Karen ruffled waist dress – free sewing pattern

Karen ruffled waist dress (7)


This lovely darling is a simple design for the coming spring – so sorry for being too excited for the sun! I am so fed up with the rain and snow now!

I named this dress Karen, after a friend of mine who loves sewing simple things despite having the skills of a professional tailor. She says the beauty of a garment does not lay in how complex its details are, but in the meticulously cut and sewn lines.

I personally particularly love this design, because it helps to cover my growing belly – I am so looking forward to the sunny days ahead!

Let’s take a look at the 3D simulation of this lovely dress:

Karen ruffled waist dress (7)
Karen ruffled waist dress (7)
Karen ruffled waist dress (7)
Karen ruffled waist dress (7)
Karen ruffled waist dress (7)
Karen ruffled waist dress (7)

The Karen ruffled waist dress is created in 10 sizes from XXS to 5XL, which means even if you are skinny or chubby, you can find one that fits you best!

The pattern is made using layered PDF, please check for your desired size before printing so you won’t waste your paper. I have included a first page with many details about sizing and printing, so please first read the first page and make sure you know what size you need! If you still do not know how to print a layered PDF, please check for the instruction here.

You can print this using your home printer and A4/Letter paper. I calculated the printing area so that you will be able to use either type of paper to print the pattern out perfectly. Always print the first page first and check with the test square if you are printing at the right scale before you print out the whole pattern – avoid waste of ink and waste of paper, save the earth!

Some PC may print smaller than actual size even when you choose 100% scale – I don’t know why this problem exist, but my HP laptop cannot print true to size. I have to scale up to 103% to get the right size. You may need to check with your PC to see if it prints true to size, if not, scale up a bit.


The Karen ruffled waist dress is so simple you can sew it with very limited skills! So start your project now!

You will need

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Scissors, pencil or fabric marker, ruler, pins
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

What fabric can be used for this project? Although it depends on your choice, I recommend using woven fabric. Opt for soft flowy fabric for a romantic look, solid color or fun prints, each will create a unique style.

How much fabric do you need for this piece of garment? You may need to check how much fabric you need before buying. It will depend on the selected pattern size, the width, and design of the fabric you plan to use. Just to be sure, print all the paper patterns and lay them out at the width of fabric you plan to use (usually from 90 to 150 centimeters or 35 to 60 inches). Measure how much fabric you will need. Don’t forget to account for pieces that need to be cut multiple times and pieces that are cut on the fold.

Cutting instruction:

After printing out and taping all the pattern pages together, you will get something similar to this image:

Karen ruffled waist dress (7)

You will see that there are 2 sets of lines on each pattern size. The inner lines are sewing line (and you sew along these lines), and the outer lines are cutting lines (you cut the fabric along these lines, remember the folding lines where you have to fold the fabric before cutting). The distance between sewing line and cutting line is seam allowance, and it varies from point to point. For example, the side seam allowance is about 1/2 inch (1.2cm), and seam allowance at hemline is 1 inch (2.5cm). This is the reason why I do not remove the sewing lines from the pattern. Please use it as a guide to know how much seam allowance you need to give at each seam.

Fabric will be cut into following pieces:

  • Front Bodice – 1 pc on fold
  • Back Bodice – 1 pc on fold
  • Front facing – 1 pc on fold + 1 pc fusible interfacing
  • Back facing – 1 pc on fold + 1 pc fusible interfacing
  • Front Skirt – 1 pc on fold
  • Back Skirt – 1 pc on fold
  • Waist Ruffle – 2 pcs

Make sure to mark all notches and other design features such as pleats etc. from the pattern piece onto your fabric. When sewing the garment, pay attention to notches, they must match up.

Sewing instruction:

1. Serge the fabric to prevent fraying. If you use non fraying fabric (like fleece or knitted fabric), you can skip this step.

2. Apply fusible interfacing to the front facing and back facing pieces.

3. Place the Front Bodice and Back Bodice right side facing. Pin and sew the shoulder seams. Repeat this with the Front Facing and Back Facing.

4. You are going to do a all-in-one facing for the garment.

– Place the joined bodice and the joined facing pieces right side facing. Pin along the neckline. Sew the neckline. Trim and clip the seam for smoother neckline. Turn the fabric out and iron flat. You can also top stitch the seam toward the facing piece to make it stay flat inside.

– Lay the garment flat, facing side up, and tightly roll right side of the garment towards the opposite edge.

Then take your left/unrolled facing armhole edge and wrap it around the roll so that it meets the left armhole edge of the garment. Basically, you are enclosing the right side of the garment between the left facing and left garment fabrics like a burrito.

– Align the raw edges of your left armhole and pin the two right sides together.

Sew the armhole seam right sides together at your usual seam allowance taking care not to catch the rolled up fabric. Trim and clip your seam allowance.

– Gently pull the rolled bodice right side out.

(You can just skip this step (and step 2-3-4) by using bias binding for the neckline and the armhole!!!)

5. Pin and sew the side seams of the dress bodice from the lower part to the armhole and facing.

6. Sew two parallel lines along the top edge of the Ruffle Piece. Gently pull to gather the fabric until it matches the length of the lower edge of the Front Bodice. Repeat with the back ruffle.

7. Place the Ruffle pieces right side facing and sew to join the short sides together.

8. Place the Front skirt and Back skirt right side facing, pin and sew the side seams.

9. Place the bodice of the dress, the waist ruffle and the skirt so that the right side of the bodice faces the right side of the ruffle and the skirt, with the ruffle in between the bodice and the skirt. Adjust the fabric so the side seams align. Pin and sew to join the dress.

10. Hem the ruffle and the skirt.

And here is the download link:


Happy sewing!


If you are interested in this post, please share:
Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial