Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reversible Sundress Tutorial - and Pattern!

This dress is seriously easy, you guys. So don't let the number of pictures I included in this tutorial indimidate you, I just get a little carried away some times.

Okay, ready to make one super cute, super easy, reversible sundress? This is a beginner tutorial, you can totally make this. And if you're already a seasoned seamstress it's the perfect naptime project. Quick and easy. You know how I love those.

See the reversible side peeking out under the hem? Ah, I love it!

I drew up a pattern for Madeline's dress that you can download here. It fits Maddie well and she's a wearing 18 month - 2T clothes right now. If you need a larger or smaller size, use a dress that fits your daughter well and use that to adapt this pattern to your needs.


1/2 yard each of two different prints - that's 1 yard total folks! You'll need more if you're making a larger size.
1/4 yard of coordinating fabric for the hem, armholes and shoulder ties
Matching thread


Print out the pattern, adjust it to your needs and trace it right onto your fabric. I just use a regular old pen. All the edges are going to be finished, so I never saw the point of using a fabric pen.

Cut out four dress pieces.

Two of each of your main dress fabrics.

Cut five 2 inch strips of your coordinating fabric in following lengths:
(1) 35 inches - for the hem
(2) 14 inches - for the armholes
(2) 24 inches - for the shoulder ties

Now here is where I was originally going to insert another 20 pictures and a bunch of information on making your own bias tape, instead - head over to my bias tape tutorial. I promise, once you learn to make and use bias tape, you'll use it all.the.time.
Okay, fold and press your bias tape strips - and you're ready to start sewing!

Take two matching dress pieces and sew the sides together, right sides together. Repeat with your second set of matching pieces.

Use a zig-zag stitch to reinforce your seams.

Now we're going to make the dress reversible! Turn one of your dresses right side out and leave on of them inside out. Now slip your "inside out dress" inside the "right side out" dress.

The wrong sides of both dresses should now be facing. Carefully smooth your "inside" dress so it fits nicely within the "outside" dress.

Using the instructions from my bias tape tutorial, pin your bias tape to the armholes of your dress.

Stitching close to the edge of your tape, sew the bias tape to the armholes.

Trim the edges of the armholes so they are even with the top of the dress.

Now, you need to decide which side of the dress you want the casing to show on. I decided the floral was already kind of busy, so I flipped the floral side over on the polka dots. Experiment by folding each side down and seeing what you like best.

Fold the top edge of the dress down 1/2 inch. Press.

Fold down another 3/4 of an inch, Press and pin in place. Repeat for other side of dress.

Sew the casing down on both sides of the dress.

Repeat for other side.
Okay, now it's time to sew your ties! Your tape should already be folded and pressed into 1/2 inch strips. Fold your ends in so you're not left with raw edges and sew the ties shut by sewing as close to the edge as possible.

Throw your pretty ties over the back of a chair and they'll be all ready for you once you finish the hem! Almost done!

Pin your last strip of bias tape to your hem.

When you get close to the end, trim the bias tape about an inch longer than you need it for your hem.

Open the tape up and fold one end under to finish the hem. Pin.

Sew your hem in place.

Attach a safety pin the end of one of your shoulder ties.

Thread it through the casing on your neckline.

Repeat with your other tie.
You're done!

As always, you'd make my day if you share a finished project with me!

Oh, and I accidentally grabbed my hem strip instead of one of the ties and sewed it shut, so instead of spending 10 minutes ripping stitches, I tossed it to the side and just cut a new one. Later when I put the dress on my munchkin, I remember my "oops" and grabbed the tie. Turns out 35 inches is the perfect length for a cute little matching headband. Love when that stuff happens!


Linking up at the following parties!

The Shabby Nest

A Few of my Favorite Things

Fingerprints on the Fridge

Amy Lou Who

Somewhat Simple

Sew Dang Cute

Sew Can Do


  1. this is adorable. i love the tutorial, thanks!

  2. Cute!!! And I just love that Nicey Jane fabric. Just one more thing to add to my to-do list! Thanks for joining us at sew & tell!

  3. That is just adorable. I love that it's reversible! Great tutorial (off to check out the bias binding link)!

  4. How cute. Thanks for the tutorial! I love the sunset photo shoot! :)

  5. Ok Molly this is just too easy! Love it and it looks perfect on Madeline! What a great name too. Thank you for sharing :o)

  6. What an adorable little dress on an adorable little model!

  7. super cute! Love the headband! What a happy accident!

  8. She is just precious! What pretty fabric.

    I am hosting "Saturday is Crafty Day" tomorrow and I'd love it you stopped by!

  9. How sweet is this! What a great project! Thanks for sharing!

  10. So cute! I love your fabric choices.

  11. She is such a cutie! And the dress is darling!

  12. I love the dress! Great tutorial. Thanks! :)

  13. cute fabric! Thanks for the tutorial.

  14. Very cute! The perfect summer dress:)

  15. Love your choice of fabrics and your little model is absolutely adorable!!!
    Thanks for linking up!

  16. Cute, cute, cute! (model, fabrics, tutorial!)

  17. I made one! Here's a link to the blog post,

    and here's a link to just a picture of the dress.[2].jpg

  18. Love the shape, reversibility & the prints of your fabric. Thanks for linking up to Craftastic Monday!

  19. Gorgeous dress!! Thanks for the detailed tutorial.

  20. I'm so about to make this RIGHT now! -BBC love, rallitodeluna

  21. this is too cute! thank you so much for the tutorial:) your model is a doll!