Friday, 14 February 2014

DIY | Easy Babydoll dress

I am a huge fan of baby doll/ smock dresses and they are probably my favourite style of dress, being the owner of perhaps more than necessary. They look so effortlessly cute and are very comfy with a wide waistline.The oversized trend has been in for quite some time now and doesn't seem to be going anywhere any time soon, making it in my opinion a really classic cut. Not to mention they are also very universally flattering as the oversized fit skims over problem areas on bigger girls and looks instantly adorable on skinnier figures.
Making clothes is something that I love doing so I put two and two together and made myself a baby doll dress out of this really cool yellow printed material. The material I chose is very light weight to allow for maximum floatiness and is not too see through so I didn't need a lining on the skirt. The lining I used on the bodice is a lightweight crepe material  to keep it as comfortable as possible.
Overall I am really pleased with the way my dress turned out and I'm excited to share with you how I made it so you too can also enjoy a great addition to your wardrobe. 

What you will need:

- 1.5 m of material
- 50 cm of lining material
- tank top
- pattern paper
- pencil
- scissors
- tape measure
- needle
- pins 
- thread 
- sewing machine
- zip (optional)
- patience

Step 1: Find a tank top that you like the shape of and fold it in half length ways. I chose one with a high neckline and biggish sized armholes. Then place it down on some paper and trace around the shape, stopping 13'' down.

Step 2: The measurements for my bodice pattern was 13'' down from the centre of the neckline, 9.5'' across and the shoulder width was 3.5''. make sure to add 1/2'' seam allowance to all the sides apart from the centre fold. then cut out the pattern. At this point you should hold the pattern piece up to where it would sit and judge weather you need to make the neckline or armhole bigger. 

Step 3: The pattern piece for the skirt is just one big rectangle that is 30'' wide and 19.5'' long. Fold your material in half length ways then up again width ways, but only fold up as much as you need. Pin down the skirt pattern piece, making sure one of the length sides is against the fold. Carefully cut out the skirt pattern piece. You should have two identical skirt pieces.

Step 4: Fold the material in half twice and pin down the bodice pattern piece making sure the centre fold side is against the fold. carefully cut out the piece. You should have two identical bodice pieces

Step 5: Repeat the same instructions in step four but on the lining material.

Step 6: Sew along both side seams of the skirt pieces leaving a 1/2'' seam allowance.

Step 7: Iron out the skirt seams you just sewed. Sew along the top of the skirt piece using the longest stitch setting on your sewing machine. Don't forget to make sure that the side seams are open flat. Pull on one of the loose threads to gather the top. Gather the skirt evenly until the circumference of the skirt matches the bodice. Tie up loose threads to hold in place.

Step 8: Lay the lining and outside bodice pieces on top of each other and pin in place. sew along the edges of the pieces with a 1/2'' seam allowance, leaving the bottom edge free. Trim the seams down and cut in small triangles around curved edges.

Step 9: Turn inside out through the unsewn edge and iron flat. Tip: roll the seams to make them pop out more when ironing.

Step 10: Once both front and back bodices have their linings attached and are ironed, lay them on top of each other with the good sides facing each other and with the seams matched up. Pin along the side seams then sew, making sure to leave the shoulder seams open.

Step 11: With the bodice still inside out, match up the bottom edge with the gathering on the skirt as shown above. Pin in place making sure that the side seams match up.

Step 12: Sew the skirt and bodice together where you have pinned, then flip the bodice up. The dress is now fully attached.

Step 13: To hem the dress, fold the the bottom raw edge up 1/4'' twice and pin down. I used an iron to help keep the fold in place when pinning. Then sew along the fold ,where you have pinned and iron.

Step 14: Pin the shoulder seams together and sew. If you, unlike me, can fit your head through the neck hole you do not need a zip, so you can skip Step 15-18. 

Step 15: To begin inserting the zip, cut a straight line from the centre back neckline down 5''. Use a tape measure to help determine the centre point. from the end of the line snip a small triangle.

Step 16: Fold the edges of the slit back underneath itself about 1/4'' and iron to hold in place. When you get the small triangle made at the bottom of the slit, just fold it back underneath itself as well. Fold the excess tape that is at the top of the zip toward the back of the zip and pin. Insert the zip into the slit with the tape in-between the lining and outer material.  Bring the zip all the up so that the folded tape at the top of the zip matches up with the seam on the inside. Pin the edges of the folded slit as close as you can to the teeth of the zip on both sides.

Step 17: Baste stitch along where you have pinned to hold in place, removing the pins as you go. 

Step 18: Change your regular sewing foot to a zip foot. Carefully machine sew where you have baste stitched as close as you can to the edge. Unpick the baste stitches.

Step 19: Go over the dress and cut off any stray threads and if you want, zigzag stitch or over lock raw seams to stop fraying. 

Congrats you have finished the dress!!


Have fun! xx


  1. PLEASE! Where can I find cute fabric? Where do you get yours? It's so hard to find ones I like :(

    1. I feel your pain girl! I got mine from Spotlight a couple of months ago so it's probably still there, otherwise there were a few other really cool fabrics as there as well! You could also try Lincraft or Clegs, they sometimes have some nice fabrics too. I'm just assuming your from Australia, but if not you can also search for materials on Good luck! :) x

  2. Love this print! Definitely going to try this xx

  3. What kind of fabric did you use? I've been wanting to make a dress but I'm not sure what type of fabric would be best and easy? :)

  4. I have an old queen size sheet I'm going to try and use to make this. I look forward to seeing the end result!