Snappy Toddler Top & Free Downloadable Pattern

I often make things that don’t turn out as planned and never make it to the pages of PB, then gulp a glass of champagne, send Jacinda numerous whiny emails, and stew over the wasted time and my own lameness. But this was not one of those times!

This shirt left me feeling energized and thrilled with the results, so I’m really excited to share the pattern with you! And drink more champagne!

It’s a snap collar top, but you can make yours a dress. AND Jacinda styled up one of her beautiful, free downloadable patterns from my ridiculous drawing. I promise, it’s much easier then you would think. Get the Snappy Toddler Top free pattern & tutorial after the jump!

Snappy Toddler Top Free Pattern
A half yard or less will do it, depending on what size you’re making and whether you want a dress or a shirt.  This adorable fabric is Kokka Trefle Cotton Matryoshka Dolls in Black, also available in summery natural.  You’ll also need a couple snaps.  I used pearlized ones ($2 for a pack of 10 on amazon), so simple to attach with a hammer.  If you hate snaps, feel free to use buttons and buttonholes!

Editors note: (updated 3/17) We have created a FREE Printable pattern in sizes 6-12 months thru 5/6 years. The new pattern can be found by clicking here: FREE PRINTABLE SNAPPY TODDLER TOP PATTERN. Continue reading for the original pattern and instructions.

1. Start by downloading and printing out the Prudent Baby Snappy Toddler Top pattern. Print it at 100% for a 12-18 month size. I printed it tiled at 110%, cut it out, and taped the pieces together to make a size 2T.  You want to print on legal size paper (8.5″ X 14″) or standard 8.5″X11″ paper and tape the pieces together.  Make sure when printing this or any pattern that your print settings are not set to “shrink to fit”.  99% of the time when people say the item turned out too small, it’s because it was accidentally set to “shrink to fit”.

DOWNLOAD THE PATTERN FOR FREE FROM GOOGLE DOCS: Click here for the Prudent Baby Snappy Toddler Top Pattern

2. Trace the dress body pattern onto the wrong side of your fabric to create the back piece of the dress:

Cut the top of the pattern off at the line labeled “front neckline” and trace another piece that size:

Then cut the neck pieces:

3.  Start with the two smaller collar pieces, these will be the front neckline of your shirt. On one of them, the one that will show on the completed shirt, attach a snap front to either side.  If you are doing buttons, sew a button on either side instead:

Now take the two pieces and pin them together right sides facing, so the snap is to the inside:

You’ll notice on the pattern that there are two little lines, one on each side.  Mark those on the wrong side of your fabric.  Sew the two pieces together from one line to the other with 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving the space between the lines un-sewn:

Turn that right side out and iron it flat, with the seam folded in.

4.  Take the two longer neck pieces (this is the back of the collar) and pin them together right sides facing. Like before, mark the lines from the pattern onto your piece.  Sew in place from one line to the other with 1/4″ seam allowance:

Turn that inside out and iron it flat, folding the un-sewn opening in.

Now attach the other side of the snap, with the pearlized or decorative side on the side of the piece you want showing on your final shirt, the X’s on the pattern mark the spot you want to attach at.  If you are doing buttons, sew a buttonhole at each mark. Your completed neck pieces will look like this:

Set those aside.

5.  Now take your dress front and back and pin them together right sides facing.  Sew up the sides from armhole to the bottom.

Finish the edges by serging, sewing with a zig zag stitch, or cutting with pinking shears and turn right-side out.

6.  To finish the armholes you can use single fold bias tape (like we did for the Most Flattering Shirt Dress), but I didn’t have any black bias tape, so I cut a 3/4″ strip of matching fabric on the bias (diagonal to the selvedges of the fabric) and serged one long edge.  You can do the same and finish one edge by hemming or sewing with a zig zag to simulate serging.  Open up the armhole and lay your strip right sides facing and pin:

Sew it in place with a 1/8″ or 1/4″ seam allowance:

Flip it over to the inside of the dress and iron it flat:

Repeat on the other armhole.

7.  Now on the wrong side of the front of your dress, mark the lines from the pattern.  Sew a basting stitch in between those lines (a straight stitch set to the longest stitch your machine will allow, usually a 5):

Pull the bobbin thread to gather:

Take your front collar piece and fit the front of the dress into the opening and pin in place.  So you just want to gather your basting stitches until it fits:

Sew in place all the way around the collar piece right at the edge like so. (make sure you don’t forget to set your machine back to a normal stitch length like 2.5):

Repeat the gathering on the back piece of your dress, and fit it into the back collar piece.  Make sure the decorative side of your snaps is facing up to the right side of the dress:

Sew that in place all the way around the collar piece right at the edge:

Snap your snaps together, you did it!

