pretty. easy. sundress.

Pretty. easy. sundress. Make your own pattern. You can do it!
Fabric is Zig Zag Pastels from the Hullabaloo line, from my sponsor, Sky Reve Fabrics!

First: the pattern!

Click below for more details!

Measure around your child’s chest. Sadie’s was 21 inches, so I made the width 5.75 inches, + 1/4 inch for seam allowance, 6 inches across. Then I made the side seam 2 inches long (it depends on your child how large you want it but it can be big or small, depending on the waistline you want). I then used a pattern I had, or you could use a shirt, to determine the slope of the arm hole…then draw a shape similar to this one for the neckline/strap area. If this sounds confusing…just try to copy the picture with your child’s measurements. It’s not as hard as it sounds, promise. You can make the front of the bodice curved, or straight across, like this pattern below.
Now draw out another pattern piece, as wide as your side seam (in my case, 2 inches) and longer by my width by about an inch. (don’t use my 5.75 inch measurement…it needs extra room for the button) trust me.
Then cut out your bodice pieces-2 pieces on the fold for the front, like so…and 4 pieces for the back piece.
Ribbons are great for straps! Mine were 5.5 inches…now would be where you measure your child to see how long they need to be.
Β If you want fabric straps, here’s how to do those.
1. cut out two pieces of fabric 6″ x 2.5″
2. fold in half lengthwise, and sew
3. turn right side out and press.
place bodice front pieces right sides together, with the straps sandwiched between them like so. Make sure to leave room for your side seam allowance.
pin and sew around the top of the bodice…not the side seams yet!
clip curves, turn right side out and press with your iron
Place your rectangle pieces right sides together, pin, and sew down one short and one long side like so.
Trim corners, turn right side out and press.
Pin your bodice front piece to your back pieces like so, right sides together.
Press with your iron, this is what it should look like now. Lay your straps down, and mark where they should attach to the top of the back piece.
Use your seam ripper to rip the seam the width of the strap.
blurry pic…but can you see where the ribbon inserts into the top of the back piece?
Turn wrong side out and sew that in. Both sides. πŸ™‚
sewn in.
Lay your bodice flat, lining up the side seams, and baste together the bottom part of the middle portion, where it should overlap.
Then mark where you want your button hole, make it, and then sew on your button.
Or do a snap. Or velcro. whatever you fancy πŸ™‚
Now for the skirt…I cut two panels that were 10″x18″, for my 12 month size shown. Selvage to selvage is usually a good amount for gathering (for an older size)
sew the short side of the fabric right sides together, and finish with serger/zig zag stitch.
using your longest straight stitch size, sew along the top of your fabric tube, close to the edge. Make sure to leave a little fabric tail.
use your thread tail to gently pull and gather your skirt til it fits your bodice.
Β pin your two pieces right sides together, make sure to line up your seams on one side. Sew together, with a slightly larger seam allowance so you hide your gathering stitch. Finish with serger or zig zag stitch.
Hem it and you’re done! Let me know if you have any questions!! Thanks!

Here’s another version with ribbon straps and a scooped neckline! (pardon the face)

featured on Craft Gossip!

***If you have used any of my tutorials, I’d love if you’d add a quick pic to my flicker group! Thanks!***


  1. I think it is darling…of course I love almost anything in red. The detail at the hem is my favorite. I had no idea that there was such a thing as flickr tutorials!? Good luck!

  2. Very cute dress, the hem is just darling! So glad you got your Tut finished;)

  3. Thank you so much for writing that up! I will have a go when my machine is fixed. Looks great though.

  4. cute jess. was it easier to use flickr for the tute?

  5. Pretty little dress! I love the ribbon for thee straps!

    I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  6. Being able to look at your photos at full size with all of the detail was so helpful! I was trying to figure out one step where I wasn’t sure I was understanding properly, and it helped soooo much! Great tutorial! Will definitely have to give it a try!

  7. This is so cute! I love the ruffle around the hem! πŸ™‚

  8. Love this little sundress thank you so much for sharing the tutorial!

  9. I love your tutorials! Seriously. I want to follow you but blogger isn’t working. I hope you visit me so I can find you again!

