I have a FREE girl’s knit dress pattern to share with you today for Melly Sews 30 Days of Sundresses! I participated last year as well, and am excited to join in again and share another dress with you.
Along with all of the adorable dresses, there’s also a fun giveaway over at Melly Sews, so be sure to head over here and enter.
It’s crazy how fast kids change when they’re little, I can’t believe how much Lola has grown (and I also had a chuckle about the similarities from last year to this year, between the shoes, fabric choice, and her hairdo).
The Suncadia Dress Free Pattern is sized for 3T, or chest measurement of 21″. Since Lola is small for her age, I adjusted the width and length for her on the dress she’s wearing in these photos, but the unaltered pattern that you can download below is sized for an average 3 year old.
Lola loves to wear dresses, and it makes my life sooo much easier if she has a drawer full of them to wear. My plan is to make a few more so that they can keep both of us happy all summer long.
It’s comfy enough to wear at the park or over a swimsuit, but can still be dressed up a bit as well, which I love the versatility of.
Lola has tested her new dress out quite thoroughly already ;), and I’m happy to say that she loves it! I hope your own little girls will love it as much as she does!
I purchased quite a bit of this blue floral cotton spandex knit from Girl Charlee about a year ago, and was so glad I hadn’t used it yet when I pulled it out of my stash for this dress. It’s the perfect weight for this dress, and has great stretch recovery. Luckily I still have plenty to make something for myself as well…
Ready to get started? Here we go!
3/4yd 54″ wide knit fabric – choose an apparel knit (cotton jersey, cotton lyrca, ponte de roma, etc) with good stretch recovery, and at least 40% stretch, whether it is lightweight or a heavier knit
3/4yd 1/4″ wide clear elastic (to add stability at waistline)
Click HERE to download the FREE pattern. Print at 100%, with no scaling, and check the test square on page 1 to ensure printing accuracy.
After taping the pattern pages together, matching markings, cut pieces out as illustrated below.
Before you begin:
All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise noted.
If using a regular machine, use a long and narrow zig zag stitch to allow stretch in the seams. Press seam allowances open whenever possible. If using serger, press seam allowances in opposing directions (ex. on bodice toward back and skirt toward front) to reduce bulk at waistline, and shoulder seam allowances toward back.
Right sides together (RST), stitch bodice front to bodice back along one shoulder. Press seam open.
WRONG sides together, press neckband in half lengthwise.
RST, pin and stitch raw edges of neckband to neckline of bodice, stretching neckband to fit neckline of bodice. Press neckband away from bodice, with seam allowance toward bodice. Optional: Topstitch through bodice and seam allowance bodice, close to neckband. If using zig zag stitch, you may want to increase the width/length slightly to allow extra stretch for the neckline to fit over the head. It’s a good idea to test that it will fit easily over the head before moving on to the next step :).
RST, stitch remaining bodice front and bodice back shoulders together, matching raw edges.
Press bottom of each sleeve 1/2″ toward wrong side. Topstitch 1/2″ from each folded edge using zig zag stitch, twin needle, or coverstitch. Mark center top of sleeve caps by folding sleeves in half. RST, pin and stitch each sleeve to each armhole, stretching armhole to fit sleeve.
RST, pin and stitch bodice and sleeve side on each side, matching raw edges, from sleeve hem to bottom of bodice.
RST, pin and stitch skirt together along each side, matching raw edges.
Using a basting or gathering stitch (longest stitch on your machine), stitch around entire top of skirt. Do not backstitch at beginning or end of stitches, and leave thread ends long. Pulling on bottom threads only, gather top of skirt to fit bottom of bodice.
RST, place bodice inside of skirt and pin top of skirt to bottom of bodice, matching side seams and notches, and evenly distributing gathers. Stitch along pinned edge, stitching clear 1/4″wide elastic into the seam at the same time. The clear elastic will give stability to the waistline, while still allowing it to stretch. Remove basting stitches with seam ripper and press.
Press skirt hem 1″ (try the dress on and adjust length as needed) toward wrong side and stitch close to raw edge using zig zag stitch, twin needle, or coverstitch.
Hope you all have a fun summer filled with lots of everything that you love!