Criss Cross Dress Tutorial (aka the easiest dress ever) with Free Pattern!

Easy to sew Criss-Cross Dress with free pattern and tutorial by Melly Sews

Today I’m sharing something like some of the first garments I ever sewed. I remember the criss-cross dress as a go to baby gift when I was in middle school and friends were getting new siblings. They’re still a great baby gift option today – as evidenced by this one that I gifted to my niece.

So to make the criss-cross dress that my adorable niece is wearing, you’ll need:

  • 2 pieces of fabric, 2/3 of a yard each
  • Any embellishements you want to add
  • 2 snaps – I used the kind you apply with a hammer, but you can also use the sew on kind.
  • To download the pattern, subscribe to the Melly Sews Weekly Newsletter. AFTER you sign up, you’ll get a confirmation email – and you have to confirm or my email service can’t send you the free pattern. But once you do confirm, you’ll get access to not just this but several other free patterns. Woot!

Please note that all my free patterns are licensed for personal use only and by downloading you are agreeing to this license. You are welcome to sell items you personally make from a pattern you purchase, however.
(PS – if you have trouble finding either your confirmation email or the email with the pattern link, try checking your spam, trash, junk, bulk, social and/or promotional email tabs or folders. Free pattern links are also included in every weekly newsletter; these go out on Friday afternoons. Due to the number of subscribers I can’t email pattern links to individuals.)

This is a 0-3 month size. If you need a different size, the pattern plus the bloomer pattern is available for purchase below. Just click the Buy Now button and you’ll get an email to download the pattern after you complete payment. 

So if you have the pattern and are ready to begin, pin it to the fold of your fabric and cut. Do this twice, so you have an outside and a lining (you can make this dress reversible). They should look like this when openend out:

Next add any embellishment you want to the front of the dress. I sewed on a rolled fabric rosette and some leaves.

Now lay the dress front and the lining on top of each other, right sides together. Sew all the way around the dress edges BUT LEAVE AN OPENING FOR YOUR HAND so that you can turn it right side out later. This pattern has a 5/8″ seam. Go slowly around the curves.

Next, trim the seams down. I prefer to do this with pinking shears. If you don’t have pinking shears, you can sew another seam about 1/4″ towards the edge from the first seam and then trim. Be careful not to trim too much at the opening.

Now turn the dress right side out. Press the edge so it’s nice and crisp. At the opening, press the edges under towards the inside.

Topstitch all around the edge, closing up your opening in the process. Now you just sew or apply snaps at the end of the long straps and on the top of the back piece. You can see in the picture below how the dress goes on the baby.

These are so easy to whip out, and the combination of fabrics and embellishments are endless. They also make great gifts.

For the pattern and tutorial on how to make the bloomers, click HERE

Hooray - you read the whole post! Wanna hang out more? Check out the best sewing pins with me on Pinterest, join our Facebook discussions, get your daily sewing fix and behind the scenes scoops on Instagram, and your weekly updates/free pattern access through the newsletter


  1. by Michelle says

    Beautiful and simple! Learning to sew is on my bucket list of things to learn in the next five years.

  2. Anne Maskell says

    Your niece is a real sweetheart! Thank you for sharing the pattern and tutorial. I’d like to make it for my granddaughter. (and I’m looking forward to the bloomers tutorial!)

  3. Anonymous says

    I’m just starting out sewing and want to make this for my daughter but she is 12 months. How would I alter the pattern for a 12 to 18 month fit? Thanks!!

    • says

      I would place the pattern about 1/4″ in from the folded edge, make the straps longer, and possibly add an inch or more to the bottom edge. I would err towards adding more length than I needed on the bottom and the straps, then kind of fit to your daughter to make sure you’ve got the measurements right.

    • JULIE says

      I’m also making this for my 12m daughter– LOVE IT!! Thanks for sharing this cute pattern! I found it when you linked up to Sugar Bee with the cute bloomers~ I’m making those too. This hot weather begs for light dresses!

    • says

      I made this dress for my daughter about 30ish years ago! It all comes back in style, lol It is a great “tut” I may have to dig around in some boxes and see what else I have !

