Today I’m sharing a simple (and free!) girls dress pattern. Recently my niece Baby Girl turned 3. Which means we probably need to be coming up with a new nickname for her on the blog, because she’s really not a baby any more. And she requested a “Minnie Mouse dress” for her present because she had a Minnie Mouse themed birthday party. Okey-dokey, when you have an auntie who sews, and you ask for a dress for your birthday, that’s what you get.
And since I was making a simple dress anyway, I decided to go ahead and make it downloadable, so it can be used for variations besides Minnie Mouse.
Want to make your own Fiesta Frock? You’ll need:
- 1 yard of 44/45″ wide fabric
- 1 package (3 yards) 1/2″ wide double fold bias tape
- 3 buttons, at least 1/2″ diameter
- 2 strips of fusible interfacing, 10″ long by 1″ wide
- 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!(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.)
Please note that all my patterns are licensed for personal use only (no selling items made from this without a limited production license) and by downloading you are agreeing to this license.
This is for a girls size 3T – chest 22″. To make the pattern a different size, see this post. *Note: Baby Girl is size 3T tall, but measures more like an 18m old in width/circumference. I chose not to size her dress down in width, but this also means that if you have a more average sized 3 year old, the seams will not go past their shoulders nor will the dress hang quite as loosely as it does on Baby Girl.
Begin by fusing the interfacing to the wrong side of each Back piece, lining up the edge of the interfacing with the raw edge closest to center back. Finish the center back raw edge with an overlock or faux overlock stitch, then fold that edge to the wrong side on the fold line and press. Sew 3-4 buttonholes on the right Back piece (wearer’s right). Make sure top and bottom buttonholes are at least 3/4″ away from the top and bottom edges of the bodice.
Baste the folded edge of each bodice back piece down along the neckline.
Place the Backs against the front, right sides together. Stitch across the shoulder seams (green lines below) and finish these seams.
Stitch two rows of basting stitches along the top and bottom edges of the sleeves, leaving long thread tails. One row should be 1/4″ from the raw edge and the other row 3/8″ from the raw edge.
Cut 2 pieces of bias tape that are 9 1/2″ long.
Pull on the thread tails from the bobbin side of the basting stitches to gather the bottom edge of each sleeve to the same width as the bias tape. (Need more help with gathering? See this post.) Unfold the bias tape and pin right sides together against each sleeve bottom edge. Stitch in the crease line closest to the raw edge.
Using the bobbin threads on the top edges of the sleeves, gather the sleeves until they fit the armscyes. (Don’t know what an armscye is? See this post). Pin sleeves in place, right sides together. Stitch. Finish seams.
Fold the bodice right sides together, matching the underarm seam and the bias tape seam at the edge of the sleeves. Pin, stitch, and finish these seams. Overlap the back bodice pieces and baste together at the bottom edge.
Fold the bias tape at the sleeve openings to cover the raw edges. Pin, and stitch. Need more help with bias tape? See this post.
Place the two skirt pieces right sides together and sew down the short edges. Finish these seams. Next, sew two rows of basting stitches all around one raw edge, leaving long thread tails.
Use the thread tails to gather the skirt piece to the same width as the bottom of the bodice.
With the skirt wrong side out and the bodice right side out, insert the bodice inside the skirt, matching the raw edge of the bodice with the gathered edge of the skirt. Match side seams. Pin and stitch, then finish this seam.
Fold the bottom edge of the skirt up 3/8″ twice to the wrong side and stitch to hem.
Pin bias tape right sides together around the neckline, leaving 1/2″ hanging beyond each bodice back edge. Stitch in the crease line closest to the raw neckline edge.
At each bodice back edge, fold in the extra bias tape hanging beyond the edge, then fold the tape down to cover the seam from your last step – this ensures there are no raw edges out. Stitch the bias tape in place to finish the neckline.
And you’re done! Make a bow to go along with the dress if you’d like.
Or just let the dress recipient wear it for play.
Playing dress up with mommy’s shoes is always fun…
And it’s even more fun wearing your Minnie ears.