So I showed you a tease of this dress awhile back on the Prudent Baby Facebook Page (we have so much fun over there, why don’t you join us: It took me a minute to get it to you because I was waiting to give it to miss Dove. Umm, how cute is she?

Adorbs. So this is a bit more work then some dresses, but I am really happy with how it turned out.

If you think you’re ready for it, get the full Pretty Party Dress Tutorial with Free Downloadable Pattern after the jump.

And remember to leave me or Miss Dove a comment, because any comment you leave could win you this week’s surprise prize!

Pretty Party Dress Free Pattern

These fabrics are so amazing, I can’t get enough. Yes, it’s Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush! The bodice is Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush (Quilt Cotton) Shattered Punch, and the skirt and sleeves are Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush (Quilt Cotton) Turn of Events in Plum. I kind of think I could maybe pull off an adult dress in these fabrics, no? I am going to try. But anyhoo, back to the baby dress!

First you’ll need to download our free pattern. This fits about 9-12 months. You’ll want to scale up the bodice and sleeves for bigger sizes. You can make a top or dress by cutting the skirt to as long as you desire. So download the pattern here: Prudent Baby Pretty Party Dress Free Pattern.

Now you’ll need to cut it out and trace it onto the back of your fabrics as directed. I did the bodice and cuffs in one fabric, and the skirt and sleeves in the other.

Now cut them all out.

Start by pinning the two front bodice pieces right sides facing:

Sew in place around the edge with a scant seam allowance, leaving the bottom straight edge unsewn.  Trim the edges and clip the corners close:

Turn inside out and iron flat.  Make sure to poke your corners out.

There you go:

Now take your back bodice pieces.  Take two reversed pieces and lay them right sides facing and pin:

Sew in place leaving the bottom flat edge unsewn:

Clip your corners, turn inside out, and iron flat:

Now let’s just assemble the bodice so we can see where our buttonhole will go.  So lay the front piece, then one back piece with the shoulder edges lined up:

Then lay the other back piece on top:

Mark where your buttonhole will go:

Sew your buttonhole according to your sewing machine’s directions:

Now let’s assemble the bodice.  Pick which side of the front piece you want to show.  Lay that side up:

Now lay the buttonhole piece right side down with shoulders aligned and pin:

Now lay the other back piece on top, with opposite shoulder aligned, and pin:

Sew in place just across the shoulder seams.  When you’re done, flip it around and it looks like this:

Pin the two back pieces together just to hold them steady for a few while we sew the skirt:

Now take both of your skirt pieces and sew a basting stitch across the top.  A basting stitch is a straight stitch set to the widest width your machine will allow, usually a 5. Leave a long length of thread at the beginning and end of your basting line:

Now lay your bodice down. Take on skirt piece and pull the bobbin thread and gently gather the skirt until it is the same width as the bodice:

Open up the bodice.  Lay the back part of the bodice right side down with the unsewn edge aligned with the basted edge of the skirt and pin:

Sew in place with a straight stitch just inside your basting line.  This is what it looks like from the skirt side:

Serge the edge or sew with a zig zag stitch.  When you flip it over, it looks like this:

Now take the other skirt piece and repeat the gathering process:

Then lay the front bodice piece and skirt right sides facing with unsewn edge aligned with the basted edge and pin:

Sew in place with a straight stitch just inside the basting line:

Finish the edge by serging or sewing with a zig zag.

Now assemble the dress with skirt pieces right sides facing, and sew up each side the skirt, then finish the edge by serging or sewing with a zig zag stitch.

Now for our sleeves.  I decided to add a cuff and to do it first for easier sewing.  So take the cuff rectangle and fold each long edge in 1/4″ and iron.

Then fold it in half lengthwise and iron.

Now slip the cuff pieces around the straight edge of the sleeve piece:

Sew in place at the edge of the fold.

Now take the sleeve piece and fold it in half and pin.

Sew each one together:

Now you have assembled your sleeve.  Repeat with the other one.

With the dress inside out and the sleeve right side out, slip the sleeve (cuff first) into the arm opening.

Pin the unfinished edge of the sleeve opening to the arm opening.

Sew in place all the way around.

Turn inside out to check out your handiwork.

Repeat on the other sleeve.

Looking good!

Now just hem your dress. You can folded in 1/4″, then 1/2″ and sewed all the way around with a straight stitch, but I actually used the contrasting fabric to make double fold bias tape and used that around the bottom edge of the dress.


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