April 5, 2011

Tute Sweet Tuesdays: Little Black Dot Dress Tute

Welcome to our first Tute Sweet Tuesday!

To kick it off : Adding a ruffly hem to lengthen a dress
Skill Level: Easy Peasy
Items Needed: 
Matching or Coordinating Material
Matching Thread
Sewing Machine
Twine or Embroidery Floss-I'll explain later
Sewing Time: About an hour

I've got a dress that I bought at Ross Dress for Less.  I bought it for $13 and I LOVE it! Only problem: it was a bit too short.   For those darling skirts or dresses that look fabulous on the hanger, but are just a little too short for your liking, this is an easy fix that doesn't take too much time OR money.  It would look great to use a contrasting or coordinating material (OR lace!!) on the bottom to spruce it up and make it uniquely your own. 

Ok, get on your thinking caps! (for me-a calculator...ha!) First figure out how many inches you'd like to add.  I wanted about 5 more inches so I cut it 6"-figure about 1/2" hem and 1/4" at the top to sew to the original hem.   
Next lay down the skirt or dress and measure the width.  Mine was 23-1/2".  Times it by 2. That is the total width of your skirt. (Me: 47") Times that number by 2 (Me: 94").  I ended up using a total of 109" for more frill on my skirt.  The width of my material that I had was 36" so I cut three strips and sewed them right sides together to make one long strip (equaling 109"). Making sense so far? 

   Close up of my strips sewn together:

Next you're going to iron 1/4"seam for the bottom hem.  

Then fold it over another 1/4" and iron.  So you'll have a hem that is a total of 1/2" but you'll see only 1/4" of it.

Next we SEW your new hem all the way around.

Now after we have the hem all nice and perdy, we're going to go the top of our material and start our frilly ruffle.  This may seem like it's the hardest part, but it's really quite simple.  I'm going to teach you a neat trick for the ruffle.  You're going to use the twine or embroidery floss now.  Using a zigzag stitch, place the floss or twine smack dab in the middle.  
Make sure you keep the floss in the center of the pedal foot and zigzag away.  

Once you're finished stitching the floss all away around, pull the floss to get the ruffle.  Pin to skirt and sew with a straight stitch.  I left the floss in until I finished sewing the ruffle to the skirt.  Feel free to use a stitch ripper to have better access to your floss once your finished.

Don't mind the pasty legs... they have yet to see the sun
We would love to know how you did. Send us your work!
Good Luck and Happy Sewing!

Roz and Ash

*Heads up: I didn't sew close enough to the end of the bottom of the real hem so it flips up.  Be mindful as you do so.  Good thing I make mistakes so you don't have too ;)


  1. Lovely skirt! The ruffle and the polka dot pattern go beautifully together! Well done! (P.S. Thanks for the twitter follow! :) )

    Jessica Speake

  2. Super cute!! Adorable blog :)

  3. GREAT IDEA! Your blog is wonderful and it will continue to grow and grow!! I couldn't get your etsy shop to load but I would love to look at your stuff you've made! You have a great blog design and set up. Maybe we could arrange a giveaway or something...email me! OH and I'm your newest follower!

  4. Awesome idea, I admit I am guilty of buying off the rack without trying things on only to find them too short! I have super long legs so everything is basically too short on me. Love this!

    Stopping by as I party through the UBP11, congrats on your new blog!


  5. ohhh I am kicking myself for getting rid of a dress that was too short for me now!!! I love a sewing tutorial that doesn't require a serger...since I don't have one! LOL

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I will follow you! :)

  6. Whose sexy legs are those. You did such a great job, I am so proud of you girls and your ambition and never being afraid to try new things. Love ya lots! Mom

  7. Press the seam down (towards the ruffle) and sew a top stitch around 1/4" or a little less below the seem where the ruffle and the dress meet. that will help it from popping up. Very cute idea girls, you make me miss my sisters. :)

  8. Love this idea! It would be super cute to add a ruffle to the bottom of some of my daughter's jeans. Thank you!

  9. I love this idea! The older I get it seems the less I feel I can get away with those shorter skirts! :) I love a good step-by-step tutorial and yours is fabulous! Love what you girls are doing here and I am now a follower! Thank you for your sweet words on my blog!

  10. Hey I am new to your blog and hope you also like my new blog too
    This definitely looks like something I would enjoy following. I love the skirt project!

  11. Ya know this is really cute and something I could do to my daughter's dresses. Thank you! I like the ruffle easy add on. I have the option of ruffles on my sewing machine and serger but I'm scared to try. If I do this I'll let you know.
    p.s.- you guys are too cute!

  12. My sister and I just did this to my oldest daughter's dress last weekend. My daughter is 15 and tall, so we don't need her showing too much leg.

    Thanks for visiting my little corner of the cyber world. I am a new follower of you two ladies and it sounds like it is going to be a hoot.

  13. Rach-or shall I say Lively..? :) Thanks so much for the tip! You're a master crafter as well so continue to keep me in line!!


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