Apr 7, 2011

A tiered ruffle refashion…

I'm not sure if ruffles are still the 'in' thing for us big girls but I know that ruffles NEVER go out of fashion for little girls. They are just so perfect for little princesses who love all things girly (and my little ones are no exception)!

This is my latest refashion... a large "Country Road" branded tiered ruffle top:

It was a $2.00 thrift shop find that really didn't suit me but was perfect for refashioning into a gorgeous ruffled size 3T girls dress... here's a peek at the finished dress:

And now here's how to achieve it with a similar top if you like!


1 large tiered ruffle top ($2.00)
contrasting/matching ribbon ($2.00 a roll)
1 dress zipper (.99c)
button for covering
Usual notions - thread scissors etc

(optional headband - band, ribbon and button for covering)


Big Little Miss M really was TRYING to look happy (it doesn't help that I had the
camera setting wrong and she looks all pasty!)
but trying on the before would have to be her least favourite part
of my refashioning escapades!!!

Determine how much size you will need to take off each side - either by having your little one try it on and then marking/pinning or by using an existing garment in the size you want.

Cut the top - be sure to cut the ruffles separate to the tiers as the tiers should be cut straight whilst the ruffles will be on an outward angle to follow the grain/print. I found it easier to mark my cutting lines with disappearing fabric pen as a guide.

 *I cut the back of the top with an extra 1/2" allowance on the sides to account for the zipper which I was going to put in the back.

Leave the shoulders in tact, flip top inside out and unpick about 1/4" from the side edge of each ruffle and sew each front ruffle to the corresponding back ruffle with right sides together - do not sew the under tiers at this point.

I then cut two lengths of ribbon to create ties for the back waist of the dress. Insert the ribbon between the front and back layers when they are right sides together as shown.

Pin and sew the side seams from armpit to hem catching only the top 1/4" of each ruffle and then pulling it to the inside of the garment. This is so that the ruffles remain free from the side seams except at the very top where they attach to the under tier (hmmm... I hope that makes sense - feel free to email me with any Q's).

I used a 7" dress zipper... I marked the centre back of the garment with disappearing ink to indicate zipper placement.

Cut the opening straight down the centre and then unpicked about 1/4" of top seam to allow me to fold the lining and the outer fabric in and under.

Press and then sandwich the zipper in between the two layers. I then pinned the zipper and used a tacking stitch to hold the zip in place.

To tack, I removed the presser foot and lowered the presser foot arm directly onto the centre of the zip.

I set the stitch to the widest possible zigzag - needs to be wider than the zip teeth to catch the fabric either side -  and reduced the stitch length to the shortest possible and every inch and a half or so tacked down the zipper so that I could remove the pins and use a zipper foot to sew the zip in place.

Use excess tiers and ruffles from one side  - which will have a nice curved upper hem that was originally from the lower portion of the arm cycle to create a ruffled kind of bib front to bring in and reduce the original neck opening (There is a seam running down the centre of this panel however the print and slightly crinkled fabric hides the seam well - if you cannot use the excess fabric because there is not enough or the seam is too obvious you could use a contrasting fabric to make a couple of rows of short ruffles)..

I reduced each under tier on the excess portion by half so that the three new 'bib' type ruffles were closer spaced and used a rolled hem on the ruffle edges.

Pin wrong sides of extra piece one side of the original neckline - again ensuring the ruffle tiers are not sewn with this seam but pulled aside so that they will hang freely and then repeat with the other side.

I then topstiched around the added piece to keep neaten and help hold the seams to the inside.

Then to add a little embellishment and use up some of my ribbon stash (remember the post about all that ribbon - well I did say I'd try and use up some of my 'bargain' ribbon buys) so, a ribbon flower it was!


Cut approx 13 pieces of ribbon - I cut mine about 1 1/2" long but it depends how big or small a flower you want, same with the amount of petals.

Cut each into a long petal shape.

Use a flame to gently melt and seal all edges of each petal - only enough to melt it as if it's too melted it will crack and break when you bend them.

Fold the base of each petal as shown and thread onto cotton.

After threading all the petals go through the first petal again and pull tightly so all petals are bunched together and tie off in a knot.

Cover a button with an offcut of fabric and push button shank into centre of petals. Fan petals out and sew button to the dress - I also sewed in a circular pattern around the button just catching each petal in the fold to secure it better.

Woo Hoo... Just in time for a victory dance ♪♫♪

I also made a headband with a matching flower and excess fabric....

And after a few more random shots of the girls it was time for some yummy home baked cookies...

I love comments and I'd love to know what you think (oh and I really love new followers... be sure to say hi if you're new and let me now how you found The Quick Unpick). You can find other tutorials under the tutorials tab at the top of the page - I'd love it if you had the time to stick around and have a relax and a read... and why not enter my follower giveaway while you're here!

Cheers and I hope you'll come back soon!

