Hello and welcome to the Eloise Sew Along.
The Eloise is a flowy and summery dress that can carry you across the warmer seasons effortlessly. In the Sew Along, we show you how to create your very own Eloise, and in the last video of our five-video series of this sew along, Rebecca explains how to “hack” the skirt of the Eloise into a layered ruffle skirt. Think beach party.
To start, you will need
- Your Eloise sewn to top length with end of the hem at mid-thigh length (plus ½ inch for seam allowance)
- Extra fabric for your ruffles
- A tape measure
Step 1: Measure from where your seamline on your Eloise is to the floor.
For the purpose of this illustration, my length is 30 inches.
Step 2: Take this measurement and divide it by as many layers as you will like to sew.
In the video, Rebecca sewed three layers.
Hence, if my measurement was 30 inches as in the previous step and if I wanted 3 layers, each layer would be 10 inches high.
Step 3: Take a moment to decide how much volume you would like in your layers.
For ease of calculation, you could use as little as 1.5 times the circumference of the previous layer or as much as 2 times the volume.
I decided to go with 1.5 times the circumference.
Step 4: It is now time to calculate the length and width of the ruffle pieces.
The first ruffle piece will be based on the circumference of the hem of your Eloise.
Mine is 58” at the hem. I will multiply that by 1.5, which gives me 87 inches. I then add 1 inch to this to account for the seam allowances at either end. This makes the length of my first ruffle piece 88”. We have ascertained in the previous step that the width of my ruffle would be 10 inches. We would need to add ½ an inch to the top and ½ an inch to the bottom of the ruffle piece for seam allowance. This brings the width of the first ruffle piece to 11 inches.
Step 5: Cut out your fabric.
There are several considerations here. If you are using fabric which has a directional print, you might want to allow for greater fabric allowance when shopping for your Eloise dress. The weight and volume of your fabric is also a consideration. The shirring at the waist (if you chose that option) will need to hold up the weight of the skirt when complete.
If you have fabric that’s long enough, you could cut these ruffle pieces in a long strip. However, for Eloise dresses in adult sizings, chances are you will need to join two or more strips together. In this situation, you will need to add a half inch to each short edge of the ruffle to allow for seam allowances as you join the strips together to form the loop needed for the layer.
Step 6: Join the loop at the short seams using a ½ inch seam allowance. Press the seams open.Step 7: Divide the loop into four quarters and mark the quarter points with a clip. Do the same for the hem that you will be attaching the ruffle to.
Sew gathering stitches onto the top of the first ruffle piece. Start one gathering stitch at a quarter point, measuring ¼ inch from the raw edge. Sew across to the start of the third quarter point. Cut the thread leaving long tails. Restart the gathering stitch at this point and onwards to the point from where you started.
Repeat this process with a second gathering stitch. This gathering stitch will be ¾ inch from the raw edge. You will now have two rows of gathering stitches running across the length of your ruffle piece.Step 8: Match the quarter points on the hem with the quarter points on the top of the ruffle piece. We will need to match the length of the quarter points to distribute the gathers evenly across the length. Do this for all four quarters of the ruffle tier.
Step 9: Once the length of the ruffle and the length of the hem are matched up, sew the two layers together with a ½ inch seam allowance. Remove gathering stitches once done.
Step 10: Finish the edges in your preferred method. And repeat the above steps for the remaining layers. Remember to hem your final ruffle layer before gathering.
The Eloise hack is such an amazing summer dress. I can’t wait to sew mine up as soon as I can.