Made by You Wednesday & a Giveaway-closed

My name is Sarah from Sew Saucy.  I’m so excited to be a part of Heidi’s Made by You Wednesdays!  Hopefully this 3-Hour Sundress Tutorial will come in handy for you and the precious little girl in your life. I spent the better part of a week creating and perfecting this design that I came up with. (I don’t always display massive amounts of patience, so this was a big deal for me.)

1.)  Measure your child’s length from armpit to where you want the bottom of the dress to fall.


2.)  Measure and cut your fabric to the length you measured (45″ fabric folded in half).  Do this twice so you have two pieces that are the right length.  For my 2-year-old niece (on a long maxi-style dress) it was 24″.   I should note that I made this dress for a 2 -year-old, a 4-year-old and a 9-year-old and two pieces of 45″ wide fabric seemed to work well for all three.  If you are making it for a infant or smaller child, you could probably get away with less fabric.  If you are making one for an older child, you may want more fabric to make it even fuller.

3.)  Unfold fabric.  Pin and sew the two pieces of fabric right sides together on both ends so the fabric forms a big loop.  Then press seams open.
4.)  Fold under a 1/4″ hem on one side and stitch it into place.
5.) Grab your accent trim and measure 2″ up from the hem.  Pin trim into place all the way around.
6.) On the opposite edge sew a gathering stitch.  Instead of sewing one stitch all the way around, I found it was easier to do two different stitches one from seam to seam on the front, and one from seam to seam on the back.  This gives you two little strings to pull on either side.  I was able to get my gathers a lot more even this way.
7.)  Measure you child’s chest just under the armpits.  This will be the measurement you use to make the band across the top of the dress.  I added 2″ to the length just for ease of getting in and out of the dress and for comfort in wearing it.  Cut two strips 4″ wide by the length you measured.  (Lucy’s dress was 21″)  This will create two bands – an ‘outside band’ and an ‘inside band’.

8.) Press under 3/4″ on each side of the both bands.

9.) Get your trim, pin it to the middle of the outside band.  Sew in place.
10.)  Mark the center of each band, and the center front and center back of dress on top edge.  Line up the front center mark on dress with the center mark on band.  Pin in place.

11.) Pin dress between outside and inside bands.  This tucks it in so nicely and gives everything a clean finish.

12.) pin ends of band to back center of dress.  Allow for about 1/2″ overlap on each band.  This will make it easy to give it a finished look.
13.) Pull up gathering stitch all the way around dress and pin in place.  I found this to be the most time consuming part of the whole project.  It took a while to get everything uniform.  Once it’s all pinned, stitch it in place.  As you can see, this tucks everything inside your two bands. (You could even use this to make a skirt too.  Just measure hips instead of chest.  Sew top closed, add buttons, and you’re done!)

14.) To add the top ruffle on top of band, cut a strip of fabric 2″ wide x 45″ (or width of your fabric).  Fold in half and press.

15.) To give ruffle a finished end, open up ruffle and fold in 1/4″ of fabric then press and sew closed.
16.) Sew a gathering stitch along raw edge of ruffle.  Mark center of ruffle and pin to center of band between outside and inside band.  Pin edges of ruffle 1/4″ inside edge of band.
17.) Pull up gathering stitch and pin and sew into place.
18.) Finish one edge of the band.  Fold fabric inside to give you a clean edge and sew it in place.  Sew 2 buttons onto finished edge.
19. To make button loops cut two strips of fabric 1″ x 4″.  Fold in half (right sides together) and sew on 1/4″ seam allowance mark. Trim seam.  Flip to right side and press.
20.) Measure loops around buttons.  Mark the length you’ll need to fit around buttons and easily being able to undo the buttons.  Tuck ends of button loops into unfinished edge of band.  Fold all extra fabric inside, pin and sew.
21.) now for the straps.  On Lucy the straps were 9″ long.  Cut two strips of fabric 4″ by length of strap needed.  Press both edges of strap in toward the middle (lengthwise).  To finish edges of straps, fold both ends in 1/4″.  Fold in half lengthwise and press.  (I forgot to take a picture of it folded in half, but just picture double-fold bias tape)
22.) Sleeve ruffles.   I wish I had a more definite explanation on how to make the sleeve ruffles, but they were kind of just a make-it-up-as-you-go type of thing.  The shape doesn’t have to be perfect because you tuck any extra inside the strap as you go.  You want your ruffle to be approximately 1 1/2 times the length of your strap.  Since Lucy’s strap was 9″, I made the ruffle 15″ long.  Cut into an arc shape.
23.) Fold under a narrow hem on top edge of each ruffle, press, and sew.

24.) Sew a gathering stitch along bottom edge of ruffle.  Unfold strap. Pin middle of ruffle to middle of strap.  Pin edges of ruffle 1/4″ in from edge of strap.  Pull up gathering stitch to fit.  Pin in place.  Sew along ruffle and along ends of strap to finish the edges.

