Let Freedom Ring Dress Tutorial

Let Freedom Ring Dress

It’s almost time for the 4th of July!!!!!! We have some fun plans, so I wanted to make a little dress for my daughter. This is a really simple dress to make as you use a tank top you already have and just add three layers of fabric to it.


We whipped the dress up in no time. Then we went and bought some flags to wave around (they are currently in the front decorating flower pots).

Waving the flags

And she sports her new headband I made her. She’s totally rockin’ it out in patriotic fashion all ready for the 4th of July, our Independence Day.

Matching Headband

What you will need to make this dress:
-A knit tank top
-Fabric for the 3 tiers
-Any additional embellishments you desire (I added a pom pom trim to the bottom).
-All your sewing things

-Always back stitch at the beginning and end of sewing, unless otherwise stated.
-Seam allowances are 1/4″ unless otherwise stated.

1. Chop off the bottom of the tank top where you like. Keep in mind to leave a little extra length for the seam allowance for sewing on the first tier.

2. Determine the height and width of one piece of the three tiers. You will be cutting two pieces for each.

a. -To determine the height of each layer, decide how much longer you want the dress to come from the bottom of the cut off tank top.
– Then divide that number by 3.
– Add at least .5″ for a seam allowance to that number (that would give a .25″ seam allowance on the top and on the bottom of the layer). I added 1″ for seam allowance just to be on the safe side.

So, I wanted the length of the three tiers to be 16″ long. I divided it by 3 and got 5.33″. I rounded it up to 5.5″ and added 1″, making the height of each tier 6.5″.

b. To determine the length of each tier, do the following:

-For the very top tier, measure the bottom of the tank top on one side. Then multiply it by 1.3 and add 1″ seam allowance.
*Note: If you want yours more twirly, I suggest maybe starting with the first tier being multiplied by 2 or more.

-For the middle tier, take the length of the first tier and multiply it by 1.3 and add 1″ seam allowance.
*Note: Again, if you want it more twirly, multiply by 2 and so forth

-For the third tier, take the length of the second tier and multiply it by 1.3″ and add 1″ seam allowance.
*Note: Again, if you want it more twirly, multiply by 2 and so forth

It will look like this:

The bottom of the tank top I used was 10.5″
1st tier: (10.5″ x 1.3) + 1″= 14.65″ (I rounded it up to 14.75″)
2nd tier: (14.75″ x 1.3) + 1″= 19.175″ (I rounded it down to 19″)
3rd tier: (19″ x 1.3) + 1″ = 25.7″ (I rounded it up to 26″)

Cut 2 pieces for each tier.

Height x Length
1st tier: 6.5″ x 14.75″
2nd tier: 6.5″ x 19″
3rd tier: 6.5″ x 26″

3. Take the two pieces for the 1st tier and place together right sides facing. Sew together down the short sides.

4. Repeat #3 for the 2nd and 3rd tier.

5. Baste (create a long straight stitch, with no back stitching at all) across the top of each layer no further than 1/4″ down. I baste one top side first then the other top side to make it easier to gather.

6. Gather (pull the bobbin thread to create a ruffle look) each layer.

7. Place the gathered top of the 3rd tier to the bottom (non gathered edge) of the 2nd tier, right sides facing. Match up the side seams and then even out the gathers so the 3rd tier fits perfectly to the 2nd. Pin in place.

8. Sew together and finish raw edges if you like (go over the edge with a serger or simply use a zig zag stitch that is on a regular sewing machine).

*Tip: I sew a little bit further down from where I gathered so that thread doesn’t show on the outside. Then I don’t have to try and rip it out so it doesn’t show anymore.

9. Repeat steps #7 and #8 to connect the 2nd tier to the 1st tier and then the 1st tier to the tank top.

10. Hem the bottom.
a. Turn the bottom up towards the inside 1/4″ and iron.

b. Turn the bottom up inside 1/4″ again, iron, and pin in place.

c. Sew around the bottom to create the hem.

11. Add any embellishments you like. I added a trim to the bottom, but you could do so much to make it even more fun :)

Tank Top 3 Tiered Dress

Now if you have a little girl and a little extra time you can easily create a fun new dress for the upcoming holiday or just for everyday play. Enjoy and add your own creation using this tutorial to the Flickr group to share your take on it with us.

