How to Make a Cute Babydoll Dress For Summer in 9 Simple Steps

Jess Dang
by Jess Dang
7 Materials
4 Hours

If you’re looking for a simple-sew babydoll dress that’s absolutely perfect for your vacation wardrobe, then look no further. This easy DIY babydoll dress has balloon sleeves, a high, round neck, and ruffled bottom.

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to make a babydoll dress from scratch, from drafting a pattern to your own measurements to sewing the dress together, step by step. Let's get started!

Tools and materials:

  • 2+ yards of cotton fabric
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Measuring tape and ruler
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
How to make a babydoll dress sewing pattern

1. Make the front bodice pattern

Fold a large piece of paper in half. You’ll make one side of the pattern on the fold and cut it out to full size.

On the right side of the paper measure and mark a 7-inch line about ¼ inch from the edge of the paper. This will be the top.

Making the front bodice pattern

Then, draw the bust line. Measure your bust and take ⅕ of your bust size plus 1¼ inches.

Drawing the bust line

Here, it’s about 8 inches (20cm). Continue marking this measurement up on the bust line.

Marking half the neck size

On the top line, mark half your neck size.

Marking a quarter of the bust size

On the second straight line mark ¼ of your bust size plus 1 inch.

DIY babydoll dress sewing pattern

Connect these 2 points on a diagonal.

Measuring and marking the babydoll dress sewing pattern

Mark a straight line from the middle of your bust to just above your knee for the length. 

Marking and connecting the hip measurement

On the hemline mark the hip size which is 1.3 X ¼ of your hip size. Connect this measurement to the bust measurement. 

Marking the neckline

Mark 1¼ inches on the fold for the neckline. Draw a small curve.

Drawing a sleeve line

Draw a sleeve line at the edge of the pattern. Mark in ⅜ of an inch from the hem and connect that mark to the other end of the pattern. 

Adding seam allowance to the babydoll dress sewing pattern

Add ⅜-inch seam allowance to the pattern.

Cutting out the babydoll dress sewing pattern

Cut the paper pattern out.

Making the back bodice pattern

2. Make the back bodice pattern

From the bustline to the hemline, draw another straight line ⅜ inch inward.

Back of the babydoll dress sewing pattern

Fold along this line. You’ll need to cut 2 pieces for the back using one measurement from the original line from the front and the other piece from the new line you just marked.

Makin the sleeve pattern

3. Make the sleeve pattern

Mark half of the width you want your balloon sleeve to be on the folded paper. If you want it to be 10 inches, mark 5 inches.

How to draw a balloon sleeve pattern

The length is up to you. In this tutorial, it is about 16 inches (40 cm). The top fold is the ending line of the sleeve.

Drawing a circle line

Measuring the drawing the radius

Draw the radius of a circle using the length measurement across the span of the sleeve.

Connecting the marks on the sleeve pattern

Mark the width line of the sleeve line to be half your neck size. Connect these marks. Measure the width between the width line and the sleeve line. Mark it about 8 inches or your bust measurement you used above.

Adding seam allowance to the sleeve pattern

Add a ⅜-inch seam allowance. 

Cutting out the sleeve pattern

Cut out the pattern.

Making the pocket pattern

4. Make the pocket pattern

Cut a rectangle 8 x 12 inches. Fold it in half to mark the center. Mark the center and draw a curve from that point.

Drawing the DIY pocket pattern

Mark the width of the open pocket 5½ inches (14cm). Finish making the pattern by cutting the curve in the pocket.

Cutting out the pocket pattern

Cut out the pattern..

Pinning the back pieces together

5. Start sewing

Start with the back first. Pin the two back pieces right sides together along the center with the right sides together. 

Pinning the neck opening

From the top of the neck, mark 4¾ inches (12cm) down to have a neck opening so it’s easy to take on and off. Pin from that point all the way to the bottom. Stitch together. 

Double-folding the open edges

Double fold the open edges of the neck opening and stitch into position.

Positioning the pockets on the dress

From the hem, mark up 4 inches (10cm) to position the bottom of the pocket. Pin the pocket in place up along the side. Do the same for the other side.

Placing the pockets on the dress pattern

Place the pockets using the same technique on the front bodice pattern. Sew the pockets to both the front and back pieces on either side.

How to sew a babydoll dress with pockets

Place the front and back pieces right sides together. Pin the side seams and pockets. Sew together.

Measuring the ruffle for the DIY babydoll dress

6. Make the ruffle

The ruffle width is up to you. In this tutorial, I’ve measured an 8-inch (20 cm) ruffle with a ¾-inch seam allowance. The length should be 1.5 X 1.3 X half your hip measurement. You may need to cut several pieces of fabric to reach this length.

Pinning the fabric pieces together to make the ruffle

If you do, pin the fabric right sides together and sew to create one large circle. 

Double-folding to hem

Double fold one side to hem. Pin in place and sew together.

Pulling on the gathering thread

On the other side of the circle, sew a gathering stitch. Pull the gathering threads.

Fitting the ruffle to the hem of the bodice

Make sure the final length, once gathered, fits the hem of the bodice. Lay the ruffle right sides together to the hem.

Pinning the ruffle to the DIY babydoll dress, ready to sew

Pin in place and sew.

Pinning the sleeves, ready to sew

7. Sew the sleeves

Fold the fabric in half, right sides together. Pin the bottom portion up to the sleeve line and sew.

Gathering the sleeves

Then, sew a gathering seam along the long curved end. Pull the threads to gather. Match the measurement of your arm width plus 1 inch or even more.

How to finish the sleeves

To finish the ends of the sleeve, cut a piece of fabric that is 1¼ inches (3.5cm) wide by the length of your sleeve bottom plus ¾ inch. In this tutorial, it is about 9 inches (24 cm). Pin it across and sew.

Pinning the cuffs to the sleeve

Place the sleeve inside the cuff, right sides together. Pin in place and sew.

Sewing the cuffs to the sleeves

Once it’s sewn, flip it to the right side and fold the cuff twice towards the inside. Pin and sew together using a topstitch.

How to make a babydoll-style dress

Repeat the process for the second sleeve. 

Attaching the sleeves to the dress

8. Attach the sleeves

Line up the sleeves to the sleeve line with the right sides together.

Pinning the sleeve seams to the side seams

Start pinning the sleeve seam to the side seam. Sew in place.

Finishing the neckline with bias tape

9. Finish the neckline

Cut a piece of bias tape that is 1¼ X 27½ inches (3 X 70cm) or even longer if you prefer.

Pinning the bias tape to the neckline

Fold in half to find the center. Start by pinning the center point of the bias tape to the center point of the front neckline. Pin all the way around the entire neckline. Sew.

Double-folding the bias tape to hide the seam

Double fold the bias tape in to the right side to hide the seam.

How to sew a babydoll dress

Fold the rest of the bias tape to make a neck closure. Pin in place. Stitch into position.

DIY babydoll dress

You’re done making this easy DIY babydoll dress!

How to make a babydoll dress

How to make a babydoll dress

You’ve learned how to sew a babydoll dress that is absolutely perfect for your summer holidays! As always, please leave comments if you made this DIY babydoll dress and where you wore it. Thanks for joining!

Suggested materials:
  • 2+ yards of cotton fabric
  • Paper
  • Scissors
See all materials

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