Adding a Ruched Waistband to the Rad Patterns Harvest Dress

When I made my first Rad Patterns Harvest Dress, I fell in love. It went together smoothly, had some great features (hello, kangaroo pocket!), and looked great. I knew I needed more.

While the pattern is great as is, I wanted to experiment with ruching the waistband to add a little flair while flattering the waist. Not only do I like the effect of the ruched waistband, it’s a pretty easy process.

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Step 1: Preparing for the Modification

Create the bodice and skirt portions of the dress as instructed.

Step 2: Modifying the Pattern Piece

To prepare the pattern pieces, trace a waistband piece onto a piece of paper. On the copy, draw a horizontal line along the middle of the pattern piece and cut the piece in half.


Place the pieces on paper with a gap between the top and bottom. You’ll want the ruched waistband piece to be about twice as tall as the regular waistband. Connect the lines on each side of the pattern piece.


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Step 3: Cutting the Pieces

You’ll need to cut four pieces: ruched front and back waistband pieces and non-ruched front and back waistband pieces. In this example, the inner, non-ruched waistband is black and the outer, ruched waistband is red.


While you can use the same fabric inside and out, you can also opt to use a heartier fabric for the non-ruched waistband pieces to add additional support the skirt of the dress.

Step 4: Sewing the Side Seams

Create the ruched and non-ruched waistbands separately. Pin or clip the side seams of the front and back waistband pieces right sides together.


Step 5: Attaching the Waistbands

Find and mark the quarter points of the dress bodice, dress skirt, and both waistbands. Pin or clip the ruched waistband to the bodice right sides together, matching side seams and quarter points. Pin or clip the non-ruched waistband with the right side of the waistband to the wrong side of the bodice. Sew or serge to attach the top of the waistband, stretching both waistband pieces to match the length of the bodice pieces as you go.


Baste the bottom edges of the waistbands together. Find and mark the quarter points of the waistband and the dress skirt. Pin or clip the right side of the ruched side of the waistband to the right side of the skirt, matching side seams and quarter points. Sew or serge to finish attaching the waistband.

[I prefer to construct it this way because it places a smooth seam at the waist/under the bust. Alternatively, you can baste both waistbands wrong sides together and treat them at one piece.]

All Done!

Now when you put your dress on, your waistband will be smooth on the inside and ruched on the outside.



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