Free Girl’s Ruffle Dress Pattern
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.
A rayon challis like these (aff link) would have the perfect drape. It would also be dreamy in a double gauze solid. I found her grey neutral grey/gold boots to coordinate at Old Navy.
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!
So cute Abby! Love the twirl ❤️ And she is adorable!
Thanks so much, Shelly!
Your little munchkin is getting so big! I’ve loved seeing your posts and pictures of her. So adorable. And thank you for the free dress pattern. It is wonderful. Happy New Year!
This is so beautiful for little girls who, YES, love to twirl!!! Thank you for sharing this awesome design with us! I love the bell sleeves and the bottom ruffle. I also appreciate the note about what type of fabric to use. My go to has been Cotton, but I can understand the need for something softer. Thanks again!!!
Thank you so much for this pattern. I have been patiently waiting for this since I received your blog email that showed your children’s Christmas outfits. Thanks for sharing your patterns.
thanks a lot for this patern! Love it.
So cute! I wish I could have one in my size. :) Although I’m not sure it would look as cute on me.
Such a sweet dress, the colour is perfect for your daughter. And priorities of course ;)
Hello – I cannot download the actual pattern. I received my email. clicked on the link and it took me to the instructions, but where do I find the pattern pages, please?
Hi Maree, did you complete the entire “checkout” process? Once that’s done, an email will be automatically sent with the download link. Be sure to check your junk mail if it’s not in your inbox. You can also access the pattern download by logging into your account under the “shop” tab of our site.
Love the dress and the model. Would this work in a knit?
I haven’t personally tried it in a knit, but am guessing it would work, you just might want to adjust for the stretch of the knit (normally you’d need to size down, but since this is a one sized pattern, that’s obv not possible ;)).
Just downloaded the free ruffle dress pattern and the pieces don’t seem the same as in your drawing, have got 12 pages but mine have front and back yokes and front and back bodices and your picture shows different pieces ?
Hi Heather! It sounds like you downloaded another similar pattern to the one you’re looking for (https://www.sewmuchado.com/2018/01/free-girls-ruffle-sleeve-dress-pattern.html). If you click here: https://www.sewmuchado.com/shop/free-patterns/ruffle-dress-free-pattern – you can order the correct one!
I love this dress. Beautiful. And you are a fab photographer too!
Aw thank you so much!!
Hi love the pattern!! Just wondering, did you chain stitch the button Keyhole Loop onto the dress back for strength? Just curious. Thank you once again for a great simple pretty pattern!!
Hi Wilietta, I just backstitched it to keep it secure :).
Have just found this pattern, and have made it up today. It is so easy and looks really lovely in summery material. Thank you so much cc
So great to hear, Carol!