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Recycled Curtain Ruffle Strap Dress

Added Feb 23, 2011

by Sallee

Sydney, Australia






I just couldn’t resist turning this cute curtain fabric that I picked up at a local op shop into this summery little number! Other than the easy-creasing factor, the material was great to work with, probably the easiest I have sewn with so far.

This is based on one of my initial inspiration to buy a sewing machine, a girly little dress with ruffles on the straps. The contour bodice is a reworked version of Miasu’s original design (here on Burdastyle, with a great tutorial), which i would recommend for the ‘more blessed(?)’ girls in that region.

I have added a pdf tutorial on how to make the custom pattern block, it is uploaded as a pattern file. Please note that this was configured to my measurements, and as I am not curvy in any manner, if you have larger proportions anywhere you will need definetely need to play around with the pattern to adjust it.

Please feel free to leave feedback! :)

UPDATE The instructions on how to put the pieces together are now up! Please upload your work if you make it, as I would love to see the results and how it worked on other people. I have not seen any responses, despite the number of downloads… I am not too sure if its because the instructions were too difficult, or if they didn’t work out well or the lack of instructions on how to put it together, but looking forward to some great projects that’ll hopefully come out of this! :D

Material Notes

100% Cotton


Garment Type

43 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Mar 30, 2016, 09.49 PMby sdescalzo

    Yes is there any way you can post the pattern you used? It would be so helpful, thank you!

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    Aug 18, 2015, 02.04 PMby jelske

    I am drawing the pattern by hand, because I don’t have any software for it. I’m really struggling! My pattern pieces won’t fit each other, but I am using the right measurements everywhere. So I have the same question as Sophsews: can you please upload your pattern with your own measurements? That would help a lot! Thanks in advance.

  • Missing

    Jan 20, 2014, 02.34 AMby Sophsews

    Hi, love the dress, but struggling with making the pattern ( I don’t have any CAD software) I was just wondering if you could put up the pattern you used, along with the measurements that it was made for? Thanks.

  • Costura_large

    Dec 18, 2013, 04.10 PMby Alabama Worley

    Hi! I just dowloaded the instructions to draw my pattern, this dress looks lovely : ) I was wondering how do yo measure the “Chest measurement”. I usually measure the whole circumference of my chest, bust included, but this measure didn’t make sense when I draw the first piece. I believe that in step 2: “From point B, draw a horizontal line across the distance of half the chest measurement plus 2m.” the measure should be 1/4 chest measurement instead of 1/2. Should it be that way or I’m measuring wrong? Help me! (I Promise to upload some photos as soon as I can get it right and finish it)

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    Jul 21, 2013, 11.12 PMby darcyes12345

    Hi this is the first time i have used this site just wondering how i get the pattern?

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Sep 1, 2013, 04.29 PMby annekine

      just click on “get it now” :)

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    Jul 13, 2013, 03.00 PMby Martch

    I LOVE it! ;-)

  • Missing

    Jun 12, 2013, 11.46 PMby Lisa Bauer

    I would pay someone to make this cute little dress for me. Let me know

  • Missing

    Apr 26, 2013, 04.57 PMby Malaurie Geldolf

    Hi!! I love your dress. Actually I’m making it right now, but I stuck at step 14. I don’t really get wath you do. Could you explain me again how you do it, but then with my sizes?? My under bust chest measurement is 70 cm (all around my bust), B-FRONT-W is 10 and my waist is 67 cm. Thank you very much!!

  • Missing

    Feb 23, 2013, 06.15 PMby Jordana Lyons

    Just finished making this dress! Looks amazing Thank you for sharing :) x

  • Missing

    Jan 19, 2013, 08.54 PMby Hailee Cushing

    I plan on making this dress soon, but looking at it I’m wondering if you would have any trouble putting it on and off? certainly the waist would be the smallest point and it may be hard to get on past shoulders or hips. Would you recommend a button up or a zipper back?

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Feb 16, 2013, 02.07 AMby Sallee

      Oh yes you would definitely have to use a zip or some kind of closure, the bodice is fitted. I just went the most obvious way and used an invisible zipper.
      Good luck!

  • Missing

    Jun 11, 2012, 06.32 PMby Julioismycat

    What CAD program did you use to create the pattern?

