I saw a tutorial for a 20 minute ruffle dress and stored it in my internal memory book for if I ever found this pre-ruffle fabric the woman spoke of, and found time to experiment.
Well, a few weeks ago on one of my recent frequent trips to Hobby Lobby I saw some. I grabbed a bit of two colors and decided I’d finally give this a try and see if it’s as easy as she makes it out to be, and if it could really be done in just 20 minutes. In her tutorial, she said you need a yard of fabric, but I risked it and got just a half a yard of each. Which actually turned out to be more than enough for my toddler and at $10.99 a yard and using my 40% off coupon I got fabric for both dresses for less than $7. Ok so to make this I got out: Pre-ruffle fabric (Enough fabric for your little one. I used the built in 52in wide or whatever the standard fabric width is the width of the dress and the 18in I had cut (1/2 yard) for the length.) Coordinating thread Scissors Pins A timer (to see how long this 20-minute dress really takes)
I also printed out this bodice pattern of a sleeveless dress the author mentioned in her post. I have several other dress patterns but I wasn’t sure if a “sleeveless” pattern meant it could be a dress pattern without the sleeves part attached, or if it needed to be an intentionally sleeveless dress, so just in case I printed out that one. But the pattern is missing the 18-month-old bodice back, so I kinda made it smaller myself.
I folded two ends of the fabric to the center and pinned the pattern to the fabric, with the part that says “fold” where the fabric was folded over on the edge. Since it kept slipping this part alone took up a quarter of my time. I was already running behind. (I did pause my timer to take photos). Then I cut around each bodice pattern piece, careful not to cut along the line that says “fold” cause then the whole thing would be screwed up and in pieces.
I cut down to the edge of the fabric to make it as long as possible since I only had 18 inches to use and after sewing it all up with the sleeves and creases I wasn’t sure how short it would be. Looking back I didn’t need to use all of that fabric and it tapers off now because of that but whatever. After I cut I was at 9 minutes 34 seconds. So this picture shows each half of the dress but each half is folded in half. I opened up each half, then stuck them together with the ruffles on the inside and pinned around the edges. I didn’t take a picture of this, probably because I was embarrassed that my time was already up by the end of it. I guess I’m a slow spinner. Then I took it to my sewing machine and sewed up each side, of the dress but stopping at the arm area so she could stick her arms through of course. Then I sewed across the top to close the shoulder area, but careful not to sew up the neck hole so her head could fit through of course. Then I turned the dress right side out (because we were sewing with the ruffles in remember?) and folded over some of the sleeve area and neck area and did some zig zag stitching to make it look a little more “finished” I didn’t hem the bottom though, and apparently, knit doesn’t fray, so it’s all good. I added a sash I had already made to go with another Halloween dress I’m working on and TADA! I was done! Total time: 44 minutes 19 seconds.
I’ll admit, I did screw up around the sleeve area and had to take out some stitches and try again so that took up a little bit of extra time, but I’m also super slow.