Happy Day Sundress Tutorial: 30 Days of Sundresses

sundress tutorial

Today I’m the very last stop for 30 Days of Sundresses, hosted by Melissa from Melly Sews. I’ve been following along all month and have loved seeing all the pretty dresses, and am happy to be joining in today and sharing how you can turn any basic top pattern into a cute sundress for your little one (or you)!


Be sure to head over to Melly Sews to check out all of the other sundress tutorials and enter to win a fun giveaway!

sundress tutorial

When photographing a toddler, it seems like there is never a happy medium. It’s all seriousness and frowns, or all giggles and smiles (which usually means lots of running for both of us). This day, Lola was having the time of her life running to and from me as I was taking her photos, and although it was tiring, it soon had me laughing too!

sundress tutorial

To make this simple Happy Day Dress, start with a basic knit t-shirt pattern (one with no yoke, buttons, etc). I used my Skipper Top Pattern (looking at those photos, I can’t believe how much Lola has grown since last summer), but any simple pattern would work. I cut out a size 2 for Lola, which is still a little large on her, but I wanted lots of room so she’ll be able to wear the dress as a tunic as she grows.

sundress tutorial

First, decide where you want the gathers to sit on the dress, and use a ruler to draw a line on both front and back pieces. Since my pattern had dolman sleeves, I drew my line just above the bottom of the sleeves. Cut the pattern along your lines.

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To add ease to allow for some soft gathers, place your front and back bottom pattern pieces away from the fold – my pieces were 2.5″ from the fold, but you can add more gathers by placing it farther away. Leave at least 1/2″ at the top for seam allowance since we’ll be joining them to the upper pieces. I doubled up my fabric and was able to cut my front and back pieces at once.

sundress tutorial

Cut out the front and back bottom pieces, adding 1/2″ at the top for seam allowance and adding enough length for a dress.

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Cut the upper front and back pieces using the upper pattern pieces, adding 1/2″ to bottom of pieces for seam allowance.

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Sew a basting or gathering stitch along top edge of bottom pieces.

sundress tutorial

Gather along stitch lines, making width of bottom pieces match width of top pieces.

sundress tutorial

Pin and stitch bottom of each front and back top pieces to each front and back bottom pieces (along gathered edges).

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Finish constructing the top as pattern instructs, and you’ll have a cute little sundress sewn up in no time!

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Perfect for any little girl on the go ;).

     sundress tutorial

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  1. How adorable and the dress is cute, too! ;-) -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  2. Pingback: (30) Days of Sundresses with Sew Much Ado - Melly Sews
  3. Hi there. Just wanted to inquire a fast problem. I’m putting together my own, personal weblog along with want to know exactly where
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  4. She is SO cute! I like the simplicity of the dress, and I wouldn’t have thought to put those two fabrics together, but they are really cute combined!

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