When I started thinking about a blessing dress for our little girl, it didn't take long to decide just what I wanted. I knew I wanted something simple, but not boring, and still femine and beautiful.
I had some white ruffle fabric from RuffleFabric.com, and knew it would be perfect in combination with a simple pattern. As I've mentioned before, if you're looking for ruffle fabric, save yourself the time and buy it from Ruffle Fabric - they have the best selection and prices that you'll find online. Their website also has a list of links to projects using ruffle fabric to give you lots of good project ideas!
You can find my tips for sewing with ruffle fabric here, where I shared a free pattern for a ruffle fabric newborn diaper cover.
First, I didn't curve the neckline and top of sleeve as the pattern is shaped. I cut those curves straight across, to allow a nice even and straight edge to make the elastic casing without getting in the way of the ruffles.
It allowed the top row of ruffles to hang nicely over the casing.
I also added about an inch and a half or so to the hem, since it's more of a formal dress and won't be worn with leggings like I suggest in the original pattern.
One great thing about ruffle fabric is that it doesn't need to be hemmed. Just turn the last ruffle upwards before you cut, and trim the flat connecting fabric underneath. It doesn't get much easier than that!
Because of the drape of the ruffle fabric, I thought it might be awkward to have the elastic casing on the hem of the sleeves, so I left that out (and happily - I'll never complain about one less step), and the sleeves hang perfectly. Just FYI, I did trim some bulk from the seam where the sleeves, bodice, and sideseam all meet in the underarm area, and it helped with the bulk from all the ruffles.
I've been considering adding a white satin ribbon that could be tied in a small bow around the dress, but can't decide. What do you think? Should I leave it as is? As simplistic as I normally am, I think I'm leaning towards adding the ribbon, but could be easily swayed :).
I'll be sure to share pics of my baby actually wearing the dress! Four weeks till my due date - yikes!