JCrew Inspired Dress Tutorial

Hi everyone! I did it...I finished the "Green cardigan project" I have been working on. All I needed to do was to take a nice picture. Then, guess what... It SNOWED today! So, you need to wait a little bit longer for me to be able to share the tutorial for that project.

In the mean time, I am going to post a tutorial I did for the Knock-off Series at Kojo Design last week.

I love going through Anthropology and JCrew catalogs; there are many designs that inspire me. My recent knock off project is an Anthro inspired necklace. Usually when I see something I love, I will internalize it and when I create something, the finished item is different than the original one. It definitely has my own twist. That is my way of doing a "knock off". Figuring out how to make then go from designing to creating; it is all such a fun process!

Today, I am sharing a dress I created inspired by JCrew. Here is the original;Golden Raindrop Dress...

Isn't it gorgeous? The name alone is very dreamy, but this dress is also very feminine and stylish… looks like you can float in the wind. It is made out of chiffon... with a price tag of $750.00!

Wow, I just woke up. It is a beautiful dress, but there is no way that I can justify $750.00 on a dress.

Here is what I came up with;

I call it Ivory Sunlight Dress... (If you have a better name feel free to email me :) )

I used 100% cotton; it is textured, very light weight almost like gauze fabric. I found it at Joann's for 6.99/yd. I used my 40% off coupon for three yards of fabric, so my version of the dress cost me about $13.00! Because I wanted to make it for every day wear, cotton is better choice than chiffon for me.

I am so in love with my new spring dress...

I wish I could just take a small vacation to somewhere very peaceful and quiet. Take only a few books and some necessities (that includes one of my favorite cardigans, just in case I get cold)

Ok, I will show you what I did...


{Top part of the dress}


1. I wanted more coverage than the original dress. I used pattern 3152 by Kwiksew for the top portion of the dress. It is very simple to make, you can make the top in no time. The only thing I did was to bring up the neckline a little. I drew a line 1/2" higher. Also, I used a shorter line for this project. You can use any similar pattern to create the top.

{Cutting & Constructing the skirt and dress}


1. Cut the skirt out. Please use the picture as a guide to get a better idea of what I am talking about. I measured the bottom of the top part of the dress, and it measured 18" finished. So, I cut out...

2 pieces of 13" X 18 1/2" of fabric for the top part of the skirt

2 pieces of 13" X 28" of fabric for the middle part of the skirt

2 pieces of 13" X 44"(it was the width of the fabric) for the bottom part of the skirt

There are a few things... I came up with this measurement pretty randomly. I am about 5'3", if you are taller or shorter than I am; obviously you need to make some adjustments.

Another thing, I used my Serger a lot for this project, how you finish up the seams is totally up to you, depending on that, you will need to adjust the seam allowance as well.


2. Mark the middle of the fabrics for the skirts. This will make it easier for you to make the gather equal later on.

3. Gather the fabrics to make the skirt, sew the top part of each piece with the largest stitches with your sewing machine. I sewed two lines, so that it is easier to make more even and prettier gather. Pull both threads to gather the fabric.Put top and middle parts of the skirt right sides together and sew. Treat the seam with the method of your choice. Press, repeat the process with the middle and bottom part of the skirt. Then, attach the skirt to the top part of the dress in the same way.

4. Measure yourself under your bust and cut 1/4" wide elastic according to the measurement.

Sew the elastic on the seam line where the top of the dress and the skirt meet (inside of the dress). Don't forget to stretch out the elastic as you go.

{Cutting & making the ruffles for the each row}


1. From the top cut (I used my Serger to treat the edges. If you choose to fold the edges to sew straight line, you need wider strips for this).


1- 2" X 44" strip for the first row


Cut enough 3" wide strips to make a 76" long strip for the second row.

Cut enough 4" wide strips to make a 96" long for the third row.

Cut enough 5" wide strips to make a 128" long for the very bottom row.


For the very first strip, you need to create a curvy shape on both sides. Treat the edge all around it.

For the other strips, sew them together to make a big circle, so that the ruffle will go around the skirt. Treat both sides of the seams with the method of your choice.


2. Make ruffles out of them. Use the same method for gathering the fabric as you did to make the skirt.


3. Attach the ruffles on each seam line of the skirt. I sewed about 1/4" into the ruffles.


Make sure that the ends of the very top ruffles will meet in the middle. It is helpful to pin both sides in the middle before you start to sew.

{Making flowers}


1. Cut strips.


Large -- 3 1/2" X 28"

Medium-- 3" X 20"

Small--- 2" X 18"


2. Treat the edges. Zigzag would work, if you are not planning on sewing them to the dress, you can leave the edges raw too.


3. Use the largest stitch setting and sew in the middle of the strips. Pull the thread to gather the fabric. If you are making a large flower shrink the strips to 10”; shrink to 8” for medium strips, and 6” for small strips.

4. Fold the strips in half horizontally, and fold the end of the strip to start sewing. Sew, and roll the fabric as you go along to make the flower.

5. Sew three pearls on the large and medium flowers, one for the small flower.


6. Honestly, I couldn't decide where I wanted to sew the flowers on. I thought about sewing two of them of the sides too. I hand sewed the flowers in the middle for now, but who knows, I might change my mind later.


If you decided to make this dress, I hope you will enjoy it as much I do. :)

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