Friday, July 15, 2011

Tie Top Dresses

     If you've ever wandered through boutiques, craft shows or Etsy, you have probably have seen a lot of pillowcase dresses. Why do people love them so much? I think it is because, one, they are incredibly  easy to sew. With no zippers, buttons, or complicated seems, what is not to love about making them! Now add in the big bows in bright colored ribbon and bright fabric. Any little girl would look adorable packaged up in all that! They are also not extremely size specific. Meaning, one size will fit a long time, especially if the length is generous.
      As much as I like pillowcase dresses, I wanted to come up with something different than what I see everywhere else. I played around a bit, and came up with these tie top dresses. They have all the same positives that pillowcase dresses have. They are easy to sew, have no complicated closures, the sky is the limit on fabric and ribbon choice, and they will fit a growing little lady for quite a while.

      Want to make one? Here is how. First, cut out your pieces. You will need to cut a front and back skirt part, and four of bib part. Here are the measurements for the sizes I made. These are measured to be about ankle length, so adjust accordingly if you would like shorter dresses.

SIZE            BIB        SKIRT(width x height)       STRAPS        ARMHOLE NOTCHES
0-3          5" x 2.5"      15 x 11"                            11"                  1" x 1"
12-18m    7" x 3.5"      21" x 15"                          15"                  1.5" x 1"
2T           7.5" x 4"      22.5" x 20"                        20"                  2" x 1"
3T           8" x 4"         24" x 25"                           20"                  2.5" x 1"
5T           8.5" x 4"       25.5" x 30"                       20"                  2.5" x 1.5 "

     You should have six rectangles of fabric cut out.

      Next, cut out the arm hole notches. I know that it does not seem like much to cut out, but trust me. You will need that extra little cut out for a proper fit. Measure across the top for the first measurment, and down the side for the second. Then cut out a curved "L" shape from measurment to measurment.

     Take two of the bib pieces and place them right sides together. Sandwich two or your ribbon straps in between. Make sure that if the ribbon has a right and wrong side it is facing the same direction.

     Sew along the two short sides and the long side that has the raw edge of the ribbon on it. Leave the other long side open. Make sure you catch your ribbon as you sew. Flip right side out and sew the bottom closed.

      Top stitch along the top, just under the ribbon.

     Do the same thing to the other two bib pieces and the other two straps.  Sew a gathered stitch along the very top of your skirt pieces.

     Gather them to the same length as the bib pieces. Place the skirt pieces right sides together and sew up the sides.  Now you will need to hem the arm holes. If you have a serger you can just serge, fold over and sew. Mine, very sadly, is still in the shop so I chose to use hem tape. I folded over the edge just enough to sew, placed a strip of hem tape over top and sewed it down.

     Sew a second stitch along the bottom of the hem tape to ensure it lays flat.

     Now sew each bib section to the top of the skirt section right sides together.

     Flip right side out and top stitch. Make sure to lay the seam on the underside flat as you are sewing. This is to make sure there are no scratchy seams on a little belly.

   Hem the bottom and you are all finished!  

      I added a bit of ruffled ribbon around the bottom just for pretties. You can get creative and use two coordinating fabrics for a different look.

    These are super fast to sew, forty five minutes at the most. Once you've done one, they go even faster. They can be quite addicting. I didn't get carried away or anything! It's a good thing I have a lot of nieces!

      My little lady just loved hers, she told me it was " a berry tute dress momma! I likey dress!".  Well, mission accomplished then I guess! =)

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!...For of him, and through him, and to him are all things: to whom be glory for ever." Romans 11:33,36 

Linking to:
Freckled Laundry
Just a Girl
Iron Violet Designs
Simple Home Life
Sun Scholars
Lolly Jane
Funky Junk Interiors
Tatertots and Jello
six sisters stuff
Michella Marie
Between Naps on the Porch
Running with Glitter
Boogieboard Cottage
Homemaker on a Dime
The Girl Creative
Home Stories A to Z
Sugar Bee Crafts
Not Just a Housewife
Goodbye City Hello Suburbs
Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom
Someday Crafts
Free Pretty Things For You
Tea Rose Home
Fabric Bows and More
My Girlish Whims
Sew Much Ado
Sew Woodsy


  1. Adorably done. Pillowcases are great because you have seams and hems already done...super fast sewing. :) Nice to see a fellow Bernina enthusiast.

  2. How PRECIOUS!!! I LOVE THEM!! Thank you so much for sharing!! I am having my very first link party and this would be PERFECT!!!
    It's called Show Me How!!! ~ Friday ~ Tips, Tricks, & Tutorials ~ No. 1 ~ It's going on RIGHT NOW :)) I would love for you to join the party!! And feel free to link up as many as you like :))

  3. These are so stinkin' adorable!! I am a mom of two boys, but if I had a little girl, I would totally make her one!! So, so, cute!!! Thanks for sharing! Stopped by from Tatertots & Jello!

  4. Those are darling! We would love for you to come share this at our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday" link party!

    The Sisters @

  5. Hi! Wow those dresses are just too cute. I really admire people who can sew! Thanks so much for leaving a lovely comment over at my blog :)

  6. How cute, and how easy to make! I definitely want to try sewing one for my niece.

    Sigh. I really wish I had girls!

  7. Love this! Very cute and practical. I love your blog!

    Your newest follower,
    (come take a look if you like)

  8. How sweet are those dresses! Makes me wish I had a little girl (2 boys). Coming over from BNOTP - you were my after. And a happy new follower!


    Thank you so much for linking up to my very first party!!

    Show Me How!!! ~ FRIDAY ~
    Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials.

    I hope it will be the first of many!!
    I would love to use your post as one of "My Favorites" if it's ok with you!
    Just let me know. I'm looking forward to this Friday!! Hope to see you there!!
    Again, thank you so much :))


  10. Adorable! I want to learn to sew again!

  11. These are wonderful!!! I love that black, yellow & green one!

  12. I love your idea to make something like a pillowcase dress but I agree that something different is always good! Great job on this tutorial. That is awesome that you provided measurements for all the sizes!!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing the measurements and giving such a great tutorial!! Your dresses are seriously so cute. You are very talented! Thank you so much for linking up to Strut Your Stuff Saturday- we would LOVE to have you come back tomorrow and link up more of your great posts!
    -The Six Sisters

  14. so stinkin cute! thank for linkin up to Whatcha Got Weekend last week, you were featured this week, come grab a featured button. (:

    kelli & kristi

  15. "sew" cute! ;) Thank you for linking up last week at Sew Woodsy! Please come back tomorrow and link up your most recent project!

  16. Thank you very much for this tutorial. I have a 4 yrs beautiful girl. Hope I will try to make one for her. I will share with you. Thank you again

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