Monday, May 6, 2013

Dress Redo and Lettuce-edge Ruffle

I just HAD to share my latest project, because I worked really hard on it and learned some great  new skills.  A neighbor girl (exchange student) bought the above dress for prom, off the internet.  The first time I saw it on her, it looked like a big fluffy swimsuit.  Definitely in need of some modesty!

I added straps to the top (she decided she just wanted wide straps, not wider sleeve-type straps), and I added a ruffle to the bottom.  The ruffle on the bottom adds about 6 inches to the length. 

To make the ruffle, I added lining to the lining inside, and then spent HOURS trying to figure out how to make the 'lettuce-edge' ruffle.  Finally, we were content with 4 layers of slightly wavy ruffles, that didn't quite match the original ruffles.  Then I added 4 layers of tulle under the ruffle, to help make the color match.  But then I got some advice on making the ruffle more ripply, and I just couldn't let it sit. 

So I added fishline to 35 feet of 7-inch-wide tulle, gathered it, and sewed it over the top of the original wavy ruffle.  It twisted and rippled beautifully and I was so excited!  I wish I had a better picture of that bottom edge!

To make a lettuce-edge ruffle (there are lots of tutorials if you google it):  lay fishline along the most stretchy edge of the tulle, fold over 1/4-1/8 inch of tulle over the fishline, stretch the tulle as much as you can (this is the key to getting a good ripple), and sew with a small zig zag that goes over the top of the fishline.  I used 50 lb fishline.  Do a test run first.  After the fishline is sewn, gather the tulle.  I gathered about 5 feet of tulle into 1 foot.  Gathering with a regular gathering stitch did not work well with this tulle.  I considered using a gathering foot on my machine for automatic gathering, but the amount of gather was not adjustable.  So, I laid a piece of embroidery thread the length of the tulle and sewed a wide zig zag over the top of it (being careful not to catch the embroidery thread).  I could easily gather the tulle by pulling on the embroidery thread.

1 comment:

  1. That is just incredible Jenni! You are so talented! Way to go!