1. Measure the bust or chest, measuring all around the body. Subtract 2" from this measurement. This is the amount of fabric needed. Note: When purchasing fabric, be sure to measure from the SHIRRED side of fabric to purchase the correct yardage
2. Determine desired finished length and hem (if necessary).
3. With the RIGHT sides of the fabric facing each other, match and pin the cut edges together, forming a tube.
4. Using a straight machine stitch, stitch the pinned edge in a 1/2" seam. Press seam to blend stitching, and then press the seam open.
5. Lay dress flat with seam in the center back to determine where the ruching channels should be placed. Place a pin in each side.
6. Cut two 26" pieces of extra wide bias tape and pin from the bottom edge of each side (where you have pinned) up, laying the bias tape flat against the WRONG side of the fabric. Pin in place.
7. Stitch the bias tape close to both edges along the length of the tape, (these are the pressed edges of the tape). Stitch up the center of the bias tape creating two channels that you will run the cord through.
8. Cut two 60" pieces of rattail trim and thread them through each channel, beginning at one side of the bottom and looping back down the other side of the channel from the top. Both cut ends should be coming out of the bottom of the channel (one in each side). Tie a knot in each rattail end to prevent it from being pulled back through the channel.
9. Pull on the rattail ends as you push up the fabric to create the ruching effect. Tie a bow with the rattail once desired ruching is achieved.
These instructions are written for the 53" length fabric. If using the 45" length fabric, the bias tape lengths in step 6 should be 21" and the rattail trim lengths in step 8 should be 48". All other methods used are the same as above.
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