How to Make the Cutest Cotton Toddler Dress

with a pattern from Oh Me Oh My Sewing

MAY 19, 2021 updated Jun 22, 2021

Looking for an adorable summer look for your little one? Using the “Corrine” pattern from Oh Me Oh My Sewing, Anna from Spoonflower’s Brand Marketing team will show you how to make a ruffled baby/toddler dress with our light and crisp Cotton Lawn fabric (but any light-medium woven cotton will work). This dress is perfect for everyday wear, and comes in different variations in sleeve length and collar shape.

 

How to Make a Ruffled Baby/Toddler Dress

Oh Me Oh My Sewing Corrine Dress, Sizes 0-3m to 5-6y

This dress can be made four different ways by changing the sleeves and collar type. We chose the short sleeves and ruffled collar combo, which will you pick?

 

Brown ruffled baby dress
Blue and yellow ruffled baby dress

And there you have it—an adorable dress for your little one!

Materials List

  • 1 yard (1 meter) Cotton Lawn
  • 1/4 yard (1/4 meter) lightweight iron-on interfacing
  • 5 sets of snaps or buttons
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric scissors and craft scissors
  • Tape
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pins or sewing clips
Skill Level

Advanced-Beginner

Download the Pattern from Oh Me Oh My Sewing
Corrine Dress Pattern

Spoonflower Suggests...

Other than Cotton Lawn, great fabric options for your dress are Petal Signature Cotton®, Organic Cotton Sateen, or Cotton Poplin!

Steps to Make Your Dress

Cut Your Pattern Pieces

First, cut your pattern pieces. If you’re making the same version as we are, with short sleeves and a ruffled collar, you should have these pieces:

  • Front Skirt (x2)
  • Back Skirt
  • Front Bodice (x2)
  • Back Bodice
  • Placket (x2)
  • Placket Interfacing (x2)
  • Neckline Binding
  • Ruffled Collar
  • Short Sleeve (x2)
Cutting pattern pieces
All pattern pieces for dress

Prep Your Plackets

Placket – An opening at the neck or sleeve of a garment, or in the upper part of trousers and skirts.

 

Iron your interfacing to the wrong side of your placket pieces, then iron your plackets in half with the wrong sides together.

Iron a 1/4″ (1/2 cm) fold on each of your plackets. You can either eyeball this or use a fabric pen to reference. If you’re using a directional print (a print that looks wrong when sewn upside down), make sure you iron this fold so that it’s on the left of one of your plackets and the right of the other.

Ironing the placket fabric
Ironing the placket fabric

Sew the Bodice Together

Sew your front bodice to your back bodice at the side seams and the shoulder seams with a 1/2″ (.6 cm) seam allowance right sides together.

Pinning shoulder seams together
Sewing shoulder seams together

Sew the Skirt Pieces Together

Set your machine to its longest stitch length. Sew the side seams of your skirt pieces with a 1/2″ (.6 cm) seam allowance right sides together.

Sew a line around 3/8″ (1 cm) from the tops of each of your skirt pieces. Make sure to leave long tails of thread, since we’ll be pulling them to gather the fabric later. Afterwards, return back to a normal stitch length.

Pro Tip:

Backstitch as you start the top skirt seam, but make sure NOT to backstitch after you’re finished sewing this line. If you do, the stitch will be locked into place and you won’t be able to pull the tails to gather the fabric later on.

Placing skirt panels together
Sewing skirt panels together

Attach the Bodice to the Skirt

Turn your bodice right side out and your skirt inside out. Insert your bodice into your skirt where the bottom of the bodice matches with the top of the skirt. Then, pin the side seams together. Pin the center of the back skirt to the center of the back bodice, and pin the edges of the front bodice to the edges of the front skirt.

Pull one of the tails of thread to gather the skirt until it matches alongside the bodice. Sew the waist seam together with a 1/2″ (.6 cm) seam allowance, right sides together.

Pinning bodice to skirt
Pinning bodice to skirt
Gathering the skirt fabric
Gathering the skirt fabric

Attach the Placket

Turn your dress wrong side out. Pin your placket to the center front of the dress so that the right side of the placket is facing the dress (the side of your placket without the quarter fold). Sew this with a 1/4″ (1/2 cm) seam allowance. Iron the seam allowance from this seam toward the placket.

