My life as an average LDS wife and mom of six kids-age 3 to 21.
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.