A timeless classic for a new generation. Combining simple construction with a fresh cotton print, this vintage-inspired pattern is the perfect template for your little one’s summer wardrobe. Your little girl will grow up, but the fond memories of making something this special for her will never grow old.
The pattern is made to fit girls size 3-8 and will look adorable on any little girl in your life.
- Sizes 3-4: 1-1/2 yards of main fabric; 1/2 yard of lining fabric
- Sizes 5-6: 1-3/4 yards of main fabric; 2/3 yard of lining fabric
- Sizes 7-8: 2 yards of main fabric; 2/3 yard of lining fabric
- 3 yards of 1/2ʺ-wide double-fold bias tape, store-bought or handmade (add 1/2 yard of fabric if making your own bias tape)
- Thread to match main fabric
- Thread to match bias tape
- 3/4ʺ to 1ʺ-diameter buttons
- Sizes 3‒5, six buttons
- Sizes 7‒8, seven buttons
Select a pattern based on the child’s chest measurement:
- Size 3 = 20”
- Size 4 = 21”
- Size 5 = 22”
- Size 6 = 23”
- Size 7 = 24”
- Size 8 = 25”
Step one: Cut the fabric pieces.
Download and print the appropriately-sized pattern pieces. Vintage_Dress_-_Simple_Simon__Co_-_122714.pdf
Cut one front and two backs from the main fabric, leaving a large rectangle of fabric for cutting the skirt later.
Cut one front and two backs from the lining fabric.
Step two: Make the bodice.
With right sides together, pin the main fabric backs to the main fabric front at the underarm seams.
Stitch using a 1/2ʺ-wide seam allowance.
Repeat, stitching the lining backs to the lining front.
With right sides together, pin the upper edge of the lining front to the upper edge of the main fabric front.
Stitch using a 1/2ʺ-wide seam allowance.
Repeat, joining the upper edges of the lining back to the upper edges of the main fabric backs.
Turn the bodice right side out and press.
Tip: To keep them from shifting later, pin the lower edges of the bodice and baste them together using a long straight stitch (length = 5 mm).
Step three: Bind the armholes.
Cut the bias tape into three 36ʺ-long pieces.
Unfold and mark the middle of one piece of bias tape and the middle of one armhole. Pin the bias tape to the armhole, right sides together, matching the marks.
Machine baste in the crease left by the first fold, using a long (5 mm) straight stitch.
Refold the bias tape along the creases. Fold the bias tape around to the wrong side of the armhole; pin in place.
Unfold each end of the bias tape and fold under ½ʺ. Refold the bias tape; pin the layers together.
From the right side, beginning at the underarm seam, edgestitch close to the inner fold to secure the binding to the bodice.
Continue stitching past the top edge of the bodice, stitching the folded edges of the tie together. At the end, pivot around the corners as shown in the photo.
Continue stitching along the edge, around the armhole, around the opposite tie, and back to the armhole underarm seam.
Step four: Make the skirt.
For the skirt, cut
- Sizes 3 and 4: one 18ʺ x 45ʺ rectangle
- Sizes 5 and 6: two 20ʺ x 45ʺ rectangles (for a less full skirt, cut only one 20ʺ x 45ʺ rectangle)
- Sizes 7 and 8: two 22ʺ x 45ʺ rectangles
For sizes 5/6 and 7/8, cut one of the fabric rectangles in half vertically.
Stitch the three pieces together with the large piece in the middle to make one large rectangle.
Place a straight pin 2ʺ in from edge end of the upper edge of the skirt. This part of the skirt will not be gathered and will later form the button placket on the back of the dress.
For basting, set your sewing machine for a straight stitch with a stitch length of 5 mm.
Sew two lines of basting stitches along the upper edge of the skirt, one 3/8ʺ from the raw edge and the other 5/8ʺ from the raw edge.
With right sides together, pin the upper edge of the skirt to the lower edge of the bodice at the side seams and center front.
Gather the skirt to match the bodice, being sure to leave 2ʺ of skirt and 2ʺ of bodice ungathered at the center back. Pin in place.
Stitch using a 1/2ʺ-wide seam allowance; the stitches will fall between the two rows of gathering stitches. Make sure there are no gathers or pleats in the 2ʺ-wide sections.
Using a seam ripper, remove the gathering stitches that are 3/8ʺ from the raw edge (the ones that show on the outside of the skirt).
Wrap the third piece of bias tape around the seam allowances; pin.
Sew only through the binding and seam allowances, close to the inner folds
Step five: Stitch the placket.
Fold the edges of the two back bodice pieces under 1/2ʺ (where the back button plackets will be); press well.
Fold under an additional 1-1/2ʺ; press well.
Edgestitch along the folded edge of each back button placket, sewing it to the bodice back.
Stitch buttonholes through the overlapping bodice back placket (the buttons will go on the bodice back placket underneath). On sizes 3/4 and 5/6, stitch three buttonholes on the bodice and three on the skirt; on size 7/8, stitch three buttonholes on the bodice and four on the skirt.
Stitch buttons to the other back placket.
Tip: Don’t try to sew though the bulky seam allowances and gathers at the waist seam. Instead, place the buttonholes above and below the seam and seam allowances.