Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I 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!

Bachelorette party, asymmetrical ruffle dress tutorial! Oooh!

I'm really happy to have Ruffle Fabric as a sponsor here on the blog, and I'm so excited to get to share a tutorial with some of their lovely stuff!

You'll remember I also made a super cute little ruffle-skirt dress for my niece who was in our wedding.  The already-ruffled skirt made it so quick and easy, and cute!

I also wanted something fabulous to wear to my bachelorette night.  When I saw some of the lovely colors the ruffled goodies come in, I was reminded of these dresses...


How fabulous, right?!?!  There are a few others in the more wedding-ey realm, too, that I love...

Um, yeah.  I'm pretty sure if I had seen that (bottom) wedding dress and heard of Ruffle Fabric before I made mine I would have seriously considered just making a simple top and attaching it to a long ruffle skirt.  So intensely cool.

And once you start looking, you see gorgous ruffle-skirted wedding dresses everywhere...
Ivy & Aster
And while we're at it...
Oscar de la Renta, of course...
But I digress.  I had already made my wedding dress, but I wanted something fabulous, frilly, and girly to wear for my bachelorette dinner and party!  I got to work with the beautiful pale, warm pink ruffle fabric and experimented with the design to put together something really cool!

I was particularly inspired by a lot of the asymmetrical skirts on those ModCloth dresses.  So I figured out how to drape the skirt to make that swoop-ey overlap.

Here's a tutorial!

  • I used ruffle fabric as well as bodice fabrics that went pretty well in color.  You could do this without the lace, but I'll show you what I did anyway.  I used a strapless dress pattern I made up based on a few others... not important.  Use whatever bodice pattern you want.

  • I cut out the bodice of the under layer (pale pink twill), then cut out the lace with the same shape but with some extra to stick up off the top.  With the seam allowances, I only needed an extra half inch at the most of the lace.

  • I had to overlap the bodice pieces 1" to allow for the 1/2" vertical seam allowance, so the lace would be the right size.

  • This dress zips up the back--if you change where yours zips, take note at that part of the tutorial.  
  • Once the bodice was cut out, I tackled the skirt.  Basically, measure yourself and decide what your skirt length should be.  I wanted the skirt to come down to just above my knees.  Cut out one panel (one width of the fabric), cutting halfway between the rows of ruffles.

  • Now, to make half of a second panel to drape with (the skirt will end up being 1.5 panels around), cut another piece the same length to about the middle of the fabric.
  • Now, cutting down the center of your folded fabric, along where the fold would be, cut vertically straight down to your cut edge.

  • Back to the full panel, you'll cut off one corner so you can round off what becomes the top edge, which will be gathered.

  • To round it off even more I cut off this tiny piece!

  • Sew your side seams like you would on any skirt--no, that's not true... Sew two of your side seams, leaving the half piece open on whichever side you want to cross over it.  The half-width panel will hang flat in the front, and one side of the full-width panel will cross over it.

  • Now gather your curved edge of the wide panel.

  • Now you have a long curved, gathered piece.  Mark the sides so you know where they are.

  • Arrange the gathers mostly concentrated at the point where the long edge touches the waist seam.  Pin lots!

  • Now create a center back placket for your zipper.  An invisible zipper is best with this fabric, I think!

  • Now, with all those pins still in place, gather all the way around the skirt, starting at the center back.

  • Now you can attach your skirt to your bodice!  Watch where the center front swoopy part sits.

  • Flip and give it a little pressing so it stays flat at the waist, not too bulky.
  • Almost done--I chose to gather the bottom few inches of the underskirt (the narrow piece) so it didn't risk hanging down below the swooped up overlap.  I just did a gathering stitch with strong thread and tied off the ends.

And here it is!

And here I am in all my bachelorette glory!

For the bachelorette party, a bunch of us including my mom and aunts who were in town went to a nice place for dinner--they all wore black and I stood out in my pastel!

Then my bridesmaids that were in town and I went to a few bars around the area.

I seriously enjoyed wearing the tiara.  Love the Dollar Tree accessories and toys we got to play with as we bar-hopped!

It was sooooo much fun!  And I felt pretty fabulous all night, being the only one in a light pink fluffy thing, tiara, and super tall nude stiletto peeptoe slingbacks.  ;)  I hope everyone gets the chance to do something as fun and special sometime in their lives!

Whether you're celebrating your upcoming wedding or not, though, you can certainly have fun with that awesome ruffle fabric--super easy way to get a dramatic and awesome look!


  1. Anonymous10/05/2011

    It's such a perfect bachelorette party dress. And the already ruffled fabric makes things so much easier...and tempting. Love it.

  2. That is definitely the perfect bachelorette party dress! LOVE the ruffles!! :) I like that everyone wore black so that you stood out!


  3. this dress is super cute. i really love the dress you had on at your shower though! :)

  4. Super cute dress! You definitely stood out! :D

  5. Hello! I just discovered your beautiful blog and I love it! You're an artist!
    I also do DIY .... I leave the link to have a look!


  6. Anonymous10/06/2011

    Wow!! You are crazy talented with a sewing machine. Looks like you and your friends had a great time =) x

  7. Wow, awesome. This is my first visit here and you are very talented! I love your dress. Isn't it fun to make things for events? My fave thing ever is when someone asks "Where did you get that dress?" and you can say "I made it." Ahhh yes.
    I suppose all this reminiscing means that I should sew something, all I've been doing for the past few years are Halloween costumes.

  8. In admiring your beautiful handiwork, one thing often overlooked is the person who makes your creations come alive. Seeing the pictures of all the wonderful women, made me once again realize how precious a women is in a man's life. It is for that reason I mention this: It is not only the month for Halloween, but breast cancer awareness month!!! Treat yourself or a loved one because you care! I am just stopping by with a reminder to do your self breast exam.
    Here's a fun place to start! Everybody loves boob lube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p8pIHy2GRI

  9. Ooh your dress is absolutely gorgeous, I keep seeing this ruffle fabric in shops but couldn't thin what to do with it. Well done x

  10. i love this! and i had no clue about rufflefabric.com. great way to showcase them- the dress is amazing and so are your inspiration dresses!

  11. So cute! thanks for sharing.

  12. Samone1/25/2012

    Cute dress! I actually own one of your inspirations from mod cloth, the buttercream dress. I love the dress you made

  13. Anonymous5/12/2012

    I REALLY Love this dress and have a wedding coming up in june that I cant seem to find what i want in stores. I've made a few things here and there.
    I was wondering about your tutorial, there isnt much about the bodice pattern or assembly.
    Could you describe your steps to get to this beautiful bodice. Please :)

    1. Thanks! I put the lining together, then I overlaid the lace onto the top layer of the outer parts and treated it as one piece of fabric--so the lace was lost in the seam at the midriff panel and at the sideseams. Since it's sheer and sticks out at the top, think of it as trim, and use the main fabric as the foundation.

  14. wow, ur dress is super cute. looks like it is done by a pro. u are so talented and lucky to be able to make ur own dresses. sigh! wish i could do so too.



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