DIY Toddler Dresses Tutorial


Does making outfits for someone else count for a Me Made May 2016 pledge? I’m going to go out on a limb and say yes 🙂 #MMMay16 Day 6 are two cute upcycled dresses for a special little one year old for her birthday party Saturday. So quick to make and too cute!


I purchased two like-new t shirts at the Goodwill and purchased coordinating cotton fabric at Jo-Anns. The little recipient’s parents are big Batman character fans, so I knew I had to do something with this comic print! Why not start them out cosplaying right away?

I made a step by step tutorial for you, and yes I did sketch those doodles my self. Not the most professional but with this easy pattern you’ll be whipping these up in no time!


Sewing machine, Scissors, Pins, Hand Sewing Needle, Thread, 45″ wide wide fabric (I used 11.5 inch tall fabric for the Batman dress and 10 inch tall fabric for the flower print dress for a 12-18 month size child, Tshirt in appropriate size, Embellishments (be careful on what you embellish the dress with you don’t want a child to tear off a button or trim and choke!)


Step One) Fold fabric right sides together with wrong side of fabric facing up. With a 5/8 seam allowance, sew the raw edge together to form a tube. I don’t have a serger so if you’re like me you can zip zag stitch the selvage to prevent fraying.


Step Two) Now you’re going to make the bottom hem of the dress. CAUTION! Be careful not to hem the wrong side if you have directional fabric. You don’t want upside down superheroes or patterns! Press bottom of fabric over half of an inch, then fold over again another half. Now you have a hem. Stitch hem all the way around.


Step Three) With your hand sewing needle and a strong thread, hand stitch a long running stitch along the top of the fabric tube. Then pull the thread to gather the tube to form the ruffled skirt.

Step Four) Now depending on how high you want the skirt to start on the t shirt, you’ll want to cut off the excess shirt fabric. I measured 3″ from the armpit of the black tshirt for an “empire” waist. Make sure the fabric is still long enough to be a dress though! With right sides together, you are going to pin the top of skirt hem to bottom of tshirt, easing in ruffled gathers so that the skirt matches the tshirt width and the gathers are evenly spaced out around.


Step Five) Knot the gathering thread to keep the gathers/ruffles secure. Stitch skirt to tshirt with a 5/8 seam allowance. Zig zag stitch around selvage if desired.


Tada! You got yourself a tshirt dress!

I used my vintage rick rack from my Estate Sale Haul.


I hope you liked the tutorial and that you make plenty of cute tshirt dresses of your own! You could use tank tops too and play around with color combos and prints. The sky’s the limit!


OOPS! Original post said urn up hem a quarter of an inch twice , it’s actually turn up half an inch twice. Fixed on post now!




2 thoughts on “DIY Toddler Dresses Tutorial

  1. I am working on a skirt for my grand daughter. I am up cycling a pair of too short jean shorts into a ruffled skirt. She was given them and she didn’t like her fanny hanging out. *gigle* and asked me to make a purse for her out of them. She starts middle school in the fall so I thought she would enjoy a skirt. I hope to get it finished next week. I will post it when I am done. Thanks for sharing.

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