Hi, my friends! Long time, no see. It’s been one of those seasons of life where I have to do more of a bunch of other things and less sewing. It makes me feel so good when I get back to it, especially when it’s to sew something I really love, like the newly released Lakeisha Cottage Crop Top, Peplum, & Dress Pattern* from Ellie and Mac! This is the pattern of my dreams, and started from a design that I created. Through testing I watched it transform and become this amazingly versatile & beautiful pattern that looks good on legitimately every BODY. It makes my heart so happy to be a part of a team that continually learns, evolves, and always has the customer in mind when releasing a new pattern. Seriously, the best ❤️
This pattern comes with a crop (pictured for this tutorial), a flare skirt with ruffle hem, gathered skirt with ruffle hem, & a peplum length. The neckline and short sleeves are finished with elastic. The bishop sleeve is finished with a cuff. For this tutorial, I am going to show you: 1) How to add a ruffle to the neckline and short sleeves. 2) How to add a drawstring to the neckline. If you want to keep the elastic and still do a ruffle, I will explain the changes necessary for that, as well. All other constructions steps pertaining to the pattern will be within the pattern file itself, so make sure to read through that for most of the construction. 🙂 Make sure to use a stretch stitch when sewing. A triple stretch stitch was used in these photos.
What do you need? The pattern, scrap paper, ruler, extra fabric (for drawstring)
The neckline and sleeves have 1/2″ hem allowance already in the pattern pieces for a 3/8″ elastic. You will need to add in however much height you want the ruffle to have. For my sleeves and neckline, I only wanted a 1/2″ ruffle. I added 1/2″ height to the top of the sleeves, as well as the hem of them, the top of the upper front bodice, and the top of the back bodice. If you want more ruffle, add more height. I traced the sleeves on fresh paper and added the height to each side. Since I was also doing a drawstring in the neckline, I traced the upper bodice to add the height. If not adding the drawstring, simply add the height to the bodice without adding the seam allowance that’s pictured at the center front. If you are adding the drawstring, you will also need to add seam allowance to the front bodice at the fold line. I added 3/8″, but this is simply dependent on the seam allowance you want to use.
Ruffle Neckline Hack
Step 1) This is the step we will prepare the drawstring front bodice. You will have two upper front bodices. Sew them right sides together, ~3″ up from the bottom, and backstitch. (This was my preference. If you would like a deeper opening, you may prefer to sew only 1/2-1″ closed at the bottom). Press the seam open, then press the upper seam allowance to the wrong side. Stitch down the hemmed opening, across the bottom where you backstitched, and back up. Alternatively, you could sew down each side completely.
Step 2) Sew your two basting stitches between the notches on the upper front and match it right sides together with the bottom front. Once you finish that, attach your sleeves, close up your side seams, and then we will prepare the drawstring casing.
Step 3) Fold the entire neckline to the wrong side along whatever your total seam allowance is. Remember we started with 1/2″ in the pattern and I added 1/2″ for the ruffle. This equals 1″, so I folded over 1″ and pressed. Using a stretch stitch, sew 1/2″ (or your own ruffle width) away from the folded edge, all the way around the neckline. Press. If adding a drawstring, sew around the neckline again, edgestitching the folded hem from one side of the front bodice to the other. No need to leave an opening anywhere. If not adding a drawstring, start from the back bodice, & sew around the neckline again, this time edgestitching the folded hem, but leave 1-2″ opening for the elastic. Your bodice will look like this so far for the drawstring version. (Elastic version not pictured, but you can now return to the pattern tutorial to add elastic to the neckline).
Step 4) To prepare the drawstring, I just cut a strip of fabric that was 1.5″ x the width of the fabric (I think it was 60″ You can check on your body what length you think would be best). I folded right sides together, marking 1″ in the middle. I then sewed both ends closed, as well as the entire strip, and turned right side out through the opening. Since that opening would be inside the casing, I just stitched the opening closed with my machine instead of hand sewing.
Step 5) Thread the drawstring into one side of the casing using a bodkin, safety pin, or other tool. and pull it all the way out the other side. (I ended up just cutting mine because it was too long, so I tied the ends in knots.) You can now move on to the sleeves (here or in the pattern tutorial).
Ruffle Sleeve Hack
Step 1) Fold the entire sleeve hem to the wrong side along whatever your total seam allowance is. Remember we started with 1/2″ in the pattern and I added 1/2″ for the ruffle. This equals 1″, so I folded over 1″ and pressed. Using a stretch stitch, sew 1/2″ (or your own ruffle width) away from the folded edge, all the way around the sleeve. Press. Start from the back of the sleeve, & sew around the sleeve again, this time edgestitching the folded hem, but leave 1-2″ opening for the elastic.
Step 2) Cut a piece of 3/8″ elastic that is 1-2″ less than your bicep measurement. Using a bodkin, safety pin or other tool, thread it into one side of the casing, around the sleeve, out the other end. Overlap the pieces by 1/2″. Make sure the elastic has not twisted then sew to secure. Stretch the elastic into the casing, then sew the opening closed.
This is the end result and I love it so much. I can’t wait to keep hacking and experimenting with this pattern. Will you try this?
*Any links in this post containing asterisks are affiliate links. The price of the product doesn’t change for you, but I do earn a small commission when you purchase something from it. I wholeheartedly appreciate your love and support.