The next 2 pics show another dress extended for a larger size but it’s made from my same pattern.
******* PRINTABLE PATTERN PIECE WRITTEN IN PINK BOLD BELOW**********
If you’ve been looking for a simple, easy-to-follow baby dress/top tutorial, you’re in luck. The difference in this top versus others is that it’s adjustable! That means the straps can be made longer as the baby grows giving Mom more time to enjoy this sweet dress.
I’m writing this up as if I’m in your sewing room teaching you step by step how to make this simple baby tank/blouse. Wouldn’t it be so wonderful to gift this to the expectant mom in your life or make one for you own sweet girl?
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have all the items you need to complete this project. I hate nearly finishing realizing I forgot something I needed, and have to head to the craft store.
So here is your list (let’s assume you already have a sewing machine (you only need a very basic one with a straight stitch) — nothing fancy, scissors, thread, and pins)
- 2 fat quarters of coordinating fabric (or 1/4 yard of each)
- plastic snaps and pliers (in a pinch, you could use velcro but it won’t be as secure)
- printed and cut out pattern from below
For the ruffled skirt, cut 2 pieces measuring 22″ X 9″. If you’re using a fat quarter, simply cut it in half like this:
For the top portion, fold your fat quarter in half TWICE like this (so you’re cutting 2 pieces at once — my finger is pointing where two folds should be on top of each other lined up really well on the right side:
Now place your pattern piece aligning the arrow with the 2 folds we made:
Cut this pattern piece TWICE like this:
You will end up with 4 bodice (top) pieces. The reason we want 4 pieces is because 2 of them will become the LINING making this dress look for professional and not look like a mess just thrown together.
This is where the dreaded part for me comes in. Ironing. I LOATHE ironing. But, this will come together much easier and look better if you just suck it up and do this part. Plus it’s super fast.
But the result is so worth it and will make sewing much easier.
Now for the FUN part! The actual sewing! I’m going to describe this and walk you through it the very best way I can.
Let’s start with the bodice (the top portion) first. Take 2 pieces and line them up RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER like below. Pin the ARM HOLES only.
Sew along where you’ve pinned.
It’ll look like this when you’re done.
Now turn ONE piece inside out so you’ll end up with this:
Now put the RIGHT SIDE OUT piece inside the other one. PIN the straight side seams like this:
Sew along where you pinned. DO NOT SEW OVER PINS!
Turn right side out and you’ll see this! This is getting exciting!!
Now get your skirt pieces. Place them facing each other with the print sides touching. That means RIGHT SIDES FACING together like this:
Sew down each side creating the seams.
Now for the tricky part. Once you learn how to do this, your sewing options really open up for creating beautiful tops and dresses! Take your bodice and turn it upside down. Place it INSIDE the skirt portion with RIGHT SIDES facing each other. If your fabric has a print, MAKE SURE it is right side up so that once the garment is sewn together, you don’t wind up with prints that are UPSIDE DOWN. This has happened to me many, many times. It’s okay, just rip it out and try again.
Now pin the sides seams together like this.
Now there are tons of ways to make ruffles but I just feel like it’s so tedious. So, I simply gather the fabric together all around the bodice and pin in place. Ruffles are great because they don’t have to be perfect.
Some machines let the arm come off so you can fit small garments on it like this:
Now sew around removing pins as you go. DO NOT SEW OVER PINS! (if you have a serger, serge over this seam as well. If not, simply use pinking sheers to prevent threads from fraying during the wash. (or use a cover stitch on your machine – check out your manual and YouTube tutorials to learn how to do this).
Turn dress inside out and marvel at your work so far! We are almost done! Isn’t this exciting? Look at what you did!!
Here is where I like to go ahead and hem the dress.
Then turn up another 1/2 inch, and pin in place.
Turn dress around and see your work!
Now we’re going to add straps! Grab the fabric from which you cut the bodice (top) pieces and let’s cut some for the straps. Measure 1.5″ X 8″ and cut 4 strips.
Place 2 strips RIGHT SIDES together.
Sew down the sides and ONE end. Leave one end open so you can turn it inside out.
Clip corners but DO NOT clip stitches! This will give you a much nicer squared off end when you turn it inside out.
Turn straps inside out. I like to use pliers (GENTLY) to help make it easier.
We need to close the TOP BACK of the dress. Using your fingers, turn the top inside itself so it closes the rough edges like this.
Now we can add the straps to the dress! Take your straps and insert the OPEN straps into the dress TOP FRONT while you’re folding the top down like we did the front.
Sew where you’ve pinned but DO NOT SEW OVER PINS.
The dress is FINISHED being sewn! YAY!
All that’s left is to add snaps. You could use velcro if you want but it doesn’t stay closed as well and doesn’t hold up as well in the wash.
Mark where you want your snaps to be and using the tool, pierce the hole. Be CAREFUL. Make sure you know exactly where you want your snaps to be.
Using the instructions that come with the snaps kit, put your first snaps on the INSIDE of the BACK of the dress.
Then attach the snaps to the straps on the BACK of them like this. Put them where you’d like the dress to extend as the baby grows.
CONGRATS!! VOILA! You did it! It’s done and ready to be worn or gift!!