Dottie’s Dress Sewing Tutorial – Bow Big or Bow Home


Wanting to take a mini-break from all of the adult sewing I am doing for Project Sewn, I decided to delve into a fun kids dress earlier this week. I had picked up this awesome citrus looking fabric at my local fabric store while shopping for one of my looks, I just couldn’t help myself. It was so summery, and just what the doctor ordered…


Once again I found myself using the infamous Party Dress free sewing pattern courtesy of Lindsay at The Cottage Mama. I swear, I use this pattern all of the time. It is such a fabulous bodice block starting off point.

A basic bodice block can lend itself to so many different variations. They are always excellent to have on hand for every dress size – women and children alike.

And to top it off, I slapped a big ole bow on it. Why the heck not after all. Bow Big or Bow Home. I got that from a wedding website, but I liked it so much I decided to use it myself – ha!


Let me show you how to make this dress.




Cut out all bodice pattern pieces as instructed. Once again, I used the Party Dress free ePattern found here.










And you are finished!

My daughter literally squealed with delight when she saw this dress, then immediately began to fill up the pockets with treasures (aka rocks). Its always the little things, isn’t it.



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, 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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    • Jess says

      What can I say, the fabric was just staring me in the face. HA! Thanks so much Lindsay, I am so happy you like it :)

  1. says

    Those pockets are amazing! It must be some kinda rule that they immediately get filled with rock though, because we do that a lot here too. The dirtiest rocks available always the perfect addition to any new outfit. ;D

    • Jess says

      I know – right?!! I can’t tell you how many rocks I have to secretly dump outside the car or from my pockets when the kids aren’t looking – ha!

  2. Breane says

    I am loving those huge pockets and I know my girls would also! So sweet. I love the fabric choice as well.

  3. Renee says

    This is my go to bodice to modify so I love when I see variations! -Thanks! I never though of tabs or pockets like these. And my girls would love the bow in the front – they hate that they can’t see it when it’s in the back.

  4. Carla says

    Do you have any suggestions for a “go to” bodice pattern for bigger girls? My little cousin is now in an 8. I did a quick search but haven’t found one yet.

    I love this blog and all of the ideas! Your little models are abso-stinkin-lutely precious!

  5. says

    I’m loving this bright, cheery fabric (with pockets, major plus!) on your little girl! I think I’m still on a Belgian inspired kick with all the brights. I have never seen button tabs like that on the back of a bodice, and I LOVE that idea!

    • Jess says

      Thank you so much!!! I couldn’t help myself when I was at the fabric store, it just jumped into my cart of its own volition :)

  6. says

    Oh, how darling!!!!! Thanks for the tutorial!!!
    I have been following your blog and simply love it!!! I have pin’d a bunch of your tutorials and am slowing working my way through them.

    • Jess says

      What an awesome comment to wake up to! Thank you so much Emily! That is like the best thing you could say ever :), I am honored!

    • Jess says

      Thank you so much Jennifer! I just can’t help myself with gingham in the Summer, it needed to peek out somewhere :)

  7. Karen says

    Another awesome project! Your work is fabulous…I check your site everyday because I know I will see a one-of-a-kind project..

  8. Kyda says

    I LOVE this dress, but I have a question, on the tutorial I didn’t notice what size you made and was wondering if the skirt width measurement would vary by size…

    • Jess says

      If you use the party dress tutorial by The Cottage Mama, it gives you good skirt pattern sizes as well. (the same free pattern I used for the bodice). Thanks!

      • Kyda says

        I wondered if that was it :) thanks so much! I’ve already started in the bodice! I think my girl is REALLY gonna like this dress!! :) :)

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