A Cute Little French Number…{a Tutorial}

What can I say, I am a bit brain dead at the moment? Lol – so for lack of a better post title – I will just call it what it is.

A Cute Little French Number…

After all, what kind of kids sewing blogger would I be if I didn’t at least try to sew something for the Kids Week Clothing Challenge going on over at Elsie Marley.

Have you seen the awesomeness that is going on over there right now?  Gah, I am dying!

I have been having fun sewing a little bit for myself here and there lately, but I miss sewing for my kiddos. They are truly my passion when it comes to picking out fabrics and figuring out what to do with them.  

So it was with great joy that I decided to drop all of my MUST-DO’s yesterday, and do some fun & quick sewing for the littlest loves of my life.


After switching out all of my kids closets from Summer to Fall clothes this past weekend, I realized both of my little girlies were in need of some long sleeve dresses!

And that is how we got started with the cute little french number.

Its casual, cute, easy to sew, and classy all at the same time. Gotta love that!


Not being in the mood to mess with elastic yesterday, I decided to take in the waist of this knit dress with fun pleats instead. And I love how it turned out.

Making it couldn’t be easier, all you have to do is:

You will need to use knit fabric for this dress, and be sure it stretches left to right. 

1. Trace around a shirt that fits well (on the fold), to get the body of the dress. Really bell out at the sides, we want to be able to take that in later with the pleating. Cut (2), 1 for front, 1 for back.

2. Alter front pattern piece neckline.

3. In the middle of the dress, where your child’s waistline is, gently fold in towards the center the fabric and pin.  Repeat for both sides, creating equal pleats. 

4. Repeat for a second or third line of pleats on each side, until you get the dress waist to approximately the same size as your child’s waist diameter.

Repeat for the back of your dress.

Now its just sewing the dress together and finishing off all of the raw edges as you please. 

I added the two little buttons on the top of the dress to give it an extra little punch. 


But it is super simple, and perfect for the person still experimenting with knits! 

Want to do this dress in regular cotton or other non-stretchy fabric? Just be sure to add a button placket or zipper along the back or side seam – and the technique will work just as well. 

And there you have it, my 30 minute contribution to KCWC. 

Ahhh…I feel better. Lol

Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…

Happy Sewing!

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Jess Abbott the Sewing Rabbit is the founder and creative director behind the me sew crazy blog, as well as SewSet.com, 5 & 10 Designs, GNO Events, and co-editor of STYLO. She resides in Virginia Beach with her husband and 3 children.
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  1. says

    That is really cute, Jess! Neat idea with the pintucks/pleats. And you know my love for stripes! :)
    Also loved your plaid dress yesterday…forgot to comment! You look fabulous.
    I am stuck making halloween costumes this week, no KCWC for me this year… maybe next year. Sad.

  2. says

    Such a clever idea – I love the shape that the pintucks add. You’re so good with knits!! I’m no good with naming things, but I think “A Cute Little French Number” is quite good.

  3. says

    Wow! I’m loving everything you are doing these days. This dress is so easy to make, and those pleats totally change the game. They make it look so mod and chic. Very creative Jessica!

  4. says

    Love it! And just made one for my daughter!! Quick and easy and adorable….and comfy! Her version, is however, very bright and flowery….going through a phase where she will only wear pink/flowers….. Thank you!


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