The Mod Sailor Dress Tutorial

The Mod Sailor Dress

It’s here! Finally, right? lol.

So we have a new computer, but haven’t had a chance to switch all the data over yet, so we are almost there with having everything back in order. It turned out to be a nice break and allowed myself and my daughter to get over an annoying cold. The first thing I wanted to share once I was able to was how to make the Mod Sailor Dress I made here.

Front of the Mod Sailor Dress

Back of the Mod Sailor Dress

I’m going to share a tutorial with how I made it, but sharing things I would change and how to go about making a pattern for your child. I changed things some even for this, but I would add to some of the measurements if I made it again.
Big pockets for holding treasures
(Fun big pockets for holding treasures)

What you will need:
-Fabric for the top
-Striped fabric for waistband, skirt, and pocket (I bought a yard)
-6 buttons for the front
-1 button for the back
-Twill tape/ribbon for back button loop
-And of course, all the things you need to sew ;)
1. Creating the pattern and cutting fabric:
Start by taking your child’s chest and upper waist measurement. If they differ, go with the highest number. My daughter was the same, 19″.
Creating pattern pieces
The above picture is of the different pattern pieces you will be creating.
A: The strap. This you will have to determine on your own. You could just make the straps tie if you don’t want to worry about it. My pattern piece for the strap is 4″wide x 6.5″ long.
***Cut 2 for the straps**
B: The top. I first cut a rectangle that equaled half of my daughter’s chest measurement plus 1.5. This equaled 11 inches. If I were to do it again, I would add another inch to it making it 12 inches. It fits, but she won’t be able to wear it for too long.
Then, decide the height you want it to be. Mine was 3.5″ high. Take your square and fold it in half. Then cut arm holes on the sides (I just guessed, but you could use a shirt if you need some guidance).
**Cut 2 pieces for lining and 2 pieces to be the front and back** (4 pieces all together. I just used the same fabric for all).
C: The waistband. Again, another rectangle. This will be the same length as the top. Mine is 11″ by 2.5″.
**Cut 2 for waistband, making sure the stripes go horizontally**

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D: The bottom. Create another rectangle that is 1/2 of the width of the top and waistband (Ex: 11/2=5.5″). PLEASE NOTE: THE MEASUREMENT BELOW AT THE TOP IS WRONG. IT SHOULD SAY 5.5″. :) The height will be up to you. Mine is 13.5″.

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Once you have your rectangle, mark over 2.5″ (Again, if I was to redo this, I might add another .5″ to 1″, but she still has plenty of room to run, sit, etc). Then draw a line from the top right corner of the rectangle to the mark at the bottom. This will create an A-line look.
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When cutting the fabric, make sure to place this pattern piece on the fabric fold.
**Cut 3 out with stripes going vertically**
2. Creating the straps:
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Fold strap piece in half short ways, wrong sides facing.
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Open and turn in one side to middle crease, wrong sides facing, and iron.
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Turn other side in as well and iron. Then fold in half on original crease. Sew down both sides of strap. Repeat for second strap.
3. Creating the top:

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Place top front down, right side up.

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Place straps on top (I did mine about 1/5″ in). Then place lining on top, wrong side facing up. Pin in place. Sew around arm holes and top, leaving the sides and bottom open.

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Clip curved seams.
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(close up of clipped curved seams)

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Turn right side out and iron. Top stitch if desired.

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Place back piece right side up. Then place straps on. The straps/front piece will be wrong sides up.
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Place back lining on top next, wrong side up, and pin in place. Again, sew around arm holes and top leaving the sides and bottom open. Clip curved seams.

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Then you are going to sew a three sided rectangle down the middle of the back. I don’t suggest making it too wide and make sure you don’t go too far down that it would be sewn over later. This will help the dress fit over your child.

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Cut right down the middle of the 3 sided rectangle and make a little slit towards each bottom corner. Be careful not to cut through the stitching.

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Turn right side out and iron.
4. Putting it all together:

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Place waistband pieces onto the top front and the top back, right sides facing. Sew together at the bottom and finish raw edges with a zigzag stitch.

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Open up and iron seams.

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Take one bottom piece and fold in half. Cut off at the top sides to create the pocket. There’s no math here, I just guess each time I do it.

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Open up and place right side down. Fold edge up and over where you just cut and iron.

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Fold over one more time and sew. Repeat for other pocket side.

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Go ahead and add the six front buttons now. I suggest using embroidery thread if doing it by hand for a stronger hold.

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Pin the pocket piece, right side up, onto a bottom piece, right side up.

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Pin the front top to the pocket bottom piece, right sides facing. Sew together and finish raw edges with zigzag stitch.

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Take last bottom piece and pin to back top, right sides facing. Sew together and finish raw edges with zigzag stitch.

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Place the dress together, right sides facing, and pin. Sew down the sides of the dress and finish raw edges with zigzag stitch. The pocket will be open on the bottom, but the bottom will be hemmed up closing it.

