The Lulu dress

So, getting Sadie to take some pictures in this dress was like pulling teeth. She is well aware that;

A. She get candy when we take pictures.
B. She does this ALL the time, and I have no patience for high maintenance models. πŸ˜‰
C. She gets CANDY when we take pictures. Hellooo? don’t kids live and breath for sugar?
So that’s why I’m posting this picture below. This is her best Mo-om-aren’t-you-done-yet? face. Pretty good huh? She’s 3 going on 13.Β 
Anyways-back to the dress! Or, onto the dress, since I haven’t really talked about it yet, mostly just blabbed on about Sadie and her modeling habits, or lack thereof.
Let’s start over.Β 
I made a dress. It’s cute and simple. The top is made from knit (refashioned from an old tee) and the bottom is some quilting cotton from Joann’s. It has an elastic waist and some ruched sleeves. It also has some gathering in the front. Did I mention it’s easy? Cause it totally is!
She also happened to have these awesome sandals (from Old Navy) that she hasn’t worn with anything else (cause they didn’t match anything else) but now she can wear them with this dress! But only this dress, she informed me.
So how would you like to see how I made it?
Good, cause that’s why I’m here, folks. To over-share and show you everything I make. In detail.
You’ll need:
knit tee for the top, or knit yardage
cotton for the bottom, I used about 3/4 yard for size 3T (which is kind of big on the Sadester)
1/4″ elastic
matching thread
ballpoint needle for knit (though i forgot and used it for the whole dress. no biggie)

Click below for the rest of the tutorial!

First let’s make the pattern for the top. Trace a top that fits your child,Β  around the back neckline and shoulder seam. Then draw the center fold line, but out about an inch.
Then I brought my shoulder line out farther…
And then drew the armhole and side seam. It was about 2 inches wider than the original tee, one inch on either side.
Then I cut out two pieces for my bodice. One with the back neckline, and one with the front. The front I cut lower than my traced tee.
I also cut some pieces 1″ wide. (doesn’t need to be on the bias)
Then, sew one side of your bodice together on the shoulder seam, right sides together. (RST)
Then press one of your pieces of 1″ wide fabric in half, wrong sides facing. I left the raw edges wild and free because I liked how it looked on my tee before I chopped it up. You may need to piece together the strips to make a strip long enough. Just sew two pieces RST on the short ends, and make sure to place the seam on the shoulder seam when you pin it on.
I also gathered the front a little bit before pinning and sewing on the tape. (right along the edge.
Then I sewed the other shoulder seam RST.
I then cut two pieces of elastic (2.5″ but I wish I’d cut it a little shorter) and used them to gather the sleeves in a little bit. I started sewing on the outside edge, about 1/2″ from the edge…(backstitch a few stitches) and then sewed it down, with a long stitch, and pulling the elastic to the other edge of the sleeve. Also back stitch at the end. Repeat for other sleeve.
Then I pinned and sewed on the tape to the sleeve edge.
Then I pinned and sewed the side seams.
To cut out my skirt, I folded the top in half, then my fabric in half. I cut it the same size of my bodice, for the top of the skirt. (plus seam allowance on the sides) Then I cut an A-line shape and cut it on the bottom where I wanted the length to hit. (I made mine a bit long.)
Then I sewed the sides RST, serged the edges, and the top.
Then I pinned the bottom of the bodice, and top of the skirt, RST. It’s very forgiving since you can just stretch the knit a little bit to fit the skirt if needed.
Then I sewed them together with a 5/8″ seam.
Then I pinned it down with the bodice pulled out of the skirt, to create the casing for my elastic.
Then I sewed 3/8″ or so from the other stitches-just make sure there’s enough space for your 1/4″ elastic to fit in. Leave a space open to insert your elastic through. Then, cut a piece to fit your kiddos waist (mine was 20″) and insert and thread it through the casing with a safety pin. Sew the ends together, and then sew the opening shut.
Then hem the bottom by folding up 1/2″, then another 1″ or more if you want a thicker hem, and top stitching two rows of stitches along the bottom.Β 
Tada! You’re done. Let me know if you have any questions, or if you make one of your own, I’d love to see it if you do!


  1. Me encantan todas las ideas que nos das!!!, y se me acumulan los vestidos pendientes JEJE!!!. un abrazo. Olga

  2. Is there any end to your fabulousness…so clever Jess…

  3. the fabrics on this dress !! especially the floral !!!

  4. This is such a cute little dress!!! If my husband hadn’t just done laundry and noticed how crammed full the little girl’s closet is, I’d be chucking all of my responsibilities and making one today.

    I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

  5. very cute Jess! how do come up with your dress names? I am horrible at naming things.

  6. So, Jess, do you think I could make this for myself?

  7. love this dress, especially the prints that you picked out for it. and those sandals are so cute, just perfect for the dress!

  8. The dress is adorable, but I LOVE those sandals! Do those come in a women’s size 8? πŸ™‚

  9. says

    OMG!!! just too cute!! I love it!

  10. Just darling! I love the fabrics you used! I always promise my daughter she can play games on my phone to get her to cooperate πŸ™‚ Thnaks for the great tute!!!

  11. Too sweet. And what a gorgeous model πŸ˜‰

  12. So brilliant! thanks for sharing another great tutorial with us. You rock

  13. I love this dress! The elastic at the waist and the shoulders just gives is cute shape and really so much better than just simple hanging dresses on little girls! I also love that this does have sleeves to a point. My girls are both starting school and can’t wear anything like a tank has to completely cover their shoulders so this will be perfect!! Thank you!! They love to wear dresses so these will be a staple around here for the next few months!

  14. Super cute! I already know what fabric I will use for this dress πŸ™‚

  15. Wow! This dress is sooo cute. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for so many tutorials and inspiration πŸ™‚

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