Simple Toddler Princess Dress

I’m a list maker. I make lists for every little silly thing. And what goes in hand with that is needing notepads, so I hoard those. Especially lined ones with the magnets on the back, those are the best.

I may have rubbed off my list-making on my husband because he suggested we make a list of things we needed to get done or would like to do in our new house. From unpacking our loft (first thing on the list), to decorating or landscaping, then we numbered each task in order of priority. So far we’re tackled most of the loft and organized and cleaned up the garage. Yay! Now that I have that breathing room, and a literal room of the loft, I took a fun break and officially opened my birthday gift from four months ago.

Back in February I received a gift I had been hoping for but too afraid to ask from my husband… a sewing machine. So of course the awesome guy he is did tons of research and found one and bought it for my birthday. Yay!! It’s a Brother CS-6000i for those who are curious.

Previously, I had an old machine my mom gave me because she got a new machine herself. Ha ha. That should’ve been a clue right there. 😉 But that old machine was the one I learned how to sew on. The first project I ever made was a pillowcase of a very horsey calico fabric. Ironically, I still use that pillowcase now since I unpacked it.

About a week ago my mom and I were in our favorite fabric store and stumbled on some cute Disney fabrics. What stood out to me for being a perfect first sewing project to break in the new machine was to make my daughter a dress. There was a purple shirred fabric that would be SUPER easy for a sundress and it had various Disney princesses along the bottom of it. My two-year-old loves purple and loves her princesses.

Fast forward to the present and I bought that fabric. I bought 58 inches of it (they measure it by the bunched up stretchy part of the fabric) for my daughter. Originally I somehow thought it would be enough for two dresses but I was COMPLETELY mistaken. It was a good amount for my skinny toddler. I measured the width of one of her current dresses and doubled that number for how wide to make my cut, but because it’s so stretchy I subtracted a few inches so it’d be more snug.

I made my cut and sewed it up. Because I don’t have a serger I repeated alongside the simple stitch with a zigzag to reinforce it, then trimmed the excess. If you have a kid who can hand a strapless dress, then there you go!

But, alas, my daughter would never wear a strapless dress. That kid, I tell ya…

Anyway, with the extra fabric I had leftover I cut off the shirred (scrunched up stretchy) part. I then looked at my daughter’s dress I was getting measurements from, saw the length of the straps, then made some tubes of fabric, hemmed each end, then eyeballed where to attach the straps.

After this project I’ve discovered I am very much a figure-it-out-as-you-go kind of sew-er. And my camera was dead at the time of all of this so I don’t even have pictures to show you what I did. Boo! But, from start to finish, measuring and cutting and sewing, this dress took me about a half hour.

This morning she tried on the dress. I knew better than to show it to her immediately after I made it or she’d have wanted to wear it as pjs and they aren’t warm enough without sleeves. She loved it today, she kept showing me her “princess dress” and kept telling me all about it.

What I would’ve changed:

  • Longer straps- I can tell it’s bunching up in her armpits, so I may get my seam ripper and make new straps out of a coordinating ribbon.
  • Not rushed- I did all this on a brand new machine and I hadn’t practiced anything before I started this so I wish I would’ve practiced on scrap fabric instead of the real deal.
  • Had a desk or table- Lol… yes… I did this project on the floor. Made it much more difficult and made my back and neck super sore.





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