God Bless America
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  1. says

    The notion of using your own clothes to make this dress for your daughter is so sweet. Kind of like an heirloom already if you think about it. :)

  2. says

    I saw this on interest too. Love it. It’s winter here in Australia, but will be sure to make some of these for my girls in summer. Thanks.

  3. says

    Thanks for a great idea! I want to make that dress and that headband for my granddaughter. Where can I get the pattern for the headband?

    • says

      I don’t have an exact pattern for it, but it’s just three crocheted african flowers (that is what the “block” is called). If you do an internet search, lots of tutorials come up. I just put them together then added the straps to each side to be tied.

    • says

      You can :) There’s someone who added a picture of a dress she made in adult size to the flickr tutorial group (you can get there from link in left side bar). It looks good!

  4. says

    I am making this dress right now, just not in patriotic colors since my daughter already has several patriotic dresses. I will then use your tute to teach my BFF how to make a matching one for her daugther. When I’m finished, I will post it on my blog with links to your blog and these instructions. I’m very excited, and even though I should be sleeping, I’m sewing!

    Bonny @ thedomesticatedprincess.blogspot.com

  5. Anonymous says

    Making an adult one. This is perfect since I can make the lengths longer so that it can become an appropriate length for several of my teaching occasions!

  6. says

    So cute! Thanks so much for the idea, I am going to switch it up a bit and use a pair of too short of shorts cut off and make it into a skirt for my daughter. She is going to love it!

  7. says

    This is a really cute dress! I forgot how nice it is to use the yoke of a discarded blouse or dress. Recycle ;) I shared this tutorial on my blog with a link back to your blog for the tutorial. I also followed you on Twitter and Pinterest :))) Thanks! ~Yolanda~

  8. Louise says

    This so cute. You could make a whole set in the spring by just changing up the colours and t-shirt types and be done for the summer. Fancy fabric would also make for a fancy dress. What fun for a mother of girls.

    • Jessica says

      It’s so cute! I love that little heart edition on the tank top :) Thank you so much for sharing.

      • Emma says

        Really? Oh , thanks! Being English, I didn’t know if I had gone over the top with all the stars and stripes but as she is half American and now living in America, i wanted to really celebrate it! I am going to send it right away! I have more experience in altering onesies than sewing dresses and I made this http://www.pinterest.com/pin/469641067364793732/ for her baby brother. Thanks for the tutorial – I feel spurred on by success! Emma

  9. says

    I love this freedom ring dress and it looks fairly simple to do. Your tutorial is easy to follow and I have plenty of upcycled fabric I can use. Thanks for taking the time to do a tutorial, this will be my next project! :)

  10. says

    Thank you for the tutorial. I made this dress for my 8 year old daughter. It was my first dress I have ever sewed. I loved the process and the tutorial so much. It was so simple to follow and satisfying every step of the way. Check out my website https://calledhomeblog.wordpress.com to see a pic of the dress. Thanks again!

  11. Jo-Anne says

    Thank you for the great tutorial. It was easy to fallow and the dress is so cute. I finished it in about 4 hours. It is 1 am and I cannot wait to put it on my daughter in the morning.

    • Jessica says

      Hi :) I don’t have it, but I used a crochet pattern from somewhere on the net (I think it’s called the African flower crochet pattern). Then I made a big one and two little ones, glued them together and sewed on ties.

  12. Hls says

    My 9 year old is in the process of making this for her 4H project show right now. She is adding some beautiful red lace trim to hers. Thanks so much for a pattern and tutorial she could follow all on her own.

  13. LL says

    The fabric that you used to sew onto your “tank top/t-shirt material “….was this cotton “non tank top/t-shirt”? Fabric
    Thank you.
    Thinking of making this for my grand niece as well as my grand daughter. …and if they turn out ok….then possibly myself.
    Have loads of material in my stash.
    Thank you.
    This dress is VERY cute

    • Jessica says

      Hi :) It was a cotton knit fabric that the shirt was made out of (I believe it was a simple tank top from Walmart or Kohls kind of store) and the fabric was just regular quilting cotton for the bottom. It’s definitely a great way to use that stash ;) Happy sewing! -jess

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