I'm embracing my new embroidery machine with gusto. I made this Pirate Minnie dress by using the Minnie Pirate Face embroidery design from Etsy seller glitzystitches and the really great "Irelyn" dress pattern (with tutorial) from Fairytale Pattern Designs. They both made it so simple to download the design and the pattern. With the pattern, there's also step by step directions which are easy enough for even the most novice of sewers to follow.
Disclaimer: My pirate princess is wearing a pettiskirt under the dress so some of the fullness is from that and not the dress. Also, I did adjust the pattern a bit to make it longer-I used the 2T pattern despite the fact that our daughter fits an 18 month dress. I wanted her to be able to wear it longer and I thought a full-length skirt would look more "pirate."
The only aspect of the dress that was a pain was the ruffles. For this itty bitty 2T dress, there were about 10 yards of ruffles. I thought I was smart and bought a ruffler presser foot to make life easier. I have never hated an inanimate object more than that thing. I bought a "low-shank universal ruffler foot" that claimed it would work on any Brother machine (it was about $20 at Joanne's while the only machine-specific foot I could find was online and over $60). It lied. It bent two needles and jammed my motor with an E6 code a dozen times before I cursed it and went back to ruffling by hand. Before anyone asks, I tried different strength needles, rethreaded everything every time it stopped and adjusted the thread tension repeatedly. I also wasn't sewing too fast and made sure the needle screw wasn't being jarred loose.
All that to say, if you don't already have a ruffler foot you love, be prepared to do a ton of ruffles by hand and if you don't know how to ruffle by hand, it's easily explained in the pattern directions that come with the Irelyn design.