Have you ever wanted to buy one of those adorable ruffled outfits in boutiques, but couldn’t imagine paying the crazy amount on the price tag?! Yeah, me too… exactly. When I finally got a few sewing projects under my belt, I figured making ruffled pants & tops would be a breeze…easy peasy, right? Well, they aren’t brain surgery, but they do take a very valuable commodity… TIME. So that is definitely a factor when you decide to venture into these projects.
I had come across the book Little Girls, Big Style on Amazon shortly after I was gifted my sewing machine (Thanks Jane & Neil!). I put it on my Amazon wish list as a reminder of a book I wanted to buy eventually. My very sweet mother-in-law, Jane, bought it for me, and I read it, thumbed through pics, and finally decided on the double ruffled pants, and the ruffled peasant top.
Armed with a Joann’s gift card (again, thanks to Jane!), I bought all of my supplies and started my journey. Yes, journey. These projects aren’t hard, but they took me forever!! Quite honestly, I started this back in September, and wasn’t done until mid-November. The pants took me a good 7 hours… ridiculous I know, but hemming, ruffling, gathering, pinning, finishing seams… seriously takes an eternity for me. After the pants project, I walked away for a couple weeks… no sewing, the pants burned me out! I was frustrated by the amount of time it took me to gather the ruffle to the right diameter, then pin the darn thing to the pant leg just right… and of course because I picked the double ruffle, it was 4 times the fun!
I don’t want this post to sound like it wasn’t worth it, or how much I hate ruffling, but at the time it was not the most fun I’ve ever had. Looking back, it really helped me become faster and more confident at ruffles! And if you are persistent, and not a ridiculous perfectionist like me, then this will probably take you a couple of hours.
Here are a few photos of my progress…
The directions in the book are pretty easy to follow, and there are great pictures and simple explanations. If you have a basic knowledge of sewing, then you will not have any trouble. I think I chose one of the easier tops, because the elastic neckline is very forgiving! I made the size 5 top, and honestly, I would probably make it a little longer…maybe a couple of inches. My daughter is a pretty average sized 4 year old, so I expected a size 5 to be a little longer, but it wasn’t unwearable.
For the sleeves I wanted a larger ruffle at the end, so I added about 1.5 inches to the sleeve length on the pattern. It didn’t turn out as long as I would have liked, so I will add even more the next time I do this top…. yes, I will do this again! 🙂 This is the best part of making these on your own… you can adjust and make them completely unique! I plan to challenge myself a little more the next time by adding piping, lace trim, or ribbon.
I would definitely recommend Little Girl’s, Big Style as a great book to get started in boutique clothes. My daughter LOVES her ruffled outfit, and that’s what makes the time spent more than worthwhile. When you buy the book, spend some time tracing the patterns onto freezer paper… then they will be ready for you to pin & sew when you choose your fabrics. I was really glad I did this, because then I could start cutting and sewing as soon as I pre-washed my fabrics.
Let me know what you think of this book, and if you’ve sewn anything from it!