Little girl's dress

Little girl's dress


  • 4 fat quarters of fabric
  • 2 metres of ribbon
  • Matching thread

Size: The sizing below will fit a 2 year old but you can increase the sizing by making the strips a little wider and longer and increasing the depth and width of the bottom strip.


  1. Decide which fabrics to use where. It's usually best to make the front and back the same using three different fabrics for the panels with a co-ordinating piece around the bottom. You then want to:
    - Cut 2 centre strips 15cm x 40 cm/6in x 15.5in
    - Cut 2 side panel strips 13cm x 40cm/5in x 15.5in
    - Cut 2 more side panel strips 13cm x 40cm/5in x 15.5in
    - Cut 2 bottom strips 16cm x 38 cm/ 6 1/3in x 15in
  2. Using a 1 cm/?in seam allowance, sew the three panels together for the front and the three panels for the back together (made up of two side panels and centre panel).  Placing the long sides right side together, machine and secure each end by back stitching to ensure they do not come undone.  Finish each edge with a zigzag stitch or use an overlocker.
  3. Give the sewn seams a really good press on both sides, with both seams ironed towards the centre panel.
  4. Top stitch along the seam, using a slightly longer stitch and press again to give a lovely finish.
  5. Press both the bottom panels in half lengthways- this will give a crisp finish to the bottom hem of the dress.
  6. Open out bottom panel and pin one edge to the bottom of dress, right sides together, and machine to both lower edges.  Press the seam downwards.
  7. Match the seam lines and top, and pin together the sides together. Machine stitch, attaching the front to the back.  Zigzag or overlock sides, press well both inside and out.
  8. Fold the bottom edge along the previously ironed crease to the inside and press again with the iron.  Turn the dress inside out and turn a small hem on inside of the lower edge and pin through all layers on the right side. This will produce a neat edge on both the inside and outside.  Topstitch on outside.
  9. Cut a triangle off each corner at the top for the armhole, measure 5cm/2 in along the top and 7cm/2 3/4in down the side to measure the triangle.
  10. With your iron, turn a narrow seam around the armhole and then a 1 cm/4in seam. You will be able to curve this slightly as the fabric here is cut on the bias. Top stitch on the outside to give a neat finish.
  11. Turn the dress inside out and fold a quarter of an inch seam along the top edge with your iron. Then turn a 1.5cm/0.6in seam. Sew along this seam on the outside to make a casing for the ribbon.
  12. Thread the ribbon through on each side and knot on the shoulder- you'll want to adjust this to fit when the little girl tries it on. Gather the front and back along the ribbon- you might need to put a small stitch at each edge of the casing too prevent the ends of the ribbon slipping.
  • Project written by Lynne Sharpe.  Lynne is a Textile Artist who runs The Make It Room from Howe Green near Chelmsford in Essex.  Lynne teaches a wide range of craft workshops and courses. Find out more here.
  • There's more craft in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.