Crafters Companion > Projects & Guides > Baby gathered dress
Projects & Guides

Baby gathered dress

Crafter's Companion – 07/03/20

With the warmer months coming up, we need to make sure that our littles are prepared with something that’s airy to wear. In today’s project, you’ll be able to create the most adorable gathered dress for a baby or toddler, and use any fabrics that you like to make it your own! This is slightly more advanced than some of our other projects, but it’s perfect if you’ve been looking to explore the world of dressmaking.

The best thing about this pattern is that it’s so easy to adapt for all shapes and sizes. You can create this dress for a newborn up to children of three years or older! You just need to add extra length on to the material, so give it a go.

You will need:

  • 40″ (100cm) of patterned fabric
  • 20″ (50cm) of contrasting fabric for the trim
  • Contrasting coloured thread for detailed sewing
  • 0.5″ (1cm) elastic
  • Basic sewing kit
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Template download

Cutting instructions:

Cut fabrics as instructed on the downloadable pattern.


  • The pattern for the front and back are for the top pieces of the dress only. You can choose the length as desired.
  • You can continue the pattern for an extra 10″ (25cm) to allow a good length and hem.
  • You can also lengthen the cap sleeves into fuller puff sleeves in the same way.

Step 1

Now your pieces are cut, it’s time to put the sleeves on the front and back pieces. With right sides together, sew the sleeves on the front bodice.

Step 2

Stitch the other side of the sleeves on to the back bodice.

Step 3

Add a band of contrasting colour to the bottom edge of the skirt. The width and length of this will depend on the length of the dress skirt you wish to create. Placing right sides together, stitch the band on to the lower edge of the dress and iron flat.

Step 4

Fold the lower edge of the band up by 0.5” (1cm), then fold over again to create a neat hem. Use a decorative stitch in a contrasting colour thread to add detail.

Step 5

Fold the raw edges of the sleeves in by 0.5” (1cm), then over again. Stitch them closed, then add a strip of 0.5” (1cm) elastic, sewing it on while stretched out so that it gathers the sleeve when released.

Step 6

Sew from the end of the sleeves all the way down the side seams and to the lower hem on both sides.

Step 7

Fold in the neck edge by 0.5” (1cm) and iron. Fold this over 1” (2.5cm), iron and stitch it, leaving a small opening as this will create the casing for a strip of elastic. Feed the elastic through, let it out until the tension is as desired, and then knot or sew the ends together. Close the casing gap with the sewing machine to finish.

Make sure you share photos of your finished dresses with us on Facebook UKFacebook USATwitterInstagram UKInstagram USPinterest UK or Pinterest US using the hashtag #crafterscompanion.