As promised, I’m sharing a free pattern for the second of my two girl’s Christmas dresses today (you can find the first, Hattie’s dress, here and how I styled and photographed all of my kids’ Christmas outfits together here). Read on to get our Free Girl’s Ruffle Sleeve Dress Pattern!
As with Hattie’s blush pink dress, I found the fabric for Lola’s dress in the formal fabric section at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. I wanted a really neutral color to keep it simple while allowing the design to stand out, and I was so excited to find the perfect overlay fabric as well. I found the adorable blue velvet booties from Old Navy.
The fabrics gave just the airy, flowy look I had imagined.
I didn’t want the lace to overpower the dress, so I opted for a solid yoke with a lace overlay on the bodice. I love the look of the gathered overlay!
You know I have a weakness for fabric covered buttons, so I finished off the dress with one in the same fabric (but it’s always fun to make a contrast button if it works with your design!).
For many years I almost never made dresses with button back closures, and always chose zippers, but lately they’ve been my favorite! I love that a back keyhole can be such a sweet design element.
This free girl’s ruffle sleeve dress pattern is drafted for a 22″ chest measurement and 39-42″ height, which is a size 4 for Sew Much Ado patterns. Lola measures a size 4 chest and 5 length, so I simply added an inch to the pattern for her to give it the length she needs!
For more cute free dress patterns for girls, check out this post! Ready to get sewing?
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 – crepe, voile, etc – If cutting bodice (lace underlay) from main fabric rather than lining: 1 5/8yd (45″ wide) OR 1 1/8yd (57-60″ wide) / If cutting bodice (lace underlay) from lining: 5/8yd (45-60″ wide)
– optional lace/chiffon overlay – 1yd (45-60″ wide)
– lining fabric (45″ wide) – If cutting bodice (lace underlay) from main fabric rather than lining: 1/3yd / If cutting bodice (lace underlay) from lining: 1 1/3yd
– fusible woven lightweight interfacing – 1/8yd
– 3/4-1″ button
– 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. If using lace that needs to be hemmed, add desired hem allowance to hem for overlay only. 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 upper portion of the markings on the right side as pictured, 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 at vertical portion of marking right side of fabric, on left of center back, 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.
Wrong side of bodice overlay to right side of bodice underlay, pin top of bodice front and back overlay pieces to top of underlay pieces, matching raw edges. Sew two rows of basting/gathering stitches along pinned edge, 3/8″ and 5/8″ from top raw edge of bodice.
Pulling top threads only, gather front and back bodice basted edges to fit bottom of front and back yokes. Right sides together, pin gathered edges to bottom of front and back yokes. Tip: I prefer to pin each end of the ruffle to the bodice edges before gathering.
Stitch along pinned edges on front and back, attaching front and back bodice to front and back yokes. If needed, trim seam allowance on back to 1/4-3/8″ to ensure seam allowance will not be visible at keyhole when pressed upward. Press seam allowances upward and use zig zag stitch or serger to finish seam allowances. Use seam ripper to remove basting threads that are visible on right sides of ruffles.
Right sides together, stitch underlay front and back pieces together along side seams. Press seams and finish raw edges. Overlay seams will be stitched with a french seam: wrong sides together, stitch underlay side seams together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Trim 1/8″ from raw edges and press flat along seam on each side, right sides together. Stitch side seams again, 1/4″ from pressed edges/seams. Press each side seam toward back of dress.
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.
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 threads 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, with pressed bottom edge of ruffle unfolded. Press seam and finish raw edge.
Fold each sleeve hem back as originally pressed and stitch close to folded edge.
Baste lining to main fabric at each armhole, a scant 1/2″ from raw edges.
Right sides together, pin sleeve into armhole (my fabric was a bit finicky so I needed a lot of pins, hehe), matching sleeve notches with seams (double notch matches back yoke/bodice seam) 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.
To create underlay 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. If overlay needs to be hemmed (the lace I used did not), hem according to the hem allowance you allowed when cutting.
Stitch button in place on back of dress, ensuring proper fit with loop.
Awesome work! Be sure to share your finished dress and tag us on Instagram with @sewmuchado #sewmuchado!