The other night we were playing in our new backyard, when the neighbors invited us to their daughter’s first birthday party. I know, I know. It would have been so much easier to just run out and buy a last minute present…but it had been soooo long since I last sewed for my girls when they were this little. They are growing up so fast, and a part of me just wanted to sew a baby dress again. After thinking about the kind of dresses that my girls wore over and over again when they were little, I decided upon an easy knit baby dress that the mother could pull on and off over her head. I love knit fabric for babies because it is soft on their little baby skin, and this dress is perfect because it is cute…without being too fancy. Something her daughter can every day while she is learning how to walk, and that can easily be thrown into the washer and dryer. The perfect first birthday present, and hey – it comes with a free pattern, so you can’t beat that :).
First Birthday Dress – Free Sewing Pattern & DIY
- 1 yard knit fabric
- Pattern, download HERE
- basic sewing essentials (sewing machine, serger optional, rotary cutter, thread, etc.)
- Cut out all pattern pieces as specified on the pattern pages. Iron on the heat n’bond to the wrong side of your ‘Front Triangle’ fabric pattern piece, as instructed on the Heat n’ Bond instructions. Iron on the fabric front triangle to the front top center of your baby dress, at the top center of your neckline. Sew around to secure.
- Sew a gathering stitch along the top of each bottom ruffle pattern piece. Pull the bobbin thread until each ruffle is the same width as your front and back pattern piece.
- Place (1) of the bottom ruffle’s top gathered edge along the bottom of your Front pattern piece, right side together. Pin in place and sew, using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Finish the seam, and press up. Edge stitch to secure if desired. Repeat for Back pattern piece and other ruffle.
- You should now have the main front and back pieces of your dress in place.
- Place the front and back of your dress right sides together and pin at shoulder seams. Sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
- Sew a gathering stitch along the straight edge of each Flutter Sleeve pattern piece. Pull the bobbin thread until the flutter sleeve is a little bit shorter in length than the armsyce.
- Pin the gathered edge of the flutter sleeve right sides together to the armsyce, matching up the center of the flutter sleeve with the shoulder seam. Sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance, and finish seam. Repeat for other side.
- If your flutter sleeve did not extend to the top of the side seam, simply fold the exposed seam under towards the wrong side of fabric and press. Sew using a long straight stitch to secure.
- Fold the dress right sides together, pin and sew the side seams using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
- Fold the Neck pattern piece in half right sides together, and pin the short ends together. Sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press open seam. (*Please note – ribbing is extremely recommended for all knit necklines. Please make sure your fabric has A LOT of stretch before using just regular knit fabric).
- Match up the Neck seam with the Back top center of your neckline. Pin the upper edge of your Neck around your dress neckline, right sides together. Pin along the front and back center, and the sides. Your Neck will be shorter in length than your actual dress neckline. Sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance, using a stretch stitch, serger, or zig zag stitch, making sure you STRETCH your Neck as you sew through the machine.
- Fold over the neckline towards the inside of your dress, covering up your neckline seam. Pin in place, and sew once again using a stretch stitch, coverlock ,or zig zag stitch.
And you are finished!
The perfect little 12 month old baby dress, that requires less than 1 yard of fabric to make and can be sewn up in 1 nap time. You gotta love that! I hope our new neighbors will at least :).
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…