Will be linking (and progressively adding to this list) at these fab linky parties:
Jembellish - A round tuit
I ♥heart♥ naptime
Simple Home Life
Paisly Passions
Tea Rose Home
Sugar and Dots
Its Fun to Craft
Its a Hodgepodge Life
Chic on a Shoestring
Under the Table and Dreaming
Funky Junk Interiors
Sew Chatty
The Girl Creative
Crafts Keep me Sane
Craftaholics Anonymous
Sew Happy Geek


  1. Beautiful! I love using bigger clothes and cutting them down-it saves time and $$. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. hiya , great tutorial and refashion of that top , love the flower too , i am visiting from thrilling thursday and am your newest follower , hope you can stop by mine and follow me too ,tfs.

  3. Absolutely amazing!! You are so talented. LOVE how it turned out. Gorgeous little dress!!

  4. Love the flower!!! Great idea - I'm about to make some flowers to put on some Easter dresses and that gave me an idea on making them! Thanks!

  5. Gorgeous Dress and I love the flower detail.
    I wish I had your creativity with refashioning.

  6. Thanks for the tutorial. I especially love the flower!

  7. Amazing! i love this idea it is genius and so simple. I love the way it lays on her. The headband is adorable and I never thought of making leaves like that before.

  8. Absolutely gorgeous but sadly my little boy Noah is not so keen on ruffles, or flowers for that matter, I'm hoping it's a phase!
    I must try this ribbon flower, totally different to everything else I've seen, great job x

  9. Could your awesomeness get any greater!! Man I wish you lived closer I would so get you to make all my clothes!!!

  10. The dress and flowers are some serious CUTE!

  11. Wow, that is so cute! Love the dress. And I've never seen flowers done like that--very clever.

  12. I love the flower headband. So cute.


  13. Oh that is beautiful! The tutorial is brilliant - especially how to insert the zip!! I love that flower too - must try one of those!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  14. such a cute transformation, I really like your blog name, my son just asked me yesterday what that little red thing was in my "toolbox" and I could not remember the name, it was the quick unpick of course ;-)

  15. visiting from Tip Junkie.
    WoW! that is gorgeous. You are one talented lady.
    May have to make one of those flowers as I love a new hair accessory.


  16. That is so pretty!!
    I love the ruffles and the two flowers.


  17. I love the flower headband - beautiful. I found your site on tipjunkie.com

  18. You are so talented! This project turned out beautifully! I hope you stop by the Tuesday To Do party and share it!



  19. Love this! I made a variation and put it on a Cardi-I linked back. http://trophyw.blogspot.com/2011/04/taking-risks.html Thanks for posting

  20. OH MY WORD! That is sooo cutesy! (along with that sweet little girl!) I just wanted to let you know that I am doing a little giveaway over on my blog for two post cards and a silk handmade hairpin. Check it out! There are only like 3 entries so far, so you could have a good chance to wiN!
    www.madebyhannahshands.blogspot.com (everything made by a 14 year old!)

  21. Hiya, just wanted to let you know I'm featuring this tomorrow on SewHappyGeek - I used a picture in which your little girl's face is pointed away from the camera as I didn't want to go splashing pics of your girl all over the place!
    Have a great weekend!

  22. Fabulous job! I am crazy for tiered dresses right now and that flower is adorable! Thanks for the tute! I would love if you came link up to my Sew Crafty Saturday Party this weekend! ~April @ Wildflowers & Whimsy

  23. Awesome! Simply loved your flower.

  24. Hi New Follower! I love this tutorial, and I'll definitely be sticking around. I found you through Tip Junkie.

  25. Adorable little girl and dress. I want to make the pretty hair bow and pin. I found you on Total Tutorials. I am now a follower.

  26. How does the flower survive laundering?

  27. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments! The flower actually launders fairly well - I pop the dress into a stocking (pantyhose)leg with the flower on the very inside and wash on a cold, gentle cycle... the other thing I could of done I guess (and probably would do in future) is attach the felt circle behind the flower onto a brooch pin to make it removable ☺

  28. Hi! I found this on Pinterest and I just love the refashion and the flower. I am crazy for that flower. It is truly unique. Great job and adorable little models you have there!!

  29. LOVE the headband...can't wait to try out your tutorial! :)

  30. what type of ribbon do you use for the flower. Flower very pretty?

  31. I recommended your blog on mine.My flower was not as big and nice as yours but did turn out nice though.

  32. Nice job with the dress! It's so sweet and the headband? Well, that is a killer! I love it!!!

  33. good,the posting seems so beautiful in its contents,like just,,just you are giving off beauty in a way a flower does,really amazing,you shall have this to comply with your elegantness really at prettytailor dress fashion ,again wishs you a good writing life.

  34. Ruffle Top

    pc Ruffle Top of your Choice or Default color/size. Dress this top up or down with your favorite heels and accessories. Default color - Shocking Pink size:

    to get more -https://eu10.proxysite.com/process.php?


Hi and thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment... I just love reader feedback - and I also love replying via email...but you need to have a visible email in your account settings for me to do this, otherwise just know that I do read your comments and do appreciate them... Be sure to drop by again soon - I love the company ☺

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