Simple Summer Dress Tutorial #1

June 19, 2014 in Projects

Totally Stitchin': Simple Summer Dress Tutorial

This dress can be made with measurements for baby to young child (like 6 years old or so)!

As my 3-year-old daughter, Olivia, only wants to wear dresses lately, I decided to whip a couple of dresses up for her benefit (and my benefit because of price (with coupons) and your benefit because I have another fun project tutorial)! This project will work for babies through young child (like I’d say even 6 or maybe 7 years old…you’ll just have to measure the length of the skirt and make sure you can get that in the circle skirt)! This dress involves a circle skirt and an elastic gathered bodice (somewhat like smocking). You just need some measurements to start. There may or may not be a lot of math to start with…it’s good for you, right?! ๐Ÿ˜€

Totally Stitchin': Simple Summer Dress Tutorial

When you’re done, please pretty please post a picture in our Totally Stitchin’ Facebook page! I love to see what you do with this tutorial!!!

Totally Stitchin': Simple Summer Dress TutorialIMG_3006

Measurement A (shown below): About armpit level to the bottom of the sternum (this is how long you want the bodice to be)

Measurement B (shown below): From bottom of the sternum to the length that you would like the dress (this will be the length of the skirt)

Measurement C: around-the-chest measurement

Measurement D: around-the-waist (or belly) measurement

Illustration of the girl is from



To figure out how much fabric you’ll need to buy, DOUBLE Measurement B plus DOUBLE the RADIUS OF WAIST MEASUREMENT (see step 2 or just add 15″ to be safe) because it’s a circle skirt (no side seams) a larger quantity of fabric is needed for the skirt, plus 6″ for the straps, plus DOUBLEย Measurement A (for the bodice), plus 2″ for seam allowances.ย That should be exactly how much fabric you need…you might get a couple inches extra just to be safe ๐Ÿ™‚ (I needed about 1 3/4 yd for my 3-year-old).

You’ll also need a package of 1/4″ elastic and thread, sewing machine, and a serger can be helpful (but, if you don’t have one, I will give alternate methods)! REMEMBER, I did this for a 3-year-old and used 45″ fabric, if you are doing this for an older child like 6-8 years old, you may need to take fabric width into consideration and may need to use a 60″ fabric (or, if you can’t get a full circle skirt with the length that you want (with a 45″ fabric) you will need to cut 2 halves to the circle and sew side seams but, you’ll also need more fabric…sorry, this tutorial doesn’t go over making the circle skirt with side seams). Make sure to get a soft fabric…mine was kind of stiff and it worked but, soft is better (especially for 3-year-olds)! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here we go! Since the tutorial is on the longer side (with lots of pictures!), I made it into a PDF.

Click here to download the Simple Summer Dress Tutorial!!

3 responses to Simple Summer Dress Tutorial #1

  1. This is so cute! Do you have a tutorial for the hair flower, too?

    • Lindsay, thank you so much for your comment! I am so sorry it took me forever and a day to get back to you!! Thank you, thank you…now, if only I could get her to wear it more…we always get compliments when we’re out and about…3-year-olds, so opinionated ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I knew I should have recorded the flower steps after I made it ๐Ÿ™‚ But, actually, originally I had made the circle skirt portion of the dress too long, so, folded it back into 4ths (how you cut the circle skirt) and cut off 2 inches from the lower skirt edge. So, then, I had a long (circle, curved) strip of fabric. I serged the outer (wider, curves outward) edge with a 3 thread rolled hem and then, gathered the inner edge with my gathering foot. Then, I spiraled the gathered edge in and hand-stitched into place and to how I liked it. Cut the excess off. Then, stitched or glued it to a cut circle of felt. Adhered a gem (from Hobby Lobby) to the center and hand-stitched a clip on the backside. So, if you want to make one, just cut the skirt 2″ longer ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Sewing!

    • Also, ps, I just clicked over to your blog…so cute! Will be following! I love the quiet time book…I’ll have to make that with my Olivia!! The pie and ice cream…adorable!

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