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10-Minute Easy Patternless Girl’s Dress

Updated on May 22, 2017
Dress I made for my daughter
Dress I made for my daughter | Source

I have very basic sewing skills. As a result, I find myself just creating things from scratch in the simplest way possible. I usually make quilts and tote bags. But one day my daughter’s play school report said she really enjoyed playing dress up. Things started to click, even though I am not a girly-girl, my daughter loved whenever she got to wear a frilly skirt, sparkly clothes, or items adorned with princesses.

We had no real play clothes at home, so I decided I would make her a simple little dress. After all, no one would see it. Therefore, it did not matter if it came out screwy. I headed to Walmart to buy some fabric I saw plenty of times before but never had the courage to buy. It seemed like the fabric would do all the work and hopefully hide my mistakes.

Easy to Sew Dress Tutorial

Using any dress fabric, you can easily replicate this really simple girl’s dress. It requires very little time and effort. This is a great patternless project for beginner sewers like myself.

Before you buy the fabric, have an idea about how much you will need. You can take a shirt of the person you are making it for to help measure the fabric at the counter. Or you can use measuring tape an measure around the chest. Also keep in mind that when buying girl’s or women’s dress fabric it is measured from the bottom. So all the rouching at the top of the fabric is not part of the measurement. The cutter will flip the fabric, smooth out any ruffles at the bottom and then measure and cut.

After making the pink dress, I made this one a few days later. Everyone loved this one and wanted one for their little girls
After making the pink dress, I made this one a few days later. Everyone loved this one and wanted one for their little girls | Source

Materials:

  • Dress fabric
  • Fabric, bias tape, or similar for straps
  • Basic sewing notions

Feel free to add any embellishments to this basic design. You can add buttons, rickrack, bows, ribbons, and so on.

Dress fabric
Dress fabric | Source
Straps made from lace frill
Straps made from lace frill | Source

Steps:

  1. With wrong sides together, pin and then sew the two raw edges together, creating one long seam.
  2. Keeping the dress inside out, use a zig-zag stitch to attach the straps. Make sure the seam is to the back or side of dress.
  3. Try the dress on the recipient.
  4. You are done!
  • It should look like a tube top dress after Step 1.
  • Base the placement of the straps on how broad the recipient's shoulders are.
  • Since this fabric comes with a finished hem, you do not need to worry about sewing a hem line. You just need to pin the fabric right in Step 1 so that the hems match up well when you sew the main seam.

Completed dress
Completed dress | Source
My daughter wearing her dress at a party
My daughter wearing her dress at a party | Source

Notes:

  • In making this design without a pattern, I had to remeasure the straps a few times. It was tough imagining how much needed to be cut based on holding it up to her body and how much the allowance was going to take up.
  • Do not pre-wash the fabric. I actually let her try it on and wear it around the house a little before washing it. The rouching part looked like it shrunk after washing, but it stretched right back out when worn.

Stephanie Bradberry
Stephanie Bradberry

About the Author

Stephanie Bradberry is a freelance writer and editor. She is an educator, herbalist, and naturopath who runs her own home-based business, Naturally Fit & Well, LLC. One of her favorite pastimes is DIY arts and crafts.

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      This is very pretty and you have such talent! My mother was a seamstress and she me some really pretty dresses and "sun-suits" when I was small. I don't believe I could do this, I will leave it to the creative abilities of people like you. Great hub and very interesting.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Hello teaches12345. Thanks, but I am not that great a sewer yet. I have MANY things to learn yet. But the best way is by jumping in and trying things out. So, I am sure you can do this, especially if sewing is in your blood from your mother. This literally was the first dress I ever made and I did it in 10 minutes from start to finish. The second time I did it, I was done in like 5 or so. So give it a try :)

    • DommaLeigh profile image

      DommaLeigh 4 years ago

      I love this page! I am teaching my 7 year old granddaughter Rissa how to sew and so far so good, but like any new to the craft she wants to make things that are still beyond her skill level. I think we just found her first clothing project. Tanks for the idea. I have already bookmarked this page for her next visit.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Hi DommaLeigh,

      I know exactly how it feels. I too expect to go from novice to being on Project Runway overnight. But every little project helps and counts. I am so glad that at 7 she is into sewing. I wish I had someone to guide me along that young.

    • learningtofly profile image

      learningtofly 4 years ago

      Awesome! Thanks for the Inspiration!

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Hello learningtofly,

      Thanks for the comment. I am glad you are inspired to create. Happy sewing.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      This is very cute. It will be a nice little dress I can make for my great-granddaughter. Voted up.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Hello moonlake,

      I am glad you found this tutorial useful. Have fun sewing!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      These are amazing little dresses you've constructed-very clever and creative. I'm wondering if you could actually make this for an adult, too.

      Up/shared / interesting. :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA

      This is such a cute dress! Not only is the idea suitable for an adult with basic skills,but I think it would made a great project for a child learning to sew (with some adult supervision). This would be a nice idea for matching dresses for sisters or mother/daughter, too. Voted up and useful and shared.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Bradberry 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Hi Denise Handlon,

      Thanks for the compliment. It really took nothing to make these dresses. I literally have no training in garment construction. The hardest part was positioning the straps and keeping the pins in position as I sewed since it was such a small section.

      You could absolutely make this for an adult. They don't have the fabrics pictured here in adult size. But they certainly have other patterns of the same style of material in the store. I have been tempted to make my own dress.

      Thanks for reading and commenting :)

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Bradberry 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Hello Stephanie Henkel,

      Thank you so much! I agree that this is easy enough for both adults and kids. I actually think a kid would be able to embellish this dress better than me at this point!

      Matching dresses is such a cute idea. I have not found matching youth and adult sized fabric, but I'm sure something could be done. What a great idea!

      Thanks for reading and commenting :)

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      This looks like a fun project to do with one's daughter if she's at least 4 or 5 years old. One of my cousins was making a lot of her own clothes with a sewing machine when she was only 6! My own daughter assisted me at age 6 in making her a pair of light pants she could wear for play.

      I've been sewing since I was 5 and there are a lot of fun things people who don't have a lot of time can make with little effort and this project seems to have come out very nicely for you.

      If you really examine some of the clothing sold even at some of the better stores like J.C. Penny or even Neiman Marcus, etc., I think you will see it sometimes has what in my sewing class years ago were called "frustration marks" for lack of a better phrase. Little mistakes, things that didn't come out quite the way one wanted or hoped for. I have had to resew things from some of the mentioned stores in part if not in entirety. Sometimes they'll lower the price if you show them problems that will prevent a sale.

      Anyway, I really love this project you have here and of course it's easy to jazz it up with different materials and embellishments and bright pretty colors as you have shown here. Great idea!

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Bradberry 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Hi Au fait,

      Wow. The sewing history in your family is awesome. Unfortunately my family can never seem to come together to help pass on the knowledge they have of creative pursuits. But at least I did learn to crochet from my mom since she is left handed too. But I still have not learned how to knit because I can't find a left handed knitter. I bought books and everything, but it's not the same as hands on experience with someone guiding you in person.

      Thanks for reading and commenting :)

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 3 years ago from Central United States of America

      How sweet, a mother does for her little princess! Your sewing decision and description were delightful to read. I used to sew 'everything' for my daughters, but that time is long gone...and though it was enjoyable, it was also 'work'. Loved both your pretty dresses!

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Bradberry 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Hello frgyfish,

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Yes, at times we can go to great lengths to please our kids. I really have no sewing skills for clothing, but my little lady wanted one so I made it. Now I look forward to this spring and summer to use the other fabric I did not get to last season.

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