Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial

Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial by Once Upon a Sewing Machine

Our first variation on our basic peasant dress pattern is the ruffle neck peasant dress! This is the first of 3 summer variations we have planned for you. Need the pattern or direction on how to grade it to your size. See our peasant dress introduction.

Due to popular demand we’ve digitized this pattern in sizes 12/18 month, 2T/3T, and 4T you can find it HERE. 

Ok let’s start!

The Peasant Dress Pattern

Start with your two pieces, the body and the sleeve.

IMPORTANT: Because the casing is different on this dress you will remove 1″ from the top of the front to back. Doing this will compensate for the lack of casing on top of the dress and make your armhole fit closer.

Cut 2 of the main body on the fold, one front and one back.

Now take your sleeve piece, we are going to use this to cut your neck ruffle. If you are using the pattern this piece is now provided. Use piece marked optional ruffle. 

Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial by Once Upon a Sewing MachinePlace the pattern short end on the fold. Don’t follow the armhole curve. Instead cut straight across (where the ruler is placed).

Now you will have a long rectangle twice the length of the long sleeve pattern piece. Good? 

You’ve got your pieces cut we’re ready to start sewing.

Sewing Your Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress

1. Sew your side seams together.

Finish the edge with your preferred method.

Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial by Once Upon a Sewing Machine

2. Finish your armholes.

You have two choices.

You can finish the armhole with bias tape. Either by making your own bias tape or using store bought single fold bias tape.

***IF YOU CHOOSE THIS METHOD MAKE CERTAIN YOU HAVE REMOVED THE INCH OF HEIGHT FROM THE TOP OF THE FRONT AND BACK OF THE ORIGINAL PATTERN.

Option 2- add elastic to your armhole

I cut a piece of 3/8″ elastic 2″ shorter than the length of my armhole. Then I sewed it in a U from the top front to the top back of armhole.

Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial by Once Upon a Sewing Machine

It isn’t tight on her arm, and these are meant to be easy play dresses so I left it at that. You can of course create a casing for your elastic if you prefer, or use fold over elastic.

Set aside the body of your dress.

3. Hem the bottom of the ruffle.

Turn the bottom of the ruffle over 1/4″ and then a 1/4″ again. Now you’ve enclosed the raw edge. This seam maybe visible on the finished garment so I strongly recommend the double turn over sergering and turning once.

Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial by Once Upon a Sewing Machine4. Create the casing.

Your elastic is going to run through this ruffle piece. Turn the top edge over a 1/4″ and then turn again a 1/2″. You now have a casing with a clean finished edge.

Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial by Once Upon a Sewing Machine

 5. Sew your ruffle together.

You should now have a circle. Important: don’t sew your casing closed. When you seam your short raw edges together make sure your pieces are open like the edge shown above.

If it is easier for you to press your casing in after you sew your seam together swap step 4 and 5.

6. Attach the Ruffle.

Put the seam you just sewed to the center back. The raw edge at the top of your dress should sit up against the top of the casing.

Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial by Once Upon a Sewing Machine

Pull down the casing. The top edge of your dress is now enclosed.

Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial by Once Upon a Sewing Machine

Sew the bottom edge of your casing all the way around. Leave open a spot to thread your elastic.

7. Add your elastic.

Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial by Once Upon a Sewing Machine

I cut a piece of elastic half the length of the ruffle (in other words the length of one long sleeve). 16-17″ works well for sizes 12-18 months. Use 1/4″ elastic. (If you prefer 3/8 or 1/2″ will also work)

Thread your elastic through. Try on, and adjust elastic to desired fit.

Sew elastic together, and finish stitching closed your top casing.

8. Hem

Turn over 1/2″ and then another 1/2″. Hem. Now you have a fully enclosed hem.

9. Put it on and go to the park!

Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial by Once Upon a Sewing Machine

 

Ruffle Neck Peasant Dress Pattern and Tutorial by Once Upon a Sewing Machine

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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Pam May 29, 2013, 7:40 am

    So sweet with the ruffle at the neckline!!! Love the fabric, too.

  • Amy Mayen May 29, 2013, 8:51 am

    A very cute variation! Looks like she’s cooperating more and more with photos too:)

  • Venus May 29, 2013, 9:22 am

    SO cute! This is a perfect summer dress.

  • Cindy May 30, 2013, 1:23 pm

    Aww! The dress is adorable on her. Love the ruffle around the top, so sweet and feminine.:)

  • Jennifer Lachman May 30, 2013, 2:32 pm

    I love the added ruffle. It would be a great way to update any dress.

  • Bethany June 1, 2013, 12:41 pm

    Oh my goodness, such a cute dress! Wish I had a little girl to sew for 🙂

  • Aimee October 20, 2013, 9:01 pm

    Just made this – it’s great thank you 🙂
    I think this will become a summer staple. I’m thinking of making the ruffle contrasting and adding a ruffle at the hem too xx

  • Stephanie April 22, 2014, 2:42 pm

    Love love love these! Since starting last night, I’ve made 4 for my daughter! So easy to put on and take off. Perfect for summer!

  • Margaret September 13, 2014, 3:39 pm

    Love how your pattern turned out for my grand daughters 2 year old birthday dress. Thanks!

  • Heidi October 18, 2017, 2:28 am

    I’m confused a bit. You said to cut the arm holes straight where the ruler is placed and then you’ll have a long rectangle. But, your pictures all show the curved armholes and you talk about finishing the armholes. That confuses me if I’m not supposed to cut the curve of the armholes. Can you please clarify? I’m really wanting to make this for Christmas nightgowns for my girls! 🙂

    • Heidi October 18, 2017, 2:32 am

      I’m so sorry. I think I figured out the instructions. I must have missed a part during my first two read throughs. 🙂 Sorry for the inconvenience! Can’t wait to make this!

  • Linda Horrocks March 8, 2018, 10:37 am

    I am working on this dress and can’t figure out where you close the top of the armhole? I am using bias tape to finish them off.
    Thanks…

    • onceuponasewingmachine March 8, 2018, 4:39 pm

      The top of your armhole is encased in your ruffle casing. Add your bias top to bottom in step 2. Then at step 6 the whole top edge of the front and back will get sandwiched inside of your ruffle casing.

      I hope that helps!

  • Carli May 7, 2018, 5:32 pm

    How much fabric is needed for the 4t? How long of bias tape? How much elastic? I am not seeing those details on the pattern or in the instructions. Thanks, Carli

  • mary June 5, 2018, 1:58 pm

    not understanding directions does ruffle neck have a sleeve I mean to cut out or is top of sleeve made out of ruffle than please explain the cutting of ruffel

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