Quite a few years ago, I sewed up a cute little dress for miss E to wear at her first birthday (see here). It has been in my head ever since then to create an actual pattern for it so I could sew more for my girls and share with you all. I had fun creating The August Dress pattern, named after miss E’s birth month, and I find it to be simple and cute. I really like how there is no need for button holes, zippers, or other closures since the hand sewn buttons hold the front in place but are far over enough that there is plenty of room to get it on in the neck area.
I, of course, experimented with all the sizes. I did not do a ton of testing as this is a freebie pattern, so you may find you want to tweek some things. Miss J is wearing the size 8/9 in the above photo. I didn’t have enough of the horse fabric to make a dress, so hers is shorter for a shirt option.
Miss E is wearing the 5/6 in her dress here. The bottom is the full length and she has room to grow in it. Below, my sweet friend got her cute grand baby to try out the 2/3. This was my first draft and it was a little wide at the the shoulders and a little too far down, so I adjusted. I did make another one with the adjustments, but I haven’t heard on the fit yet. Hopefully it’s all good 🙂
- Size 2/3: chest measurement 20″-21″
- Size 4/5: chest measurement 22″-23″
- Size 6/7: chest measurement 24″-25″
- Size 8/9: chest measurement 26″-27.5″
- The August Dress Pattern PDF printed out (*tip: Do not print when opened in “preview.” Open in a program like Adobe Acrobat Reader for the most accurate printing.)
- 1/2 yard for top main fabric (or less for each piece if you use different fabrics)
- 1/2 yard for lining
- For bottom: 1/2 yd for size 2/3, 1 yd for size 4/5, 1.5 yds. for size 6/7, and 2 yds. for size 8/9 (* of course you can make it shorter and make this a top. That would use less fabric if you choose to do this.)
- 2 Safety Pins (optional)
- Buttons of Choice
- Sewing Machine and notions/thread needed
- Needle and Thread for hand sewing
- Measuring Tape
*All seams are 1/4″ unless otherwise noted.
*Always back stitch at beginning and end of sewing unless otherwise stated.
Once you have printed out the pattern, lay it down in order to see where to connect the pieces. It goes in order starting at page one at top left and going across and finishes with page 9 at the bottom right. Then cut out and tape together.
- Lining: Cut 1 back, 1 front left, and 1 front right
- Outer Top: Cut 1 back, 1 front left, and 1 front right
- Bottom Skirt: Cut 2 of the appropriate size- 14.5″ x 22″ for size 2/3; 17″ x 24″ for size 4/5; 19″ x 26″ for size 6/7; 21″ x 30″ for size 8/9
Next, sew the lining together. This will be similar to the outer, but the sides are sewn on opposite. Place the back lining piece down, right side facing up. Then take the lining right side and match up at the shoulder, right sides facing. Sew together.
Once sewn, you will want to make notches on the curved seams so it lays flat once turned right side out. I simply use my pinking shears (scissors with zig zag cutting sides) and trim all the edges close to the seam. This eases the fabric on all the curves.
Now sew a wide stitch around the top of the skirt leaving a long tail at the beginning and end. This means no back stitching at this part. (My machine goes up to a 5 so I use that size stitch). I usually do a line from one seam to another then start another one on the other side. This helps make it easier to ruffle. Pull on the back threads to ruffle each side until it is the same width as the top piece.
For the buttons, be creative! Use different colors, different sizes, same colors, same sizes…. have fun 🙂 Depending on the size will depend on how many you want to add. You can sew them on as you like, but I want to share real quick how I sew them on. I don’t want them falling off, especially when it’s for a younger child, so I really go overboard with this part. I start by threading the needle and knotting the two ends together.
Then I sew the button on by going through the holes and the front fabrics a bunch of times to make sure it’s strong. Then I pull the thread through from the bottom and make a knot around the button (like above) a ton of times for extra strength.
The buttons keep the top together but allows for room to have it fit over the child’s head when placing it on. It’s a nice way to create a dress or top with no button holes, zippers, or other sort of closures. Nice, huh?
I love this dress because you can create so many different looks. You can use the same colors or use a variety of fabrics. Use fancy buttons or more whimsical ones. I think it would be even lovely with piping around the top edges too. Make it your own and have fun. I hope you enjoy The August Dress Pattern. Please share your creations on the happy together by jess facebook page or on other social media by tagging me and #happytogetherbyjess Happy sewing! -jess