    • says

      No kdding! I wore these the early -mid 70s from probably birth to 5 years old! Such fond memories if opening packages from my great grandparents with these little sun suits inside!

      Going to have to make one or a dozen for my little niece!

    • Jamie Pate says

      Did you ever get a response to this or find out how to change the size? I have someone wanting a 12 mo and I have no clue how to change the size – unless I just guesstimate and trace the pattern a little larger…??

  4. Charlotte says

    I have a very similar pattern for this little dress that I wore 68 years ago. I still have the pattern cut from a page of the Wichita Eagle Newspaper. I made one for my daughter when she was little (almost 37 now). Mine had longer straps that crossed in the back and it was fastened with safety pins. When I made my daughters dress I figured out how to close it with buttons and button holes. Yours is very sweet. Guess I’m not going to be lucky enough to have a granddaughter and so far no great granddaughter to make another one for.

  5. JAMIE LAWSON says

    Thank you for the pattern I have the dress made waiting on the snaps. On the bloomers, it printed out a front and a back, but in the tutorial it seems like you are only using the piece cut on the fold the back??? Help am I totally confused? it did say beginner :) is there a lower level for me, I will appreciate help for anyone in case you know and Melly is too busy
    thanks Jamie

  6. says

    Melly, Your are such a super duper cool Auntie, the kind that every little kid would love to grow up having. The dress, bloomers, and headband are absolutely beautiful!. You did a wonderful job on these. How do I get the patterns in PDF to download? I am signed up to your newsletter.

    Great job!

  7. stacid says

    I found you on Pinterest 😀
    This is adorable (but not as adorable as that *perfect and sweet* baby!) and don’t laugh, but I want
    to make this in adult size for an apron.
    Thank you for sharing the instructions and the pattern.

  8. Jeanne says

    I have just made this for our grand daughter, she will be born at the end of March 2014!

    Instead of ruffles I used lace on the back of the bloomers and I put bias binding around the legs to put the elastic in, I did start to do what you did around the legs but I got into a mess, it was much easier with the bias binding.

    I made the dress in pink on one side and mauve on the other and made two bloomers, one pink and one mauve.

    Thanks so much I love what I have made.

  9. says

    I can’t wait to make this for my friend’s granddaughters. I’m going to be sizing it up to fit 9 mo. and 2T. I think these are the cutest most adaptable dresses!!

  10. Neusa says

    I loved this dress, it´s wonderful and I realy like to do that, but I couldn´t find the pattern. Is it possible you send it to me?
    I realy appreciate it.
    Thank you so much and sorry for my pour english.


  11. Vanessa says

    Hi there, love your patterns, I was wondering if I am able to sell a finished product at a market stall that has been made with a pattern? If not thats fine.

    Thank you :)

  12. Gina York says

    Is the criss cross pattern still available? I confirmed my email. I have been looking for this pattern for quite a while now. Thanks!

  13. Katie says

    Hi, I’ve tried to subscribe so I can follow your posts and would really like the pattern and tutorial for the criss cross dress but it is not allowing me too and I have tried a couple times. If it is an issue with your site could you fix and let us know or e-mail me privately my issue? Thank you!

  14. Brandi says

    Hi! I have subscribed and confirmed my email but I have not recieved the welcome email with the pattern, is it still available?

  15. Rita McDonald says

    I’ve tried several times to subscribe but never get an email to confirm so that I can get the criss cross pattern. Would love to receive this and start following you.

    • Dana says

      Rita, i also tryed, but was pressed for time. So i had an extra piece of fabric and cut in a simular shape till i got it. I used another kind outfit, in the size i needed to compare for size. Now i have a pattern to use.

  16. Emily says

    Did you do a finished stitch around the dress? It kind of looks like it, but I don’t see it in your instructions.

  17. Dana says

    Just made this, oh so cute dress for my premi granddaughter. Im using velcro dots instead of the snaps, so it can be easy to put on and take off. Thanks for sharing the pattern, I’ve been looking for it. My mother made them for me, now i can pass it on. Priceless…:)

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