Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sewing Obsession: Tank top Toddler Dress

Last week I made a cute dress for Ava using a clearance tank top ($2.80 - - what a deal!) and some material I had on hand. It took me less than 2 hours to make. Very easy. The supplies you'll need are:
1. tank top or a blouse
2. material and/or coordinating material
3. sewing machine

I made this for a 3T. The measurements I used are as follows:

main skirt piece: 37.5 in. x 12.5 in.
bottom skirt piece: 37.5 in. x 4 in.
belt: 32 in. x 3 in.
All I did was measure the circumference of the skirt bottom of one of her 3T dresses and the length of it, so that's how you figure out how much material you'll need (even if you want to make an adult size).

1. After cutting your material to the correct measurements, sew the bottom of the main skirt piece to the top of the bottom skirt piece. Make sense? Leave about a 1/4in. seam allowance.

2. Once you sew them together, finish off that seam by using a zig-zag stitch or using your oh so fabulous serger (one day I'll have one . . . . sigh.).

3. Then fold over the top of the main skirt piece about 1 in.,(wrong side to wrong side) like so in the picture below, and pin.

4. Then you'll want to do two basting stitches at the bottom of that fold so that you can gather it. After doing the basting stitches, gather.

5. After gathering the fabric (with it inside out), place around the tank top to figure out how much gathering you need, pin in place (not on the tank top yet), and then sew down the skirt piece, while leaving a 1/2 in. seam allowance. Zig-zag or serge the edges.

6. Now's the time to sew the skirt to the tank top. Your skirt piece should fit around the tank top because you already measured it in the previous step, so all you need to do is pin it around the tank top.
7. Now, very carefully, sew the skirt to the top. I had my left hand inside the skirt piece making sure I didn't sew something that I didn't want sewn.

8. Almost done. You just need to finish the very bottom of the dress.
9. I folded the bottom part of the dress under 1/2 in and then again 1/2 in and pinned together. Then sewed across.

10. Now you just need to make a belt for it! Without the belt, it does look a little moo-moo-ish. The belt just brought everything together.

I love how it turned out! And of course I had to make a fabric rose for her hair.

I'll be linking to the link parties at the end of this page. Check them out!
Thanks for stopping by! If you do use this tutorial, send me a picture. I'd love to see your creations!


  1. Super Cute! I bet she Loves wearing it!

  2. Very pretty !!
    Its style & color fits Ava so much
    I'm now your follower

    Love & hug
    Citra @ innocentia

  3. So cute! I'll be bookmarking this for next summer! Visiting from It's so very cheri!


  4. Very sweet. I hope you'll link up to Make It Wear It Thursdays at

  5. That's so cute!!! Such a good idea!

  6. That dress is simply darling!

    I love the colours, and you are right, the belt does tie the look together.

    Thanks for sharing such an easy tutorial - I might just try this.


  7. That little dress is soooo cute and using a tank top really speeds things up. Your little model is a sweetie, too Ü

  8. This is so, so cute! It looks easy enough that maybe even I could do it! I love the fabric you used, too - the contrast between the yellow and purple is really pretty!

  9. Oh my goodness! My little girl has that same tank top. I'm seeing a cute little dress in it's future. Thanks for posting!

  10. This dress is SO very cute! Absolutely love the color combination.

  11. That dress is so precious, love the colors and materials you used! And the little girl makes it even cuter! : )

  12. Just wanted to know I featured this today on my blog.

  13. Hi! I found your blog through The Girl Creative Party Blog. This dress is adorable!!
    -Hannah @ Peggy Ann Design

    PS - Feel free to link your tutorials to my weekly Smarty Pants Blog Award -

  14. Nice color combinations, I love it!

  15. This is so sweet - and I love the colours!

  16. She looks so sweet with the dress! I will try this to my daughter too! but .. i have to find a cheap tank top first.. :P

  17. hi:))....
    I come form Europe, and i realy like the idea of you having a link party...... I hope I'll meet a lot of new blogers........
    I realy like your blog.......
    You can check out my blog at

    greeting from croatia:))

  18. I can't wait to try this! I can sew now but still beginner and still get intimidated. I'd love to make matching dresses for my girls

  19. Thanks for sharing,the design of these tank top dress are very good-looking, wear up will be very explicit figure, this dress is especially suitable for banquet .here i share you a good site for you to buy more .both the quality and price are wonderful!!