How to Sew a Super-Cute & Summery DIY Babydoll Dress

Jess Dang
by Jess Dang
11 Materials
3 Hours

In this tutorial, I will show you another idea to play around with your leftover fabric! This lovely baby doll dress has a bow-tie strap design with gathered fabric on both sides. I’ll be using two fabric designs to make this beautiful dress outstanding. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • 2m (2.18 yards) cotton fabric (1m [1.09 yards] for each pattern)
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Thread
DIY babydoll dress pattern

Bottom pattern

The summer dress pattern 

Here’s the dress design that’ll be divided into two parts; the top and bottom. I’ll show you how to make both below! 

Top pattern

Measuring half the neck size

1. Make the top part

Right, let’s start making the top part of the dress. Draw a straight, vertical line then measure half of your neck size up from the bottom; mine is 10cm (3.93”). 

Measuring the depth of the neck

Measure the depth of the neck (above the middle of your bust) and mark this perpendicular to the vertical line. Mine was 7cm (2.75”).

Connecting the marks with a curve

Connect these marks and finish them off with a curve.  

Measuring the sleeve's width

Measure the sleeve’s width from above the middle of your bust to under your armpit. Make a mark from the corner. Mine was 14cm (5.51”). 

Drawing a vertical line from the mark

Draw another vertical line from this mark.

Marking the shoulder strap placement

For the shoulder straps, mark half of your inside shoulder measurement, which will also be the position of the shoulder strap. Mine is 12cm (4.72”). 

Measuring a quarter of the bust size

From the second vertical line, mark 25.5cm (10.03”), which is a ¼ of my bust size plus 0.5cm (0.19”). 

Connecting the marks with a curve

Connect the two new marks (straps and bust). Draw a slightly curved line to finish the sleeve line of this dress. 

Marking the underbust

From the first line, mark the width from above to under your breast. Mine is 26cm(10.23”). 

Marking the quarter bust measurement

Mark your ¼ of your bust size again on this line (plus 0.5cm [0.19”]).

Connecting the mark to the sleeve line

Connect this mark to the end of the sleeve line. 

Marking the side line

Mark 10cm (3.93”) from the top of the side line.

Measuring half the width of the top center

From the last line, mark 5cm (1.96”). This is half the width at the top of the center part. 

Connecting the marks with a curve

Connect the 10cm (3.93”) mark to the new mark and draw a curve; this will be the underbust line of the top. 

Measuring the length of the dress

Measure from above the breast to above the knee and make a mark. Mine was 80cm (31.49”). 

How to make a babydoll dress pattern

Mark 10cm (3.93”) on this line. This is ½ the width of the center part. 

DIY babydoll dress pattern

Connect this mark to the mark on the third straight line. 

Adding seam allowance to the pattern

Add 1cm (0.39”) seam allowance and cut. Your top and center part is complete! Cut out two pieces of this pattern. 

Sewing the bodice and center panel

2. Attach the facing

With the right sides facing, connect the two pieces at the sides and sew. 

Making lining for the bodice

Cut two more pieces of the top part (without the center). This will be the lining. Pin and sew the sides, too. 

Inserting the facing into the main bodice

Insert the main piece into the facing and sew the shoulder seams, armholes, and neckline. (Sew through two layers). 

Making straps for the dress

3. Make the straps

Measure and cut the shoulder strap. Mine is 6cm (2.36”) plus 2cm (0.78”) seam allowance. The length is 50cm (19.68”). 

Folding and pinning the straps

Fold in half and pin. At one end, draw a slightly curved line. Then, sew. 

Turning the straps right sides out

Turn the straps inside out and iron them flat. You’ll need four pieces. 

Attaching the straps

4. Attach the straps

Place the strap ends between the lining and the main piece. Sew around all the pinned areas to secure. 

Snipping the curved neckline

Snip the curved neckline before turning it inside out. 

Overlocking the bottom edges

Connect the bottom edges with an overlock stitch. 

Measuring the bottom pieces

5. Make the bottom piece

Measure from the underbust to above your knee and add a 2cm (0.78”) seam allowance. Mine is 56cm (22.04”). This should also be the same length as the center part. Next, measure your hip size. Mine is 92cm (36.22”). So, this fabric should be 56cm (22.04”) x 92cm (36.22”)

Tracing the pattern shape

Fold the fabric at the width line, place the top center pattern along the raw edges, and trace the shape. 

Sewing a gathering stitch

Make a loose seam on the top edge. Then, pull the thread to gather the fabric. 

The final width of the gathered fabric should be the same width as the main piece's top part (front to back on each side). Make another piece like this for the other side of the baby doll dress. 

Pinning the side panels to the main dress

6. Assemble the DIY babydoll dress

Pin the two side pieces to the center part of the main piece and the underbust area. Then, sew to secure. 

Hemming the bottom of the dres

7. Hem the bottom

Fold the ends twice (1cm [0.39”] for each fold), pin, and sew. 

DIY babydoll dress

DIY babydoll dress

The DIY babydoll dress is complete! It’s super cute and unique and would also make an excellent outfit for little girls! Good luck. 

Suggested materials:
  • 2m (2.18 yards) cotton fabric
  • Paper
  • Pen
See all materials

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