweight interfacing – 1/8yd
basic sewing supplies – thread, needles (I like to use these needles in size 10 for lightweight fabrics), scissors (these are my absolute fav) (<–affiliate links)
*All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise noted.*
Download pattern using link above (you will complete the checkout process through our shop but won’t be asked for any payment info). Print pattern at 100%, checking test square for accuracy. Use tape to assemble pattern pieces, matching borders and diamonds.
Cut fabric, lining, and interfacing as directed on pattern pieces. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse interfacing to wrong side of bodice back fabric, centering as pictured. Cut along curved lines on interfacing pattern piece and trace outer edge to transfer markings onto interfacing. Flip bodice back over and repeat the markings on the right side, being sure they match up with the marks on the wrong side (it’s helpful to hold the fabric up to a window or light and trace them that way).
Let’s Get Sewing!
Press button loop piece in half, wrong side inward, and matching long edges. Open fold and press each long edge to center fold. Fold back in half and stitch close to folded edges.
Fold loop in half and place 1/2″ below stitch line marked to left of center back, on right side of fabric, with raw edges extending 1/2″ past stitch line and toward center back. Stitch loop to bodice back along marked stitch line. Trim loop ends to 1/4″.
Right sides together, pin and stitch front and back bodices together at shoulders. Press seams open (the raw edges will be enclosed so there’s no need to finish them). Repeat with lining pieces.
Right sides together, pin bodice to lining at neckline and center back markings. Stitch together around neckline, following stitch lines as marked at back keyhole. Note: Be sure that loop ends are tucked away from opposite stitch line.
Clip seam allowance around neckline. Carefully clip down center of back keyhole.
Turn bodice right side out and understitch seam allowance to lining (stitch 1/16-1/8″ from original stitch line), stopping when nearing center back.
Turn bodice right side out and press flat along neckline and back keyhole.
Right sides together, pin and stitch bodice side seams together from underarm to hem. Repeat with lining.
Press bottom long edge of each sleeve ruffle 1/4″ to wrong side. Press another 1/4″ to wrong side (this will be stitched after attached to the sleeve in a later step).
On each sleeve ruffle, sew two rows of basting/gathering stitches, 3/8″ and 5/8″ from top raw edge of sleeve ruffle (do not backstitch and leave threads long at beginning and end). Pulling top threads only, gather to fit bottom of sleeve and pin to bottom of sleeve, right sides together. Tip: I prefer to pin each end of the ruffle to the sleeve before gathering.
Stitch each ruffle to each sleeve (you’ll be sewing between the two basting lines). Press seam allowance upward and use zig zag stitch or serger to finish seam allowance. Use seam ripper to remove basting treads that are visible on right side of ruffle.
Use a basting/gathering stitch (do not backstitch) to stitch between notches on each sleeve (these will be used to ease the sleeve into the bodice).
Fold each sleeve in half, pinning side raw edges. Stitch along pinned edges.
Baste lining to main fabric at each armhole, a scant 1/2″ from raw edges.
Right sides together, pin sleeve into armhole, matching notches and side seams. Pull on sleeve threads gently to ease into armhole. Stitch sleeve to armhole, ensuring there are no puckers. Press seam allowances toward sleeve and use zig zag stitch or serger to finish raw edges.
Repeat steps above to stitch remaining sleeve to remaining armhole.
Right sides together, pin and stitch bottom ruffle pieces together at short edges, creating a large loop. Press and finish raw edges. Press bottom edge 1/4″ toward wrong side, and another 1/4″ toward wrong side. Stitch close to folded edge.
Sew two rows of basting/gathering stitches, 3/8″ and 5/8″ from top raw edge of bottom ruffle (do not backstitch and leave threads long at beginning and end). Pulling top threads only, gather to fit bottom of dress and pin to bottom of dress, right sides together.
Stitch ruffle to bottom of dress (you’ll be sewing between the two basting lines). Press seam allowance upward and use zig zag stitch or serger to finish seam allowance. Use seam ripper to remove basting treads that are visible on right side of ruffle.
To create lining hem, press lining bottom raw edge 1/4″ toward wrong side. Press another 1/4″ toward wrong side. Stitch close to folded edge to secure in place.
Stitch button in place on back of dress, ensuring proper fit with loop.
Great job! Be sure to share your finished dress and tag us on Instagram with @sewmuchado #sewmuchado!