8.  Try your top on your model then hem by folding under 1/4″ and ironing, then another 1/4″ and ironing, and stitching in place with a straight stitch or a blind hem stitch:


Go play…

Back view…don’t you just want to chomp down on those yummy baby arms??


What do you think?? Are you going to try it?? I want picture of this one ASAP ladies!





Just finished making this and it was great! I’m new to sewing and totally understood all of the directions. My finished product is darling, and I didn’t notice any missing pieces as mentioned by one of the early posters. THANK YOU for sharing this pattern and tutorial!!


I have had a sewing machine for about 15 years but have only ever made quilts (squares and straight lines!) and even then only a handful. I had some great fabric with mini cooper cars on it and figured I’d give this top a go for the little girl of a Mini Cooper obsessed friend. While not perfect, I could easily follow all instructions and the final product actually looks pretty good! My only error was lining the front and back pieces up by the neckline rather than the hem (oops) so it might not fit properly around her neck…but if not I now feel 100% confident in making another one 🙂 Thanks for the pattern!


I tried getting your pattern but the link seems to go to another page now. Is the pattern still available? Would love to make this dress for my 1 year old – it’s so cute!


Thanks for the great pattern -comes out perfect ! for all the people who complained -maybe if you read the instructions correctly the pattern would’ve come out bigger.
And there is nothing wrong with the tutorial either -thanks again

Amy @ Fearless Homemaker

I used this pattern today to make simple holiday dress for my 18 month old. It turned out SUPER cute, thank you! Plus, it taught me the basting stitch, and how to do a buttonhole with my sewing machine foot, neither of which I had done before. (For the other readers, I used a 110% version of the pattern with an extra 4″ at the bottom to make a dress in roughly a tall 18-24 month size). I also added a little pocket on the front, just for cuteness. =) Will make some minor tweaks in future versions (pockets, maybe a ruffle down the front, slightly slimmer + longer to fit my tall/slim toddler, etc.) but overall, I LOVED this pattern. Thank you!!


I decided to give this pattern a go and turn it into an Easter dress for my daughter. The bodice pieces are almost perfect, but the collar is way too small. I printed it at 100% for my 12 month old daughter and when I finished the collar it was entirely too small. I had to revise the collar and add a seam allowance in order for it to be functional. I also squared off the edges, which made it lay better. The dress fits snug in the arm pit area even with my revisions to the collar. I think the arm hole needs to have a deeper groove on the bodice piece. I made revisions to my existing pattern so I can make this again, but with more room for my daughter. I think you should add a seam allowance to your pattern pieces so they can be more functional or mention that we need to add a seam allowance in your tutorial. Overall, it turned out lovely after the revisions I made.


First of all, thank you for the lovely pattern. With some adjustments I’ve been able to make a dress I’m happy with. However I entirely agree with Samara. I had to make the collar much longer, or it would have been uncomfortably snug round my 15 month old grand-daughter’s armholes (albeit she has only just gone up into 9-12 month clothes). I did it as a party dress in blue animal print satin. However I don’t know how to post a picture of it.
I’m glad I printed the pattern out last year though, because now the link just seems to go to SCRIBD and I don’t want to have to subscribe to that at $8.99 a month. Is there no other way to get it? I’d like to pass it on to a friend.


I want to make this for my daughter this week, but I have no idea how to enlarge the pattern! help please!!!

ann holt

i love this. i made this in a dress for my 31/2 year old granddaughter and my 51/2 year old granddaughterm ( her older sister), wants one. i am in the process of making …i did add pockets…


Ann, how did you adjust when printing the pattern. Would love to make a 4t size.


I want to make this in 4t. Any idea on how to make that print? Thanks.


I made a version of this today (dress) and loved it. The only issue I had was sizing. The arm holes were too small for the top to close properly. I improvised and used FOE to make a joining “strap”. It’s adorable and my daughter loves it too 🙂


This is an insult to sewing. The pattern is too small. Neck doesn’t align. It looks tacky. For someone who has been sewing clothing all my life, I will never make this again. This is the second pattern of yours I’ve tried and both have been too small. I haven’t had any trouble with other blogs or tutorials. You should take some sewing classes if you want to be an instructor. What a waste of time.


I’m sorry it didn’t work for you! But i did want to say that the printing issue is usually what has caused it to be too small for people on the past. Printers are usually set to size to the printer page and you have to turn that off or tile the pattern depending on your printer. Normally i wouldn’t question your comment at all but this particular pattern has been made over 1,000 times and the few times there was a sizing issue that we were alerted of it came down to printer settings. I wish it was easier to share home made patterns online because I can only imagine how frustrating it is too do all of this work and then find your final product to be too small!!! I’m so sorry this happened to you.


