Tempo Sundress Hack – Tie Straps & Ruffle Hem

I hope you’re not tired of the new Love Notions Tempo Sundress yet! Today I am sharing a super cute hack.. tie straps and a ruffle hem! It is Ankara Appreciation Week over on Instagram so I grabbed the opportunity to cut into this gorgeous Ankara fabric I’ve been hoarding. It’s a mix of green, brown, white and hot pink but for some reason, from far away the brown seems to take over and turn everything orange! So weird but anyway I just love the fact that the Tempo Sundress looks great in so many different fabric types!


My last Tempo was a bit snug, so this time I cut a line between the L and XL and the fit is so much better. Don’t be afraid to mess around with grading to achieve a perfect fit! I am in between sizes in so many things especially ready to wear clothing. This time I shortened the bodice 1/2″ and I winged the sway back adjustment. I waited until I was able to try on the bodice to chop off how much I needed to. This was because I was unsure how the elasticated back would fit in comparison to the shirred back. I can’t even tell you how much I chopped off because I marked a line with chalk while it was on my body and then just cut it off. If you haven’t noticed by now, I am really into ‘winging it’ right now! What can I say? I was on a time crunch so forgive me! For my skirt, I used the same adjusted piece with the full seat adjustment from my first Tempo.

Elasticated Back

This time around, I chose to try the elasticated back. For multiple reasons actually; I am running low on elastic thread and I find it difficult to get good tension when shirring heavier weight fabrics. I much prefer shirring on lightweight wovens like rayon and crepe. The elastic channels are pretty simple to create and are perfect for those of you who are scared to try shirring, can’t find elastic thread, have sensitive skin or just want to switch it up! On this particular fabric, It looked just like shirring to me! I literally cannot tell the difference just by looking at it from the outside. One thing I can say with certainty, is that the shirring was much more enjoyable to sew. If I am being 100% honest, I was really tired of threading through elastic. Shirring is way more fun! If you want to watch me sew the elastic channels, make sure to watch my Youtube video – I go through this method step by step!

The Hack

Tie Straps

Making the tie straps is literally the easiest thing in the world to do. Instead of cutting 2 straps, I placed the pattern piece on the fold of the fabric and cut 4 pieces. So you end up with 4 straps that are double the length of one original strap. When sewing along the long edge of each strap, also sew one short edge so you end up with a nice clean finished edge. The other short edge would get encased in the facing as normal so no need to worry about that one. The front and back pattern pieces have notches for strap placement, so you just attach them according to the instructions but instead of connecting the strap to the front and back, you just leave them all free to tie on the shoulder.

Ruffle Hem

I first shortened my skirt pieces by about 6 inches. I omitted the pockets on this one because I ran out of fabric. The one downside of sewing with Ankara is the width of 44″-45″.. oh how I wish it was wider! Because this print needed a bit of work on placement and print matching, my 3 yards seemed like nothing! Ideally for a gathered ruffle, you’d need the ruffle piece to be 1.5 to 2 times the length of the hem. That would give you a nice fluffy ruffle. Since I was working with 45″ wide fabric, my ruffle length was limited and I didn’t even have enough fabric left to piece together a longer ruffle wither. My ruffle pieces are 4.5″ wide; I managed to cut one at 45″ long which is the entire length of the fabric and the other I cut from scraps only made it 43″. Put together the ruffle the same way you attach the skirt to the bodice or the same way you attach the bottom tier to the midi version. Sew the side seams together, do your gathering stitch and sew to the skirt hem right sides together. Then do your half inch hem and that’s it! Easy peasy!

I know visualizing can be hard when reading a Blog Post, so I highly encourage you to watch my Youtube video, It’s a partial Sew Along where I show you the steps of this hack as well as some integral parts of constructing the Tempo. I hope you love my flirty Ankara Tempo Sundress as much as I do! I do have one confession, you see those two beautiful flowers on the front skirt… well… those are also on the back. And hubby and I have now coined this dress… wait for it… Baboon butt! Oh my goodness… print placement is so important! We cannot unsee it now and I’ve decided no one ever needs to see those back photos. Technically it isn’t my fault because I had no real control of print placement with this fabric. Note to self – always buy more than 3 yards of Ankara fabric to account for print placement! Needless to say, I think this dress is going to become a top very soon!

Release Sale

The Tempo Sundress is still on Release Sale for $3 off reg price until Tuesday July 20th! If you feel inspired by my makes and would like to grab copy, here is my affiliate link. As a Love Notions ambassador, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!



Check out my previous Tempo Sundress!


1 Comment

  1. Abbey

    I cannot stop laughing at “baboon butt” 🤣🤣 You better wear this beautiful dress regardless. Ain’t nobody going to notice anyways 😜

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