20 Minute Easy Ruffle Dress Tutorial Test: What I’m Making Monday

I love trying out tutorials but it cracks me up the time when I see people saying “Oh this is so easy it took 10 minutes… blah blah blah.” Stop bragging you craftoholic!

Ok, maybe they aren’t trying to show off, but trying to emphasize how simple the steps are. I almost never believe this for things when it comes to sewing. If something only takes 20 minutes it but be because a pro did it, or seriously easy enough for a 5-year-old to do.

I saw a tutorial for a 20 minute ruffle dress and stored it in my internal memory book for if I ever found this pre-ruffle fabric the woman spoke of, and found time to experiment.

Well, a few weeks ago on one of my recent frequent trips to Hobby Lobby I saw some. I grabbed a bit of two colors an decided I’d finally give this a try and see if it’s as easy as she makes it out to be, and if it could really be done in just 20 minutes.

In her tutorial she said you need a yard of fabric, but I risked it and got just a half a yard of each. Which actually turned out to be more than enough for my toddler and at $10.99 a yard and using my 40% off coupon I got fabric for both dresses for less than $7.

Ok so to make this I got out:
Pre-ruffle fabric (Enough fabric for your little one. I used the built in 52in wide or whatever the standard fabric width is for the width of the dress and the 18in I had cut (1/2 yard) for the length.)
Coordinating thread
A timer (to see how long this 20 minute dress really takes)

I also printed out this bodice pattern of a sleeveless dress the author mentioned in her post. I have several other dress patterns but I wasn’t sure if a “sleeveless” pattern meant it could be a dress pattern without the sleeves part attached, or if it needed to be an intentionally sleeveless dress, so just in case I printed out that one. But the pattern is missing the 18 month old bodice back, so I kinda made it smaller myself.

I folded two ends of the fabric to the center and pinned the pattern to the fabric, with the part that says “fold” where the fabric was folded over on the edge.  Since it kept slipping this part alone took up a quarter of my time. I was already running behind. (I did pause my timer to take photos).

Then I cut around each bodice pattern piece, careful not to cut along the line that says “fold” cause then the whole thing would be screwed up and in pieces.

I cut down to the edge of the fabric to make it as long as possible since I only had 18 inches to use and after sewing it all up with the sleeves and creases I wasn’t sure how short it would be. Looking back I didn’t need to use all of that fabric and it tapers off now because of that but whatever. After I cut I was at 9 minutes 34 seconds.

So this picture shows each half of the dress but each half is folded in half. I opened up each half, then stuck them together with the ruffles on the inside and pinned around the edges. I didn’t take a picture of this, probably because I was embarrassed that my time was already up by the end of it. I guess I’m a slow pinner.

Then I took it to my sewing machine and sewed up each side, of the dress but stopping at the arm area so she could stick her arms through of course.

Then I sewed across the top to close the shoulder area, but careful not to sew up the neck hole so her head could fit through of course.

Then I turned the dress rightside out (because we were sewing with the ruffles in remember?) and folded over some of the sleeve area and neck area and did some zig zag stitching to make it look a little more “finished” I didn’t hem the bottom though, and apparently, knit doesn’t fray, so it’s all good. 

I added a sash I had already made to go with another Halloween dress I’m working on and TADA! I was done! Total time: 44 minutes 19 seconds.

I’ll admit, I did screw up around the sleeve area and had to take out some stitches and try again so that took up a little bit of extra time, but I’m also super slow.

I didn’t need to make it nearly this long. In fact I may hem it up a little so she doesn’t look like she’s wearing an evening gown for homecoming, and then take it out as she grows taller. I’m not sure if I like my tapering experiment either. I may cut across the bottom and make it all one length. Either way, I made a ruffle dress in 44 minutes! Cool right? What do you think?

I even got inspired by all of the ruffles and ruffle matched Lil’ J with what I wore to work that day. No, I didn’t make my dress it’s from here.

My dress via: Eshakti (use “BMM0811″ for $20 off through 10/31)

I’m going to experiment with making a no-sew version of this with the black ruffle fabric I got, time that version, and post it soon!

Did you make something this week? Link up!

Feel free to grab the button so others can know to share their craft ideas.

