Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Little Girl Dress Tutorial

A few months ago I made this little girl dress for my soon-to-be grand daughter. I received quite a few requests that I do a tutorial on how to make this simple design.

Now that the baby is here, I am spending time at my daughter's house, and making Kayla a few more dresses.
This tutorial will be quite rudimentary because there really are not instructions for the pattern. My friend Monica made up a dress for her little girl. I looked the dress over, took a few measurements, and duplicated what I could remember.
I am happy to share with you my process, but realize it's one of those patterns that can be easily altered. These instructions measure for a 6-12 month old.
Main part of dress = width of fabric, and 13" cut for length
Contrasting bottom piece= width of fabric, and 6" cut for length
1/8 yd. for straps and covered buttons
20" of elastic (1"wide)
1 1/2" covered buttons

I used "Wonderland" by Moda for this dress.
For the base of the dress use the width of the fabric. I trimmed off the selvages. Cut 13" for the length.
For the bottom contrasting piece, use the width of the fabric again, cutting 6" for length.
Sew them together. This makes the main body of the dress.

Press under 1/4" along both the top and the bottom width of the main body of the dress.
Fold the bottom piece in half towards the inside, meeting at the seam line. Top stitch down.

Fold the top section down to the inside 2 3/4". Stitch down.

From the stitched line, measure up 1 1/2 inches. Sew a stitching line again.

This creates a space for the elastic to be encased. Insert the elastic inside the casing. Stitch both ends to hold in place.

The front of the dress now looks like this.

Sew the side seams together, creating a tube. I like to make a french seam for a cleaner look on the inside.

For the straps, cut 2 pieces 3" X 12 ". Fold in half right sides together, and stitch leaving both ends open. Turn the tube to the right side, and press. Top stitch on both sides.

I love covered buttons. You can use a store bought buttons if you like, but I am very partial to using the same fabric line for the buttons also.

I saw this wonderful companion fabric in the Wonderland collection, and they just shouted "Covered Buttons!"
I get my button supplies from

I just eyeballed adding on the straps., and stitched them to the inside of the dress.
I sewed the buttons on the front, and the dress is done!

My daughter asked if I could make a few dresses in a larger size.
Easy to do. I just increased the length of of the two pieces that make up the body of the dress. I increased the elastic size and the length of the straps.
This dress will probably fit Kayla when she is around 2 years old.

These can be worn as a top or a dress. For the smaller size, you can wear it with a tee shirt and pants. (see the first picture in the post)

I made another just a little bit bigger than the 6-12 month size. I added 2 inches to the main fabric of the dress.

These dresses are very easy to do and would also make nice baby shower gifts.
If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at


Rae Ann said...

Nedra, you seem to be having way too much fun! I am happy for you!!!
How are the new little one and mom doing?
I adore the little dresses with their pretty covered buttons! The tutorial is great. Thanks for sharing it all!

Janet said...

Thank you Nedra, this is going to be such a good idea for Grand daughters.

Martina said...

Thank you!!! This tutorial is great! the perfect gift for a friend's little girl!

Nat Palaskas said...

Thanks Nedra, I have an 11 month old Grand daughter and I will make her a few either for Christmas or birthday in January. Thanks so much for sharing the pattern - Hugs Nat

Abby and Stephanie said...

And your covered buttons are the perfect touch.

Unknown said...

Wow, they are all just beautiful!! I love all the fabrics you chose. She is going to be quite the fashionista.

Jana said...

Had to laugh when I read the supply list...."covered buttons"! You are going to get the world hooked on them!

Seriously, very cute! I will have to make this darling dress.

Material Mary said...

Adorable Nedra. I made my kid's clothes when they were little and had so much fun getting creative and making them so cute. What fun you are having being a grandma!!

Carol said...

OMG that is the cutest ever! I'm going to have to make some for Camden. Love them!

Micki said...

That is a great tutorial, and the dresses are so cute. What a lovely dress for a pretty little girl!

Claudia said...

As always you delight me! How fun is it to have a granddaughter! Love all 3 of my grandson's to pieces, but the 4 little girls are in a class of their own! claudia

Nanette Merrill said...

Give my baby some time to grow and I'll make this. I see such cute things all over and want to make them for her.

MAM said...

I'm echoing Janet's you think Zoey will get a baby sister in April? She's the only girl right now with 6 boy cousins as of April 4? 6? I want to make one of these right away! M.M.

Dawn said...

Thanks Nedra!! Great tutorial! Gotta love the buttons!

Live Well With Judi said...

I can't wait to make some of these for gifts. Someday I hope to get a granddaughter!! They are so darling. Keep having fun in Phoenix.

Nana Marianne said...

Thank you for the pattern Nedra. I just have to share my joy with you. I have two granddaughters and they both have had boys. My son has four boys and my younger daughter has twins....yes boys again. Well my oldest granddaughter is having her third and last child and after 24 years we are having a girl. Yay! I am going to finish this comment with thank you so much again for the pattern and I am going to start making my Harlow May some of these dresses. Again thank you and God bless, Nana Marianne

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