Bias Ruffle on the 121 Guatemalan Gabacha

We are excited to offer this very cute sewing pattern back in print and in larger sizes (and as a PDF pattern)!  The 121 Guatemalan Gabacha is a dress or apron that has a few special details.  There is handwork detailing that we will show soon, but also several pieces of the pattern can be cut on the bias.

The bias detailing on the 121 Guatemalan Gabacha is a simple, but fun way to add a little interest, especially if you are using striped or checked fabrics.  Ginghams are great for this pattern with the bias detailing.  You can add as little or as much bias detailing as you want.  For all the bias options, you can cut the pockets, yokes, front, inset, and ruffle on the bias.  Or you may want to just do the pockets, or just the front yoke inset.  Cutting all these pieces on the bias does use more fabric, so check yardages if you are interested in this option.  Of course, cutting just the pockets on the bias (or the front inset) won't really add any more fabric.  Just be judicious when laying out your pattern. 

When I made this yellow dress, I wanted to add nearly all the bias detailing.  I cut the pockets, front inset, and ruffles on the bias.  I had about 4 yards of this 44" plaid lawn and it was more than enough to get all the bias cuts.  Because these pattern pieces are smaller and not full garment pieces, you don't have to worry so much about stretching.  Just handle gingerly.  For lots of bias sewing tips and tricks, see our blog post here.  The ruffle is the largest piece and may give a little trouble feeding through some machine for gathering, but I had no problems with it at all.  

When adding bias detailing like this there is very little you do differently than if the fabric was cut on the grain.  But the biggest change in the way you sew the garment together is in the ruffle.  The bias ruffle is cut with a 45 degree angle on the short ends.  If you sew the ruffle pieces together as you would a typical on-grain pattern piece, the ruffle will not work.  Normally, you put two pieces of the fabric with right sides together, matching any notches, and sew along the seam line.  If you do that here (see below for example), you end up with your ruffle pieces facing each other at 90 degree angles.

Right sides together, matching edges = WRONG WAY TO SEW RUFFLE TOGETHER

You'll end up with a ruffle at a 90 degree angle to the other ruffle


With right sides together, place the ruffle at 90 degree angle to the other ruffle and match raw edges.  Sew on seamline from one end of the angle to the other.  There are notches to help you at the 1/2 inch seamline here. You want to match the seamlines to each other, not really the raw edges.  So you will have little "ears" sticking out from each end of the seamline.  When the ruffle is folded out, these "ears" can be trimmed, but you will have ruffle top and bottom edges that match each other.

Here's a short video of the same thing!