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Feb 16, 2013, 02.09 AMby Sallee

      Sorry i don’t use this site very often. I used AutoCAD because I already knew how to use it and you only need to know the pretty basic commands to draft the block.

  • Missing

    Jan 23, 2012, 12.25 AMby OogieBoogie

    How much fabric did you use? I’m thinking about making this but I don’t have much fabric :/ Lovely dress by the way!!

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Jan 28, 2012, 01.15 PMby Sallee

      Oh thanks! I think the curtain I used would’ve been about 1.5m long and about a metre wide. But you would probably need to draw up the pattern to find exactly how much fabric you will need. :)

  • Mermaid_large

    Aug 31, 2011, 12.05 AMby yourmegan

    i love this so much:) but is there anyway i could change the skirt?

    2 Replies
    • Missing

      Sep 8, 2011, 11.10 PMby Sallee

      Of course, if you find another skirt pattern which sits high-waisted, then you should be good to replace the skirt. Unfortunately I dont have one to post, but there is a tulip skirt that Iv made from Burda previously (its free to download also, just do a search) and it sits about the same height at the waist and is absolutely adorable. Good luck!

    • Mermaid_large

      Sep 11, 2011, 03.16 AMby yourmegan


  • Missing

    Aug 13, 2011, 07.06 PMby mamasews12

    I was able to download the info on how to make the pattern but I keep getting an error message when I try to download the instructions :(

  • Missing

    Aug 3, 2011, 06.47 AMby Kate Coffey

    is there instructions on how to actually put together the dress?

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Aug 10, 2011, 09.52 AMby Sallee

      Hi, I have just posted instructions. Good Luck!

  • Me_large

    Jun 18, 2011, 01.11 PMby jessdunstan

    This is great and I’m busy drawing up my own pattern. Just a quick question on the measurements. For the chest measurement and under bust measurement do you measure all the way round the front and back or is it just on the front (ie ‘sideseam’ to ‘sideseam’ if we had sewing lines on us :))

    2 Replies
    • Missing

      Jul 17, 2011, 11.42 PMby Sallee

      Hi, so sorry for the late reply, I haven’t been on for awhile. If you’re still stuck, the measurement was meant to be for the front measurement only, not all the way around. :)

    • Me_large

      Jul 18, 2011, 07.47 AMby jessdunstan

      Cool thanks for the help! Looking forward to giving this a try. Love that is adaptable for my size and not just a one size pattern :)

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    Mar 29, 2011, 04.34 AMby shadkitty

    Honestly, I ended up not using the ratio at all and things seem to be working out fine. I did change the length of the upper bust piece. Instead of using half the chest measurement, I used half the chest measurement – 1/4 waist measurement. This seemed a much more reasonable size. Made a few other mods/changes which I’ll share when the dress is complete.

    Just a few questions: 1) How did you lay the ruffle strap pattern piece on the fabric to cut it out? Did you cut two pieces and sew them together? 2) Did you sew in a zipper? Or do you just pull the dress on over your head?

    Thank you so much!

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Mar 29, 2011, 10.31 AMby Sallee

      I have just wrote on your wall, it was going to take up too much space. :) please check to read the answers to your query!

  • Missing

    Mar 28, 2011, 04.33 PMby Jackie C

    So, basically, step #14 is this:

    First get W-FRONT: (1/4 waist) divided by (1/4 underbust) x (B-FRONT-W) = W-FRONT

    Then get W-SIDE: (1/4 waist) – (W-FRONT) = W-SIDE

    Is that correct? Just not sure what the ratio is necessary for. I’ll definitely post picks as soon as I’m done.

    2 Replies
    • Missing

      Mar 28, 2011, 07.07 PMby Jackie C

      i figured out the equation, its:

      First get W-FRONT:
      (1/4 waist) / (1/4 underbust) then multiply that number by (B-FRONT-W) to get W-FRONT

      Then get W-SIDE:
      (1/4 waist) – (W-FRONT) = W-SIDE

      (still not sure on the ratio, but guessing that was just background information on how you came up with the equation?)

    • Missing

      Mar 29, 2011, 12.38 AMby Sallee

      um… ok…. now you’re just confusing me, its quite a simple step but it seems to have gotten super complicated.

