Swing Dress by The Handmaiden's Cottage

If your little girl likes ruffles and likes to twirl, this pattern is for you! This Swing Dress Pattern from The Handmaiden's Cottage should really come with spinning instructions because I don't know any sweetie that could resist the whirls and swirls! Let's catch up with Trisha and Brianne and see what they have to say about this gorgeous pattern.

I love the twirl factor with the Handmaiden's Cottage Swing Dress. My youngest daughter has been refusing to wear clothes unless there are lots of ruffles. I'm happy to say that as soon as she saw this dress she wanted it on and giggled happily when I put it on her.

It features fluttered sleeves, an elastic neckline, a double row of bottom ruffles, and a tuxedo ruffle on the bottom.

This dress comes in sizes 6 months to size 8. It does take a lot of fabric, with the smallest taking 2 1/2 yards, and the largest taking 4 3/4 yards. That is what gives this dress the twirl factor. Most of this is also cut on the bias which makes it drape nicely. Be sure to pay attention to the grainline markings.  The first sleeve I cut I didn't do on the bias, but luckily I noticed my mistake and fixed it!

 Here's more about the pattern:

  • Finished dress length measurements
  • Nested pattern pieces for all except the ruffles, which measurements are instead given with a chart
  • Step by step instructions and pictures
  • Print layout guide for easy assembly of the pattern pieces
  • Cutting diagrams for each size

I would put this pattern at an advanced beginner or intermediate pattern.  All the ruffles take a lot of time to hem and place, so it is definitely not just a naptime project.  As I was doing the rolled hems on my serger I decided to calculate how many inches I had to do and for a size 2 came up with 900 inches!  So be prepared to spend some time, or break it up into a couple days of sewing.  The rest of the construction wasn't too difficult.  

My daughter loved it, however, and that made all 900 inches of hemming worth it.

Hey!  It's Brianne with Ali Cat & Co.

Handmaiden's Cottage Swing Dress is pure adorableness!

The Swing Dress is made with four panels, sleeve, sleeve ruffle and three ruffles along the bottom of the dress (I only did the two attached to the hem).  The dress is a pretty fast sew-an evening project for sure.  If you have any ruffle making experience, you can make this dress!

I know you are thinking, "Well, it's cute for the summer, but it's almost winter now."  Wrong! Because of all the flowiness, there is plenty of room to wear a shirt underneath for the cooler months. See how cute it is with leggings and boots with the fur? (Do I hear an echo?)

This was my first time making a Handmaiden's Cottage pattern.  I found the instructions clear, and included is a great "how to gather" tutorial.  I would recommend labeling the pattern pieces, especially the ruffles, after cutting.  You could very easily get them mixed up.

The pattern comes in combined sizes:

  • 6-12 months
  • 18-2T months
  • 3T-4T
  • 5-6
  • 7-8

If you child is on the lower end of the size range, then you might want to size down.  I made size 3-4 for my daughter and she typically wears a slim 6.

The materials list is pretty short:

  • Fabric
  • thread
  • 1/4" wide elastic
  • package of 1/2" single fold bias tape
  • marking pen
  • 1 to 2.5 yards of lace for the sleeve (optional)

The Swing Dress does require a bit more fabric than most other dresses.  I wanted to use what I had in my stash, so I used a different fabrics for the side panels and ruffles.

Yardage chart

  • 6-12 months: 2.5 yards
  • 18 months to 2T: 3 yards
  • 3T-4T: 3.5 yards
  • 5-6: 3.74 yards
  • 7-8: 4.75 yards

There are cutting diagram for each size range, so if you do want to use multiple fabrics, you can easily see how much of each you will need.  No guessing!

P.S. Is your little girl into dolls? There is an 18" doll dress to match!

As you can tell by the silly smiles, Ali just adores her new dress.  Thank you Handmaiden's Cottage for a BIG win over in this house!

Head over to Handmaiden's Cottage to check out all their other frilly, twirly greatness.