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Turn right side out. Fold bottom up into the dress 1/4″ and iron. Fold up again 1/4″, iron, and pin in place. Sew around bottom to create hem.

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Lastly, sew on a button and closer on the back top. For the closure, I folded a piece of twill tape in half and sewed it like that. Then, folded it in half and sewed the ends on the inside top left.
**Quick note: It will go on easiest if they step into it! At least, that is how ours are :)

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She says she's sleeping

Listening to the waves

Comments

  1. says

    L.O.V.E. this so much. I have an old onesie of my daughters that I think I will just cut the bottom off and just make the ‘skirt’ part of the dress and attach it to the shirt. I can’t wait to go into town and snag some material for this. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. says

    Super, super cute. I just have a little boy to sew for so I think I will just have to make one for myself! :) The blue striped material is seersucker, right?

  3. says

    Oh my goodness, if that isn’t the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!! I’ve got a thing for nautical things and that is A-dorable. Great job on the dress and your model is too cute!!!

    Lindsay

    • says

      Make one for “Dress a girl around the world”! They take dresses and get them to girls all over the world who need them! I don’t have any girls, (two boys) but have adopted the girls around the world so now I can make the dresses!

  4. says

    I am so excited to see this tutorial! – I loved the dress when you first posted it. My daughter is 6 months so it will have to wait until next summer.

  5. says

    too cute. I love searsucker!
    I will have to try one with sleeves. I just found out that bee’s kindergarten for next year has a dress code for sleeves. Everything now must have sleeves! hmmm.

  6. says

    I love this dress and was really hoping for a tutorial when you posted it. I have one question do you sew the pockets at the bottom or are they open to the hem? Thanks again for all your hard work.

  7. says

    You amazing seamstress- you! I want to attempt to remake this lovely dress- in my size! I’m another Jacksonville, Florida blogger and new follower. The hot weather certainly warrants a sweet (thin!) dress like this one!

  8. says

    Oh My Goodness that is the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time!!! My husband is a sailor…and I have 2 little girls that will be getting this dress as soon as I can get to the fabric store. LOVE it!!

  9. says

    what a cute and lovely little dress!!
    Many thanks for the tutorial!!!
    I am looking for a little dress to make for my niece´s micey mouse bday party.. i think it would look lovely with the bottom part in red with white polka dots!
    thaks once again!

    XoXo
    Lulu

  10. says

    This is adorable and such a great tutorial!! I love the seer sucker fabric!!!

    I made a 4th of July sundress with the same exact light blue seer sucker fabric, I loved it, but I have to admit that had I seen this first…. oh my!!!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  11. says

    This is so cute!! I desperately want one for myself!

    Or even cuter, if you made yourself a matching dress (and tutorial *wink wink*) and then you two would be twinsies! I love mommy/daughter matching dresses! So adorable!

    Thanks for posting this!

  12. says

    O my word. That is just the cutest dress ever, Jess. Thanks for sharing your how to!

    oh yeah, and we are doing a bunch of giveaways this week at Newly Wife if you are interested :)

  13. Anonymous says

    This is sooooooo sweet. Thanks awfully for giving us the pattern. I will make a dress for my granddaughter and I am really looking forward to it! Greetings from Germany

  14. says

    A friend sent me this and I just wanted to say how much I loved it — the perfect dress! And treasure pockets are such a great idea.

  15. Anonymous says

    I was wondering do you think this would work if I atttempted to make this in an adult size? I know it sounds terribly cheezy but I would like to make matching dresses for my three year old daughter and myself.

  16. says

    I managed to sew this for my daughter today – it’s not often that I start what the author promises is a simple tutorial and actually get it finished. I did it in a tweed fabric with a bow instead of buttons for my daughter’s winter wardrobe (Southern hemisphere :) It turned out very cute – thanks for such a great tutorial!

  17. Barbara says

    I would like to thank you very much for this great idea. I made one this afternoon for my granddaughter. Its easy and fun to make thank you again.

  18. says

    I randomly came across this on Pinterest and had to try it, I wrote a post about it and also linked you back to it. Thank you so much for the great tutorial!! :)

    Marissa

    Over at

    aguilarmarissa.blogspot.com

  19. says

    Adorable dress! Do you have a pdf copy of the pattern you could share? I am new to sewing and only able to sew based on patterns :o)

    • says

      Thank you :) I’m so sorry, but I don’t. I wish I did! I know it’s easier to do with a pattern when you are just starting out. I would suggest taking a dress pattern that is similar in shape and just altering it some. If you could find a sundress pattern you liked and then just add the little front and back top pieces and a pocket to the front, that would work :)

  20. Wendy Minalga says

    Thank you so much! Adorable dress and easy to follow instructions. I was a little intimidated by the create your own pattern part but it turned out to be super easy. I made two dresses over the weekend for my daughters to wear for my son’s upcoming Sailor birthday party. They turned out great. Love, love, love this dress!

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