      As long as the seam sits between the two panels at the same proportion to each other horizontally at the under-bust line and at the waist line, you will achieve what you are supposed to. I’m sorry but i cannot put it any simpler than this.

  • 0321111533-02_large

    Mar 27, 2011, 07.05 AMby shadkitty

    I am confused by step 14 as well. Where does the 9 come from? And then how do you use the ratio to determine waist size? I am also self-taught and this is my first time drafting my own custom pattern. Maybe I am tired and this will all make sense in the morning.

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Mar 27, 2011, 11.59 AMby Sallee

      hi, please refer to my reply to the previous question, it was regarding 14 as well. Also, just to clarify, you’re not trying to work out the waist size, you should already have that measurement. You are trying to determine the comparative ratio of the width of the front and side panels, to ensure the even proportions of fabric width under your bust and at your waist. Hope that helps. :)

  • Missing

    Mar 26, 2011, 04.42 AMby Jackie C

    Hey Sallee, on step #14 for this dress, can you explain where the 9 came from in the following example?

    “So 19-8 = 11 …. 11/9 = 1.22”

    Not sure if I’m missing something, but the 19 and 8 and 11 make sense, but then you divide 11 by 9 and not sure if that 9 is another measurement or just a general number?

    Sorry, I’m self taught as well, so not sure if thats something patternmaker’s already understand. But would totally appreciate any help! Thanks for sharing this as well!

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Mar 27, 2011, 11.51 AMby Sallee

      oh i just noticed the error as well.. sorry it took a while to write that up and i mustv got confused. the 9 should’v been an 8, so the 11 is the front under-bust measurement, and the 8 is the side underbust measurement. Which makes the figure 19 which is the quarter of your under bust. You may as well just ignore my calculations, the instructions before tells you what its supposed to be anyway.

      So basically, to make it simple, i was aiming to have the same proportions of the underbust measurement as the measurement around the waist when making the front and side panel, so the seam under the bust remains straight when you put it together.

      I constructed this purely on the logic of how things may fit together, and like iv already stated on the instructions, its in no way a professional pattern making technique, but it worked really well for me, other than some tweaking after.

      Just to make sure, i did cut out the pieces in newspaper and stick them together to see the fit and maybe altered the top line before i went ahead and added the seam allowance and hacked into the fabric… It WILL distort if you have bigger proportions, but the block will give you a basic shape to work on so you can alter it to fit you. Good luck, and would love to see how it turned out if you end up making it! :)

  • Missing

    Mar 23, 2011, 05.52 PMby Danya Romero

    I love it!!

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    Mar 20, 2011, 12.11 PMby alexphil

    Thanks for the pattern it’s just perfect!

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    Mar 18, 2011, 10.11 PMby ashtonrounds

    I’m going to try out this dress tomorrow.. i’m so excited!! thanks for posting!

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    Mar 17, 2011, 07.57 PMby Laura Jane

    that is so beautiful!

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    Mar 13, 2011, 04.36 AMby karenco

    Love everything about this dress! Thank you for taking the time to write up instructions! Will definitely give it a go :D

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    Mar 12, 2011, 09.46 PMby love2sew24

    ADORABLE!!!!!! Thats all I have to say :D

  • Missing

    Mar 6, 2011, 08.16 PMby lemonsquire

    if you’re larger in the bust area, then don’t make this pattern. I just made it and the pattern gets horribly warped. Don’t waste your time.

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Mar 7, 2011, 11.06 AMby Sallee

      Well thanks for the feedback, and you are correct, people who have larger busts may have different proportions and would need to adjust accordingly.

      Like i clearly state in my instructions, i am a novice sewer w no training in pattern making, and this is simply how i went about creating my custom block by my measurements. If you wish to try an existing block, there is one on Miasu’s page for the contour bust for larger sizes.

  • Missing

    Mar 4, 2011, 02.32 PMby tokiji

    So cute! I want make it.

  • Missing

    Mar 3, 2011, 10.30 PMby nannamc

    I LOVE it. SO cute.

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    Mar 2, 2011, 04.47 PMby wonderlandalys

    I absoltly love this dress! The fit is so flattering and the ruffle sleeves and full skirt are just so feminine. Very jealous. I’ll have to try my hand at one…

    • This is a question
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