If you read my Lesson in Recovery, you may be aware of my desire to sew, but fear in inadequacy. I have since been practicing and stepped it up a notch to make my first little girl outfit.
The inspiration for this outfit came from a sales rack at Babies R’ Us where I saw an adorable ruffly dress sewn to a onesie. With a sale price tag of $17 I knew I could create something just as cute with the fabric I had. Of course I can’t find a picture of the original dress, but here is something similar that was available online with a price tag of $34.00 at Rufflebutts.com
I did pick up a 1/2 yard of white satin fabric (at 40% off of course) for $3.00 to make this, the rest of it I had. Thanks to the help of my friend who is helping me convert my wedding dress to a baptismal gown, I learned the art of gathers, which I prefer to call “puckers.” So I used that skill and a few different colors of tulle to make a little tulle ruffled satin skirt for my newbie.
I apologize for my lack of pictures in this post, I got a little caught up in making it that I forgot about capturing the process. If you have questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll do my best to walk you through the steps 🙂
To begin I cut 6 strips of tulle, 6 inches wide by 16 inches long. The length should be about double the width of the skirt. Then fold the tulle strips in half and in half again so I had a double thick fabric to create fuller ruffles. Then I ran a straight stitch down the center of my double thick tulle strip.
Make sure to keep your threads long on either end of the stitch. You will not see this stitch, so don’t worry if it’s not straight. It just needs to go through all of the layers. If you have some really uneven edges, take a scissors and trimmed them in line with the others to make it a little cleaner looking.
Next on both ends of the tulle take one of the threads and pull, gathering the tulle toward the middle. Make sure to do it evenly on both sides. On my skirt the gathered tulle strips needed to be about 8 inches long.
For the base of the skirt I used white satin so it would be soft and smooth on my newborn’s skin, but most knit fabrics would work too. I cut the satin into two 8″ x 8″ pieces Because satin is a fabric that frays very easily, I ran a 1/2 straight stitch hem along the side edges just to prevent the edges from fraying while I was working on it. On the top and bottom I ran a 5/8″ straight stitch to prevent fraying. Then I folded over and pinned for a 1/4″ hem. I should note that since this was a newborn skirt I was simply attaching the skirt to a onesie, so I didn’t need to add an elastic waistband. If you plan to do so, you’d want to make sure to add a channel and run the elastic through the waist line too.
Now the fun part. Take all those gathered tulle strip and pin them onto the skirt. You’ll want to make sure the gathers are somewhat even or all your ruffles will be to one side. (I took this picture before I decided against the brown, same process though). I pinned the ruffles with my pins pointing up and down so that I can sew over them rather than pulling the pins. It helps to make sure everything stays in place.
Over each strip your going to run a straight stitch hem, with back-stitch, directly over the first straight stitch in the tulle to adhere it to the skirt.
The final piece is to turn the skirt inside out so rights sides are facing together. Pin an angled side seam to create the skirt. I used a zigzag stitch on the side seam. Then trim down the edges (about 1/4″ to 1/2 inch from the seam) and turn right sides out.
Because I wanted my accessorized onesie to be used with other outfits, I hand-sewed snaps to attach it to the inside of the skirt.
And there you have it. Stay tuned for another tutorial on creating ruffle tulle flowers and accessories. Granted my time is invaluable, but this project cost me less than $8 and I have plenty of supplies remaining to make other fun girly stuff. In fact the tulle is still left over from our wedding!