25.) Safety pin straps in place.  I found it a lot better to fit it on your child while it is pinned.  That way you can adjust the pins to the exact position and length needed.  Once you get the positioning you want, sew them into place.
Tada!  You’re done!  I added a applique on the band just because I thought it added a little bit.
Want to win a custom made dress perfectly sized for your little sweetheart?

How to Enter:
1) Follow my blog (1 entry)
2) Follow Sew Saucy (1 entry)
3) blog/facebook/tweet about giveaway (1 entry) 

The winner will be chosen by August 18th.


  1. Staci J says:

    This dress is adorable and me and my daughter would love to win!!!
    I follow your blog Heidi

  2. Staci J says:

    I also follow Sew Saucy:)

  3. Irina says:

    This is a great tutorial, I'm going to try this today!

    I'm a follower of your blog

  4. Irina says:

    I also follow Sew Saucy!

  5. Happy Homemaker And Momma says:

    This was one of my favorite dress I've seen on the Tutorial Highway of Blogs!! ♥♥♥it!!!!

  6. casserole says:

    That dress is SO PRETTY!! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  7. Mands says:

    The dress is adorable! I followed this blog!

  8. Mands says:

    And I followed Sew Saucy!

  9. Happy Homemaker And Momma says:

    I follow Heidi:)

  10. Happy Homemaker And Momma says:

    I follow Sew Saucy-even before she was "featured" on here:) Love this dress!!!

  11. Happy Homemaker And Momma says:

    tweeted giveaway-

  12. Crystal Arcand (3Stairs) says:

    I'm following Made by Heidi (3stairs)

    crystalarcand (at) gmail (dot) com

  13. Crystal Arcand (3Stairs) says:

    I'm following Sew Saucy (3stairs)

    crystalarcand (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. Crystal Arcand (3Stairs) says:

    I tweeted!

    crystalarcand (at) gmail (dot) com

  15. #6 Drake Family! says:

    This is such a cute dress! I would love to win one for my little girl! I follow your blog & Sew Saucy!

    Thanks so much!

  16. Estee says:

    I'm a follower of your blog.

    This dress looks wow!

  17. Estee says:

    I follow sew saucy

  18. Kristen says:

    Too cute! I follow you! :)

  19. Kristen says:

    I also follow Sew Saucy!! :)

  20. melissa t says:

    I am a follower of your blog.

  21. melissa t says:

    I now follow sew saucy.

  22. The Amazon seweth... says:

    ABSOLUTELY adorable!!! This is going to be my weekend project for my two precious little nieces (who happen to know they're princesses and love long dresses). :-)

  23. Emily says:

    Love the finishing touches you've added to the dress (ie the two chest panels, the trim, the buttons). Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

  24. katkeen says:

    Thanks!! I now have something to do while my daughter is at school in the morning!

  25. katkeen says:

    I also follow your blog!!!

  26. katkeen says:

    oh, and I also follow Sew Saucy!! :)

  27. Caitlin says:
  28. Caitlin says:

    I follow sew saucy!

  29. Amy says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial!
    I am now a follower.

  30. Amy says:

    I follow sew saucy now too :)

  31. ThE RaSmUsSeN's says:

    i follow your blog

  32. ThE RaSmUsSeN's says:

    i follow sew saucy

  33. says:

    I'm going to be following! I would also love to link to this if you didn't mind.

  34. Mare says:

    I'm a new follower!

  35. Mare says:

    I'm a Sew Saucy follower too!

  36. Anonymous says:

    I love your blog. I will follow Sew Saucy.

  37. Linda says:

    It would look beautiful on my granddaughter. I follow Sew Saucy.

  38. Irina says:

    Hello! I just blogged about this giveaway here:

    and I made a dress inspired on this tutorial. thanks a lot! (I'm not very experienced with my sewing machine yet… it's not as fancy as Sew Sacucy's…! ;-))

  39. Melody says:

    I'm a follower! Such a cute dress!

    If I can unearth and unpack my machine I may squeeze in time to sew this!

  40. Jamee says:

    i am following you

  41. Jamee says:

    i am following sew saucy

  42. christinark says:

    This tutorial is just perfect! I love how easy it is to make. Thanks so much for the wonderful and easy to follw instructions.
    starwars @

  43. christinark says:

    I also follow your blog. Who wouldnt?

  44. christinadoucette says:

    I also follow Sew Saucy. :)

  45. Andrea, says:

    Oh my goodness! My daughter is in love with LONG dresses lately and she looks adorable in them.

    I follow your blog.

  46. Gorby family blog says:

    I keep getting an error message when I try to follow you. I'll come back tomorrow, for sure!

  47. Gorby family blog says:

    follow Sew Saucy!

  48. Amy says:

    This is adorable!!! In the winter you could later a shirt underneath for warmth!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    I follow your blog!

  49. littlelamb says:

    following this blog

  50. littlelamb says:

    follow Sew Saucy

  51. littlelamb says:

    blogged about this giveaway

  52. Stacey says:

    I just became a follower of this blog!
    Stacey Johnson

  53. BarefootTams says:

    Love this dress!!