  10. I love your website! I am so happy I stumbled across it (I can’t even remember how now because it feels like I’ve “known” you forever πŸ™‚ I just made this “sundress” – it being the first clothing item I’ve made – and wanted to rave about it! I can’t wait for my daughter to be one year so she will fit into it. Only 3 months to go. I posted some pictures on my blog if you have time to peek. I look forward to trying more of your tutorials. Thanks so much! Cheers.

  11. YAY! I stumbled upon your blog months ago looking for a quick easy dress tutorial for my daughter’s 1st birthday party. I printed instantly and made it that week (I work very long hours close to 80/week so a little every night while everyone was asleep) but i lost track of where I got the tutorial! I happen to cross you again! I am forever greatful for this tutorial because it was the perfect dress for my Marley’s birthday. You will have a faithful follower from now on now that I found you again!

  12. Thanks for this!! I just stumbled across your blog from pinterest and have spent way too much of my little girly’s naptime on here…lol. I LOVE your craftiness!! I hope you don’t mind if I pinned this dress on pinterest as well. I am pregnant with girl #2 and think it would be so fun to sew them look alike dresses. I’m definitely not much of a seamstress but your blog makes it look like so much fun πŸ™‚

  13. I love this and you do make it look very simple! I am new to sewing and have a 10 month old that has been my inspriation <3
    Thank you so much for posting! πŸ™‚

    p.s- I did have to look up “selvage” though haha! At least I know what the finished edges of fabric are now πŸ˜€

  14. Thank for saving my butt big time this Easter! πŸ™‚ I used this tutorial and the Nora dress one, as well as some of your hair accesory tutorials. I am blogging about them and linking back to you to make sure you get lots of well-deserved credit. Thanks!

  15. Love this tutorial! And love your blog!!!
    I made something similar:
    It’s not as perfect as yours, but I’m still learning!!!

  16. This is so cute! I can’t find the link to the pattern though. Is it still available?

  17. Very cute, very simple, thank you. I will be making this in several versions for my wonderful granddaughter who is 9 mo. old — wearing 12-18 mo. size already! I made her christening gown (using a commercial pattern) a few months ago and am just loving having a wee girl to sew for! I only had one child, my wonderful son, so making clothes for him was rather “boring”. You can only be so creative with overalls and t-shirts πŸ˜‰ Our darling little girl is now walking so wearing dresses is feasiable again — didn’t work well while she w as crawling! I will post the picture once this is finished.

  18. Thanks so much for this tutorial.

  19. You are sew…. crafty:) I love your stuff!
    courtney Andrews

  20. I just finished making this for my little one. I’m a beginner, and I was so surprised at how easy it was to make the dress! One thing though, I didn’t use enough fabric for the skirt part so it came out a bit “stiff”. Oh, and I also did a pleat instead of gathering πŸ™‚

  21. i love it, i wanna try it, thanks

  22. This is such an awesome (and detailed!!) tutorial! I am a total sewing newbie ( I can count on one hand the number of things I’ve sewed) so this was just great! I used the general idea to make a top and bloomers (baby girl can’t walk yet, so HATES dresses, lol). Here’s mine:

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  23. Deb Taylor says

    I have to first say how cute the dress is. Is it possible for you to construct a pattern along with the tutorial 18 – 24 months? It would really be appreciated.


  24. Alice Merchant says

    Adorable. Do you think that this pattern would fit a one year old?
    Thank you
    Happy Sewing,

  25. I love your website! With your help, since discovering your site back in 2012, I have taught myself to sew… THANK YOU!! Most recently, I’ve made two dresses using your Junebug dress sew along series, as well as two of your Pretty Easy Sundress tutorials (I have two girls, so two sewing projects at the same time…always!…can you relate?lol). I did want to mention, however, the annoyance of all the ads on each tutorial photo. It makes it a little difficult to actually see the pictures, especially since I am still learning. Just wanted to throw that out there. Regardless, I am a true follower of your blog!


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