This is just another design tutorial on how to make the panel on the Panel Front A-line dress. Like the first one I showed, you can use any A-line dress pattern you may already own. To get started, cut your front pattern piece and a long narrow strip of fabric for your mock panel (about 4 1/2″ wide or less x length of dress plus 2″ more). For the ruffles, I cut 2 strips 3″ wide by width of the fabric.Cut a strip of medium weight fusible interfacing the same size as your mock panel and go ahead and fuse it to the wrong side.This is optional, but it does help keep your panel from puckering when you sew the ruffles on.
To prepare your ruffles, fold the 3″ strips in half(long length) and press.Run a gathering stitch along the raw edge with your machine to draw up the fabric to make your ruffles. I like to use my basting stitch on my sewing machine for this, but if you don’t have that option, set your machine to a straight stitch and then set it on the longest stitch length your machine will go to.
Distribute your ruffles evenly and then pin to one of the long edges of your panel. Sew a 3/8″ seam. Then flip the ruffle so that the seam is turning into the center of the panel and press.At this point, lay the panel on top of your dress front pattern piece and decide how wide you need to cut it down. There is no right or wrong answer to this. It will depend on what size dress you make, what fabric selections you have chosen, and what size buttons you are using. Once you’ve decided, cut, and then pin and sew the other ruffle. Press in the same manner as your first ruffle.
Find the centers of your panel and your dress front and line up and pin in place.
Topstitch about 1/16″ away from the ruffle seam. Do this for both sides.
Place right side down on your cutting mat and trim off the excess at your hem and neck edge.
Cut the back fabric out if you can see the print showing through to the front side.If it doesn’t show, you don’t necessarily need to do this.
Stay stitch your ruffles at the hem and neck edge to keep them in place.
Now your ready to finish sewing your dress following the directions your pattern gives you.