Here’s how I transformed the Rachel wrap pattern into this retro ric rac dress!
fabric (I used about 1.5 yards for my 2 year old, with leftovers. You need a lot of yardage for the pleats)
ric rac (I used under 2 yards)
1/4″ elastic (or smaller, I used a scrap)
First, I altered my Rachel wrap pattern-I traced the back and front together-and cut it off about 2-3 inches below the armpits.
Then I cut the pieces-two for the front (cut them right sides facing) and one of the back. I do wish I’d cut a lining because it’s a tiny bit see through, oh well.
Then I pinned them right sides together at the shoulder seams, and sewed them there, then serged the edges. (or zig zag stitch)
Then I cut a loong piece of bias tape 1″ wide-you can piece it together obviously, just make sure it’s long enough to go around the neck.
Then I pinned the bias tape lined up with the front piece like so, sandwiching the ric rac in between.
Continue around the whole neckline, pinning every little bump of ric rac. Annoying, but necessary.
Then, sew around where you pinned, making sure your seam is right in the middle of the ric rac.
Next, on the inside, I folded it over once like so..
and over again to conceal the raw edges.
Then I pinned it down…
and sewed along the inside edge.
Next, the sleeves. I did them just like the Charlotte dress sleeves, only I sandwiched some ric rac in between the sleeve and the binding as well.
then I cut a piece of 1/4″ elastic to 2″ (depends on your button, mine was rather large), and pinned it to the inside of one of my side seams. Just make sure it’s the side you want to be buttoning on the inside. (make sense?) Then sew the sides together and finish your seams.
Next for the skirt. I measured around the bottom of the bodice and got a measurement of 34″.
I measured around and figured I would do pleats every 3 inches. That meant 11 pleats for my length. I needed 2 extra inches for every pleat so I added 22 ” to my 34″=56″+1 inch for the side hem.
It didn’t quite work out perfectly, but it worked out. More on that later. First, I serged around the whole thing (and the bottom of the bodice), and ironed over the sides 1/2″ and hemmed them, and the bottom 1″ and hemmed that.
Then starting from the edge which would be in the front of the dress, I measured 3 inches and made a mark. (pretend that’s the edge in the pic above) Then I made marks an inch away on both sides.
Then I pulled over one mark to the center, and then the other, and pinned well.
I did this all around, and then checked the measurement. It was too short. So I let out two pleats, and it measured perfectly. It wasn’t a big deal since this was the part wrapping around and behind the front part of the skirt.
Then I basted along the top of the skirt.
I wanted to sew down to keep the pleats in place a little, so I measured down 1.5″ (though I wish I’d done 1″), and put a pin in on each side at that measurement.
Repeated for all the pleats.
Then I sewed down to the pin mark, and then back stitched a little bit, for each pleat.
This is what it looked like after that step-then I simply pinned the bodice and skirt right sides together and sewed it up!
I also sewed on the button on the inside of the dress, and placed my buttons and button holes on the front side. Voila!