Hey there! I am beyond blessed to be the wife of Mark Andrew and the stay-at-home-mommy of Quinn and Morgan! I love to decorate, create things, and generally make life more beautiful! Come join me, and let's see what we can make today!

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Red, white, and blue Bustle Dress

I am not a seamstress.  Until two days ago I had never even attempted to make something that one would actually consider wearing!  That being said, I DID make a dress for my daughter on Monday, and I am quite pleased with the result.  Here is  view of the back. What do you think?

I originally spotted this dress on Pinterest, from Cami over at Tidbits.  Cami is clearly a very talented seamstress, and she has a great tutorial on how she made her daughter's bustle dress.  I highly recommend checking out her instructions!

The dress I created was made from one of Mo's old dresses, two of my old T-shirts, one shirt that was used on a dress form for a craft show for my tutus, and a scrap of one of my hubs T-shirts that was doomed for the rag pile.  Everything was already in the GoodWill pile, so this dress cost me nothing but time.  And since Monday was rainy all day, it was a great project to occupy the time!


The first thing I did was cut the top of the dress off, just leaving the skirt, and cut the bottom of the T-shirt off. (***This is not really a tutorial since 1) I didn't really know what I was doing and, 2) I don't have great pics of all the steps because I didn't really know what I was doing! Feel free to just look at the pics and stop reading now!***)

I set those pieces aside and started cutting strips, about 4" wide, of my red and white T-shirts.  I cut the seam on one side so that I had a nice, long piece.  Then I made a stitch across the top of each piece, and pulled the bobbin thread to ruffle the strip.  This step took awhile.  If you have a machine that will ruffle your fabric for you, I highly recommend using it! ;) Once I had enough strips cut and ruffled, I started sewing them onto the scrap of fabric that I cut slightly larger than the back of the skirt.  (Sorry if this makes no sense!)

I started sewing at the top.  When I completed a row, I just flipped up the previous layer(s) and sewed the next row on.

When all of the ruffles were on I ended up with the piece that would become my bustle.

This next step was the hardest part for me.  I practically failed geometry, and even with my tools, I had a very hard time figuring out what angle to cut my skirt at.  In the end, it wasn't as hard as I made it out to be, but I was so nervous about ruining the skirt that I was arfaid to make the wrong cut.  The skirt had an elastic waist that I wanted to keep.  Anyhow, I ended up just measuring a few inches in from each side at the bottom, finding the middle at the top where I wanted the cut to end, and cutting a line between the points. 

I don't have pictures of the next parts, but I will very briefly explain what I did, although I don't think anyone will be trying my method! :) I flipped my skirt inside out and pinned the bustle where it needed to go.  I then sewed a seam across the top and down the sides.  The bustle was on.  Next, I sewed the shirt part onto the skirt.  It was my first time sewing "in the round", but I just went nice and slow, and the shirt was attached.  I had a dress, but it looked a bit unfinished, so I cut some more pieces of the red T-shirt and made a sort of waistband and bow.  Here is the final product.

I really cannot believe I made that!  So, if I can do it, I KNOW anyone can do it!  Give it try and let me know what you created!  I am going to link this up to some of my favorite linky parties! Check 'em out!

******UPDATE:  I cannot believe I was the number one project over at CSI this week!  Crazy!  Glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new!  Thanks for hosting, ladies!****

 Visit thecsiproject.com

Visit thecsiproject.com 

Enjoy the Son!

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Reader Comments (61)

Holly, your gal looks soooo happy in that dress. You transformed your love for her into a dress that SHE loves....so cool!

June 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Pittenger

I have seen this tutorial before but I am inspired to make it after seeing yours. Great work. Your little girl is so cute!

June 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSertyan

Super cute Holly!!! Mo looks adorable in the dress...although I wouldn't expect anything else :) Keep up the creative work!

June 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercassie tyler

This is so beautiful, I love it!

June 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

That came out totally adorable, Holly! I LOVE it! I do the same thing when I see something I like and really want to make - just wing it and pray it comes out okay, LOL.

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTamara

Oh and P.S. I think I might like your version even better than the inspiration dress! ;)

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTamara

Too Stinkin' Cute! I am so impressed! I love love love the patriotic twist on it, and you did a wonderful job! Thank you for all the super nice comments! My head feels bigger already! I might also add, your pictures are gorgeous and your home looks lovely. So glad I could inspire you to make that!

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCami

That is absolutely adorable! Great job on your first sewing attempt! And, great job in using up your Goodwill pile! Your little model is just precious!

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

This dress is awesome!!! I am in awe:)

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

Thank you so much for linking up yesterday at kissedbyafrog.blogspot.com! I really appreciate it! This dress is absolutely adorable and so is you model! I became a new follower and liked you fb! Amazing stuff!

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

I think that has to be one of the CUTEST little dresses that I have ever seen!
I can't believe that you made it out of old clothing... it looks fabulous!

Oh my gosh! That is the cutest thing!

June 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShayna

This has to be one of the cutest things I've ever seen!!! You did such a fantastic job!

June 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBethany

That is beyond amazing. I cannot get over how cute and ABSOLUTELY PERFECT it is for the 4th!! You give me, a non sewer, hope!

I am going to feature this dress later today on my blog!

June 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLorie

So adorable!

June 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjo

Saw your dress over on Be Different, Act Normal and I just love it! Most little girls LOVE dresses and to have created an adorable on that is comfortable too is just great! If you get a chance come check out my post for today on how to make patriotic fabric shoelaces!

I'm in awe!!! The dress turned out so CUTE!!! I wish I had a granddaughter so I could make one. You should be very proud of yourself.

June 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Oh my gosh that is so dang cute!!!!! I need to make one for my daughter now. Well done!

June 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelsee

That is the most outrageously cute 4th of July dress I've ever seen. I'm completely inspired, and I really don't sew!

What a darling dress! It's seriously so cute!

June 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterwhatever DeeDee Wants

seriously..insanely cute!!!!!!!!!! I am just learning to sew myself and this is amazing!!

June 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNichole

This is SOOOOOOO cute!!! I linked to your project on Craft Gossip Sewing:


June 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Weaver

Please, please PLEASE contact me if you ever think of making another or selling this one - I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this dress... My husband is in the Marines and is especially fond of anything with a flag on it...when I showed him this picture - honest to god - he almost teared up because he thought it was our daughter, she's about the same age and same ponytails all the time! (he must've missed the memo that I'm just not that crafty!) -- and a Marine on the verge of tears is a sight to see! - so now I'm on a mission to find one! If anyone out there wants to give this a try, I will buy it! :) mbflatau@hotmail.com

June 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary Beth

Holly...I LOVE this dress! I really connected to your post because I'm not a great sewer either...but I'm trying. Hope you will have a look at my recent project - and the one I'm most proud of so far. It's a repurposed dress for my daughter made from vintage scarves. Hope to see you soon.

June 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Thanks so much for sharing this- I might just have to make this! :) Happy 4th!

June 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeggie

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