“You should take some sewing classes if you want to be an instructor. What a waste of time.”

How rude!!!! Thank you so much for putting your time and effort into helping others enjoy the art of sewing. I made this pattern and it turned out excellent.

I will try to post photos tonight.


Message to Heather – You are unbelievably rude!! If you have been sewing all your life why on earth would you need a pattern to make this darling top and even if you did were you not able to see that it would turn out too small for the recipient from the paper pattern before cutting into your fabric. The fault is entirely yours, I agree that it must be your printer settings. I so hate rudeness and your lack of appreciation for this FREE pattern is appalling. How glad I am that I don’t know you!


Heather, WOW~ This pattern is free and you didn’t even bother to ask for help before judging so harshly AND WRONGLY! Who do you think YOU are? What do you think YOU know? How to embarrass anyone connected to you with your complete lack of appreciation or just common decency?


WOW! Sounds like miss Heather needs a nap or a glass of wine to calm those nerves…actually that probably wouldn’t help at all. Maybe a psychologist? So rude and ungrateful. People like you are the reason our world is so jacked up. You’re probably a a trump supporter, aren’t you?

Manon Charbonneau

Good day, Like Vesna Gaddy, Is there a way to home print the other sizes, thank you

Nadine Frehafer

Just made this dress for my 16 month old and it was so easy and fit her perfectly! She’s small for a 16 month old, so I made it in the 12-18 month size and it should fit her for quite some time!


Lovely top! Thanks for the tutorial. I am new to sewing and wondered how to make this top for 6 to 9 month size? Would I just print it out at 95%? Also, does the pattern include the seam allowance? Thank you in advance 😀


Also, is it worth using interfacing where the snaps are to reinforce the fabric?


Thanks for the pattern! I’m a little hesitant though because the printout seem so wide for a 1yo.


I made this top today and it turned out wonderful! Thank you so much for the pattern and instructions, I found them easy to follow and simple to sew.
My girls are 21 months old so I increased the pattern of the collar to 120% and the pattern of the body to 110% and it fits them perfectly!


Thank you so much for sharing this adorable dress / top. You are very kind to put it in the Internet for all of us especially since you are busy with children of your own. Again, thank you!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️


I am about three quarters of the way through with finishing this top, but took a little break to review your instructions before proceeding to add the collar to make sure I do it correctly — (which by the way I think your instructions are incredibly awesome… & this is coming from someone who is a novice sewer & prefers video tutorials as I’m more of a visual learner w/ being new to this)– but whether this project turns out to fit or not (as I’m fully aware of the printing issue)… most importantly I just wanted to thank you for sharing and taking the time to teacht beginners like myself how to sew. VERY giving of you & I’m VERY appreciative!!

Vesna Gaddy

Jaime, I would like to download your updated pattern with all sizes, but it seems like it is all on one huge sheet of paper….not suitable for home printing…Please let me know what I’m doing wrong. Thanks!

Sarah Gilbert

I was trying to download the pattern with all the sizes and I get one page only just like the pic online. How do I get it to print out all the sizes?


I’m guessing your using a Mac, or else you may not have seen where she says to print using the option ‘poster’ for size? I had the same issue. By switching to a regular PC with a Windows operating system, I was able to print it perfectly using the poster size option.

Pat Hodges

Thank you so much Chris, I looked at the pattern a few days ago and didn’t see how I could print it, came back today and there you were with the answer. I am in fact on a Mac, so I went to my husbands Windows machine and it worked beautifully.

Dana Bowman

Glad to know I’m not the only one. I also only get one page when downloading the multiple size document. At 100% it will only print one corner and not allow me to select any more of the document.

Kat Wennerberg

For those having problems with the multi size single sheet pattern you can print it in a tiled format. This option would be on the same screen as the print scale/full size option. It would look much like the tape it together patterns we are used to online.
You can have it printed at your local copy shop/kinko’s as 1 sheet and the trace the size you need or just cut it out of the large sheet. I personally traced mine as I found it much faster than all the taping assembly.

Leeann D

I have made this for my granddaughter. It’s my daughters favorite top. I was so excited to see the bigger size pattern. I would happily pay for a version that is printable on a standard printer. I tried suggestion posted above but I don’t have a poster option on my printer. It’s summer in Florida this is perfect.


Where do you attach the snap on the front piece? There are no markings on the pattern.


FYI, the original pattern has no snap markings on the front piece. It is on the multi-size patterns though. Don’t see a 1″ square guide anywhere to make sure the pattern prints to scale either. That would be helpful. Also does anyone suggest something other than DocHub to print? I am using a Mac. Not sure I want to download DocHub.

Nicole Nolasco

Hi. Love the top but how do I print the new version? It doesn’t fit on regular printer paper. Thanks! ❤️


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