Apparel · Sewing

Ruffles! Tiers! Linen! Oh My!

I have a confession.

I kinda have this love affair with tiers and ruffles. There’s just something about them that, when worn, makes you feel youthful, feminine, romantic, a little playful, a little flirty…

Oh my goodness, I die for these two gowns!!

Lately all the dress patterns I’ve been eyeing and buying all have some kind of ruffle or tier going on in the style. In particular, I’ve come across a really fun dress pattern by StitchlessTV. Theresa (better known as Tree) is the creator behind the Stitchless TV vlog on YouTube. I’ve never met her, of course, but through hearing about her sewing experience, seeing photos of her work, and watching her sewing videos, I just liked right away how offbeat, unique, and quirky she is. I especially loved the story behind naming this particular pattern called the Pontoon Dress. You can hear all about her naming inspiration in her sew-along video.

What I love about this pattern is that it has everything I love in a dress: drop-kimono sleeve, deep-V neckline, easy and comfortable fit, and, best of all, a 3-tiered ruffle skirt. 🥰

Tree, in her silk (perfectly “distressed” now, thanks to her jump into the Sea) Pontoon Dress

If you like to keep up with Today’s fashion trends, then you know that the Pontoon Dress is definitely on-trend right now. It has a little bit of that summer holiday/resort look, as well as a hint of boho vibe going on. Usually, I’m so clueless that I tend to get into fashion trends long after they’ve already gone out of style, so I’m patting myself on the back for keeping up this time, hehe.

::Notes on Sewing the Pontoon Dress::
  • I got the pdf version of this pattern on Etsy. I believe there is an actual pattern for sale as well, but I think it is sold out at the moment. Directions for printing and putting the pattern together are very clear and concise.
  • There aren’t any directions for sewing included because the directions are in the video on Tree’s YouTube channel. I happen to like this very much because I am a visual learner. Here is the link for the video directions again if you have the pattern and are ready to sew.
  • I followed the directions completely and did not have to alter the pattern in any way, except to shorten the hem a bit to make the dress more “midi-length” for my short frame.
  • I already knew that I wanted to make this dress in linen. I previously scored a great deal on several yards of this luxurious, creamy, off-white fabric from my go-to linen place, fabrics-store.com.
  • I interlined my linen bodice and skirt pieces with cotton batiste to give the dress a little bit more opaqueness because I felt like the linen was a little too sheer for my taste.
Bodice has attached sleeves, back facing, folded cuffs for sleeve , and a deep V-neckline
The great thing about this dress pattern is the different length variations. This would make a cute top with just one tier, or a great little mini dress with two tiers

Sewing on the tiers differs a bit than usual with this pattern. Normally, the fabric for a tier would be one long continuous piece that gets gathered and then attached as a loop to the entire bodice. For the Pontoon dress, each tier is separated front and back in two pieces. Tree does the front tiers first and then the back tiers second. When that is done, you would then sew the side seams together in one long stitch to complete the dress. Although it is an easier way to sew on the tiers, it did make lining up the two side seams perfectly a little challenging in the end (for me at least. As perfect as I was able to line them up during pinning, my tiers ended up being a little off in the end still.) 🤨

My (finally!) finished Pontoon Dress!

Whew! This dress was really easy to put together, but it seemed like it took me forever because I had to double my cuts for interlining, and then baste stitch each lining to its corresponding skirt and bodice piece before I could even get to sewing. And while I love all the ruffles and tiers, gathering all that fabric took a looong time! Add to that all the seam finishing! Not my favorite thing when it comes to sewing, but totally necessary…

With the batiste lining on the linen, I do admit that it makes the dress feel a little bit heavy. The fact that it is midi-length adds a little to the weight as well. I may just end up ripping out the lining in the future if it becomes a problem, but I’ll for sure test it out first.

I will say this though: I am totally in LOVE with this dress! ♥️

I was going to style the dress with some tan platform wedges, but for some reason I couldn’t find where I put them. Then I saw my ratty, old Converse in the corner and thought, “Those might work.” I think I was right! (Also, POCKETS! Dresses with pockets just make everything right with the world, don’t ‘cha think?

I mentioned earier that the dress felt a little bit heavy because of the double layers of linen/batiste, but when I put it on, it didn’t seem too bad. It still feels very floaty and airy, and delightfully “twirly!” And I like how the batiste makes the dress a little less see-through. Otherwise, I think I would be too self-conscious when wearing this in public. And nobody wants to feel uncomfortable in a dress as carefree as this one, would you? I think not!

I can’t wait to wear this out and about as the weather gets warmer. This is a perfect dress for strolling along the beach, or picnicking in the park. Overall, I really did enjoy making this dress. Yes, it took much longer because of the lining, and yes, gathering seams of any kind can be a little bit daunting (FYI: this dress requires A LOT of gathering!!) But in the end, it was a very easy sew for me, and Tree did a great job giving directions for putting it all together. I can totally see myself making this again as a mini version in a cute print!

My spool rating for the Pontoon Dress: 🧵🧵🧵🧵🧵 Full Ratings! Bravo!

Would you want to give the Pontoon Dress a try?

God bless,

2 thoughts on “Ruffles! Tiers! Linen! Oh My!

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