Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

A little dress with a big ruffle

Well, it's not really a ruffle.  But, I've been seeing so many of these fun dresses (love the natural waist!) with big ruffle-like collars... they're actually bias spirals sewn on without any gathering.  See?
From ModCloth:
 This fun one from Anthro a while back:
 These from Amanda Uprichard:
 And this adorable one from a promo shoot for the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars (super random source of inspiration, I know...a guy I know from high school is in the show and I've been watching!).
Anyway, it's a super cute dress style and I love the natural waist!  I wanted to make something similar for myself, and knew I could; it's pretty simple, really.
I modified Simplicity 2497, one of my most-used (but not favorite) patterns.  I've had fit issues with this one before.  I modified it considerably already last fall, turning it into a tunic.  Here's the basic look:
Some of the Cynthia Rowley patterns are super cute, and more modern than a lot of the patterns you see.  So this was a good one to modify: basically, I didn't use the waistband and made an elastic casing out of the skirt piece instead, on the inside of the dress.  Instead of the bias binding around the neck and armholes, I used the spiral ruffle!
That's what I'm calling the collar and armhole ruffles... they're not really ruffles, since they're not gathered, but are instead cut on a sort of eternal bias, cut in a circle.  Here's some pics of how I cut them out:
I measured the circumference of the neck and armholes, and cut circles with those circumferences.  Now I see that I had cut them in smaller circles and sewn them together, I would have had more ruffling.  But, that's ok.  Here's how it turned out!
 Cute with a belt, too!
It's getting a little cool to wear too many times this fall, but we've had some hot days very recently, too.  It's a sheer-ish lightweight cotton that I got yards of once at Goodwill, and lined with some cheap navy lining.  Not as formal as the purple Pretty Little Liars dress, but more of a playdress for warm weather.  I may wear it when I go down to Florida at the end of the month!


  1. I bought that pattern with high hopes for it, then immediately found out I was pregnant so I haven't made it yet. I love the style and I love what you've done with the pattern!

  2. That's adorable, I love ruffles but haven't had the chance to make any myself yet. That would look gorgeous over a little sweater with thick tights come the winter too :D

  3. This is a super adorable dress. I love the color you chose :)

    Just Better Together

  4. I really like your version! It may not be as ruffle-y but it's still really beautiful. I think the color and fabric choice are perfect. and omg, who do you know on PLL? everyone on there is so beautiful!

  5. i actually just bought that pattern! any advice on how to prevent fit mishaps?

  6. Thanks, everyone!
    @Lori, I know the sweet guy who plays Lucas, the yearbook photographer kid. He'll be in the next 12 episodes next season, too!
    @Kim, the problem I've found is the discrepancy between the bust and just above the waistband... the bust fits me snugly because I think I must have a large ribcage... so I'd suggest measuring the pieces as you cut them out and making sure there's enough room up there. You may want to straighten out the side seams so it's wider at the armholes but no wider where it attaches to the waistband.

  7. how creative!

  8. I love this! I'm happy you have this posted, as I was just plotting to make something similar.

    What exactly do you mean by "Now I see that I had cut them in smaller circles and sewn them together, I would have had more ruffling"?

  9. Thanks!
    @Sara, I meant, if I had used spirals with smaller circumference, it they would have ruffled more and had more movement/stretch. Hard to describe, sorry... if I do this again I'll show a pic!




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