    I'm a follower of this blog.

  54. BarefootTams says:

    I am also a follower of Sew Saucy.

  55. gustosa says:

    blog follower
    gustosagiveaways at ymail dot com

  56. gustosa says:

    following sew saucy blog
    gustosagiveaways at ymail dot com

  57. gustosa says:
  58. Cris, Callie, and Cayten says:

    UGH! I meant to enter this contest earlier! I follow the blog!

  59. Cris, Callie, and Cayten says:

    I follow sew saucy!

  60. Cris, Callie, and Cayten says:
  61. Kristiina says:

    So cute! I follow your blog!

  62. Kristiina says:

    and I follow sew saucy!

  63. Wendi says:

    I follow you!

  64. Anonymous says:

    Me too…

  65. Angela says:

    Great tutorial and cute dress, Heidi! I whipped one up this week, and my 5.5 yr-old LOVES it!

    Blogged it here –

    Thanks so much for sharing your idea! Now, to make one for my 7 yr-old!

  66. Amy C. says:

    I wanted to show you my version of this dress that I made! I LOVE it. Thank you so much for going to the trouble of posting it. I'll make her another next year in a bigger size!

  67. terri says:

    you are inspiring me to take up sewing again! It's been awhile!

  68. Bonnie P says:

    I just received a sewing machine for Christmas (2010) and I've been on the look out for things to make my 9 month old. I think by summer (2011) I could have this done and she'll be walking by then, so it will be perfect! Thanks for posting this, I'm so glad I found it! Now to figure out if my machine can do a "gathering stitch", lol! i'm still figuring this all out!

  69. Alanna says:

    Totally love this tutorial! And the even better thing is I was looking for a dress to make for my daughter and I just bought the blue flowered fabric you show at the end! It was meant to be! :)

  70. Jesy says:

    I follow your blog :) LOVE this tutorial!

  71. Jesy says:

    I follow sew saucy! :)

  72. Laura says:

    I follow your blog too! AMAZING work girl!!!!
    lepitman @ yahoo . com

  73. ida says:

    i follow ur blog…:) hope that my lil' one will get it…

  74. Anonymous says:

    that dress is so pretty thank you anne

  75. Tina says:

    Love this dress! This is my first attempt at sewing a dress, so please bare with me. I’m trying to make one for my daughter, and I for some reason don’t understand what you mean that the material should be 45″ in width. Is that for both pieces? Two pieces at desired length and each individually 45″ in width? I just got one yard of fabric and am just realizing that it won’t be enough! Help please!

    • Heidi says:

      Oh my goodness, I’m losing my mind. I could have sworn I responded to this comment, sorry about that :( {did i email you instead?}

      Yes, the tutorial asks for two pieces of fabric cut to the length you want. So, looks like you have 3 choices:

      1. You can go back to the fabric store and purchase another yard of fabric;
      2. You can make the dress with just one piece of 45″ wide fabric, but it will be less full; or
      3. You can cut the fabric you have so that it is 45″ wide and only half the length you want and make the little sundress into a shirt to go over some cute jeans or leggings.

      Hope this helps!

  76. Rise says:

    I tried to follow but tells me the blog doesn’t exist….I would love to win the free dress for my granddaughter so if you advise me how to find your blog to follow I certainly would love to do that.

  77. jennifer says:

    Anyone know what happened to Sew Saucy’s blog? I can’t find it anywhere.

  78. Tanya says:

    This is such a super cute dress! I make my daughter dresses all year and have been a little tired of the patterns I’ve been using! This is perfectly different and perfectly what I’d like for her next dress.
    The problem I always have when drafting my own dresses (or other patterns) is estimating the extra yardage needed for this band and that strap and those ruffles. Do you have a good estimate of how much extra material is needed (beyond the 2x dress length by 45″) to be sure I’ve got enough for the bands, straps, and ruffles?

    Thanks so much and great job!

    • Heidi says:

      I’m sorry, the girl who made this dress has since closed down her blog and is not very easy to reach. I’ve sent her an email, I’ll let you know if I hear back.


  79. Mattu says:

    Ve.ry pretty,njust learning to sew but, I’m trying to do one for each of my grand daughters

  80. Natalie says:

    Thanks! Made this dress and it turned out so cute!

  81. Ruthie Smith says:

    I LOVE this dress!!! When I saw it I knew my 3 yr old would love it too! I made it for her Easter dress which she wore for 3 days straight before Easter even came. She loves twirling…Thanks for the tutorial! I wanted to send a pic of the finished dress but can’t figure out how. :(

    • Heidi says:

      Great!! I’m glad you love it!!! Maybe I should put a linky on the post? Then you could link up to that. Or you can email it to me, I’d love to see it!!

  82. Amanda Hooper says:

    Love you simple stuff great for making cute clothes for my daughter. We try to do sustainable living so it I nice to make and not buy!

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