Now fold the placket along your centerfold and pin the edge so that it just covers your sewn line. Sew along the edge of the fold to secure your placket in place. We also chose to top stitch the edge for a cleaner look, but that’s optional. Repeat this process for the other side.

Attaching plackets to dress
Attaching plackets to dress

Attach the Sleeves

Once again, set your machine to it’s longest stitch length. Sew a line 3/8″ (1/2 cm) from the top edge of each of your sleeve pieces, and leave long tails of thread. Return your machine to a normal stitch length.

Sew the underarm seam with a 1/2″ (.6 cm) seam allowance.

Finish the edge of the sleeve by folding over the hem 1/4″ (1/2 cm), folding that over 1/4″ (1/2 cm) again, and sew into place. Turn your sleeves right side out and your garment inside out. Insert the sleeve into the armhole, making sure the underarm seams line up. Pull one of the tails of thread to gather the top of the sleeve until it fits, and sew together with a 1/2″ (.6 cm) seam allowance, right sides together. Repeat for the other sleeve.

Gathered tails on sleeve fabric
Hemming the sleeve's edge
Putting the sleeve inside the bodice
Gathering sleeve so it fits inside the bodice
Finished sleeve

Prep and Attach the Ruffled Collar

Finish the edge of the ruffled collar by folding over the bottom edge 1/4″ (1/2 cm) and then folding that over 1/4″ (1/2 cm) sewing down as you go. Repeat for the side parts.

One last time, set your machine to its longest stitch length. Sew a line 1/4″ (1/2 cm) from the top edge of your ruffle collar, leaving long tails of thread, and return your machine to a normal stitch length.

Fold your collar in half to find the midway point, and pin at the center of the top edge. Find the halfway point of the back of your bodice. Pin the collar to the bodice at the center back and the inner edges of the placket. The collar, placket, and dress should all be right sides up.

Pull one of the tails of thread to gather the collar until it fits. Sew this down with a 1/4″ (1/2 cm) seam allowance.

Hemming ruffled edge before gathering
Attaching ruffled collar to bodice
Ruffled collar attached to bodice
Sewing down ruffled collar to bodice

Prep and Attach the Neckline Binding

Iron your neckline binding in half, and then iron a 1/4″ (1/2 cm) fold turned inwards on each side.

Turn your dress wrong side out. Pin your neckline binding on top of it, wrong side facing up. The side without the quarter fold should be along the neckline edge. The end of the bias tape should extend 1/2″ (1 cm) beyond the placket on each side. If it extends a bit more, cut off the excess.

Sew this with a 1/4″ (1/2 cm) seam allowance. Iron the binding up, and iron the extensions in.

Much like you did with your placket, fold your binding over so that the quarter fold just covers your sewn line. Pin in place and sew along the edge of your binding.

Attaching the neckline binding
Ironing in the neckline binding
Ironing over the neckline binding
Pinned neckline binding to dress

Hem the Dress

Finish the hem by folding over the bottom edge 1/4″ (1/2 cm) and then folding that over another 1/4″ (1/2 cm) sewing down as you go.

Sewing down the dress hem

Add Snaps or Buttons

Line up your placket paper pattern next to the dress to find where the snaps or buttons should be placed. Use your fabric pen to mark the dots onto your dress. Repeat on the other side.

Attach snaps on top of the dots with the snap attaching device of your choice, or sew on buttons.

If you’re using buttons, use vertical buttonholes and try sewing them so their center is right on the dot. They don’t have to be perfectly centered, just do your best! As long as you sew your buttons on the dot, it will look good.

Marking where the dress's snaps need to go
Pressing on snaps with a snapping tool
Closing snaps together on dress

And there you have it—an adorable dress for your little one!

 

Want to make a matching bonnet?

Continue the fun with this baby bonnet tutorial from Oh Me Oh My Sewing!

DIY Baby Bonnet

Shop This Tutorial

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  • This is so darling! Absolutely in love with this beautiful dress! Thank you so much for choosing my “Forest Flowers reimagined paisley pattern” Such a great tutorial!