Easy-to-Make Dresses for Girls

Updated February 21, 2017

Dresses offer an easy to wear and comfortable wardrobe option for both little and big girls. Fortunately, many girls' dresses are quite simple, offering an excellent project option for someone just learning to sew or a quick and rewarding afternoon for an experienced seamstress. Adapt a simple sundress pattern into a jumper for autumn or winter wear or shorten a basic pattern to make a charming tunic top. Fabric choices and trims can dress up an easy-to-make dress pattern.

Peasant Dresses

Peasant dresses are versatile and can be easily made. These dresses are soft and loose, with raglan sleeves and a gathered neckline. Sleeves can be short and fluttery, short and gathered or longer, if you prefer. The sides of your dress can be straight or A-line; however, soft and lightweight fabrics are best for these simple dresses. Draft your own peasant dress pattern starting with a simple rectangle. Multiply the wearer's chest measurement by 1.5 or two and divide in half to create rough dimensions for the dress pattern. Cut a shallow concave curve for the neckline and deep armholes in a J-shape. The sleeves should be 1.5 to two times the diameter of the wearer's arm, with the same J-shaped armhole curves. Seams will be sewn, along with simple casings along the neck and sleeves.

Shirred Sundresses

Another easy dress option is a simple, shirred sundress. Cut a piece of fabric two to three times the child's chest measurement by the desired length. Hem the top of the dress fabric with a narrow hem, and the bottom with a somewhat deeper hem. Hand wind your sewing machine bobbin with elastic thread. Set your sewing machine to a loose tension and a long stitch length. Sew multiple rows of shirring, covering at least 4 to 10 inches of the dress, depending upon the size and final look desired. Use a steam iron to bring the fabric in snugly. Add four ribbon straps and tie into neat bows.

A Pillowcase Dress

A pillowcase style dress is another easy to make girl's dress, and can be adapted to a variety of sizes. Start with a simple fabric tube, allowing plenty of fullness for comfort and walking ease, especially for a longer dress. Press your seamed fabric and cut two shallow armholes. Use bias binding to finish the edges of both armholes. Press casings into the top edges of the front and back of your dress. Thread each casing with a length of ribbon, allowing enough excess to tie generous bows at each shoulder. Scale the width of the casings and ribbon to the size of the dress.

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About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.