What I'm Making Monday

(highlight ctl+c)

Faith says:

wow, you did an amazing job! looks so good … love the color on her too!

Mama Violet says:

You both look beautiful. I love the purple dress. It’s my favorite color and it has ruffles. Loves!

Kira =] says:

You did awesome!! Sewing intimidates me too. But this looks simple enough I could even sew it. Thanks for the inspiration!!

YUMMommy says:

The ruffle dress looks good, especially when you add the sash. Can’t wait to see how the no-sew version turns out.

I’d love to buy my first eshakti dress.. how do i score $20 off???

Your little girl looks adorable in the dress, glad it worked out for you! Sorry it took almost double the time…those knit ruffles can be a pain in the tush sometimes 🙂

Galaxia says:

What a gorgeous pair. She has grown so much…

I hope I can be so crafty with my kids’ clothes one day!

The dress looks great!

Becky says:

That’s such a cute dress! I love that you timed it. It’s true that those projects always take way longer!

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love that dress!! i envy people that are crafty…great job!

…sidebar, can i have that “hookup” you mentioned? i love eShakti.

Chantel says:

That looks great! I’m new to sewing. I’m teaching myself. It’s slow going, but I have dreams of dresses made for my daughter. I’m determined.

You should check out Pinterest. Tons of sewing ideas and a place to store them!

Dress Junkie and Red Socks wife you can use my code “BMM0811” for $20 off 🙂

toi says:

You did a great work indeed :).

Love the picture of you and Lil J :)!

Lindsey says:

This turned out SO cute! Your lil’ girl really looks great in it, too. 🙂 I love it!

Sarah says:

Great job! Those times ones always lie! It takes 20 min for an experienced seamstress!

I’m with you, shorten it and take off the taper.

Allycia says:

You did such an amazing job…makes me wish I knew how to sew! LOL.


Tina Atkinson says:

Great dress. Even greater model.

Carla H says:

Thanks for the beautiful pictures of you adorable little girls in the dress. I read your post at 4pm, drove straight to the fabric store, and bought the fabrics. Now that the kids are in bed I’m going to try it! Thanks for the confidence!

iTS ALL gOOD….. did you hem it how is it now you washed it?? My DIL wants some dresses like this. Your little girl looks precious.

Mommy G says:

Great job!! Thank you for sharing! I feel the same way win I see projects that say they only takes minutes!! I think yeah right, maybe for someone like my Nanny who has been sewing for 50 years 🙂
I’m so glad I found you!! Now I can wait for you to try them to know if I can do it, LoL!! Thank u & God Bless all your future crafty projects!

Liz says:

I have some of this fabric and didn’t quite know what to do with it – so this tutorial is perfect, Thanks!! With my fabric the material underneath in between the ruffles is sheer and I am wondering if I should line it somehow. Is your fabric sheer? Did you line this dress?

Amanda says:

Love it. Great job!

Ankita says:

I love that dress….she is very beautiful..

Shereeberry says:

Absolutely love this. I will be making this for my five granddaughters who are ages ten and under. I know they will love it. Hopefully I can get the material in different colors. I’ll also buy many colors for the belted bow as well. Can’t wait to start.

Kelly says:

What a doll! I love the dress and yours too! Thanks for sharing. I am glad to see there are others like me that can’t super sew with the speed of light.

Your style is very unique compared to other people I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this site.

Whitney says:

You did a great job! I’m not much of a sewer (I’m still learning), so this will make a perfect dress for me to try an accomplish. I saw this ruffle fabric at the store the other day and asked myself how I could use it, and this is a great way! Thanks so much for sharing. And ps I love your dress too, you look beautiful!

Melanie says:

I didn’t follow the pattern, but I had a shirt that was the same fabric that I really needed some inspiration for. The dress I made today wasn’t as cute as yours, but you did inspire me! Your little girl is ADORABLE! And that dress is so cute! Thanks for sharing!

Hello, I found your site by accident really, just browsing the web looking for a pattern for a ruffled dress, and voile there you were. Just want to say adorable is the dress but even better is how stunning you and your daughter are! She’s just beautiful. I remember when my baby was small, I couldn’t stop staring at her. 🙂
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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.

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