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!





This is so cute! Love the rounded neck. I am new at sewing and wondering if someone could answer a few questions? I have cute some strips of fabric to finish the arm holes but they are kind of “V” shaped instead of rounded and the fabric strips don’t fit well. Did I do something wrong? How can I fix it? Also, and tips for sewing rounded? I got straight lines down but having trouble with keeping a nice looking rounded seam that doesn’t get wonky at some point and cause the finished product to look pointy.


I’d love any info you have on converting this to a larger size
my daughter is already 15 months and I wanted to make these for next summer


Just got my first sewing machine last week, so am still learning straight lines.
This is my first project, though it’s not as perfect as the one in the picture, I have managed to follow the instructions with no sewing knowledge at all. I put buttons in instead of snaps as I didn’t have any and wanted to try the buttonhole foot on my machine 😀


Made this for my little girl using buttons instead of snaps. It fits, looks great, (don’t look too close at the wonky seams) and I really enjoyed my first make!!! 😀


Hey everyone,

I have made a few of these dresses in sizes up to 2-3, just wondered if anyone had any recommendations on how much to increase the percentage for age 4-5 years? Also I’m struggling to print off the pattern at larger sizes without loosing some off the edge of the paper. how can i fix this?

Thanks a lot for an amazing pattern!


Sara Jane

Thanks so much for this tutorial and pattern, it was so easy to follow even for a complete novice like me! I made it as a dress and can’t wait to put it on my little girl, she’s going to look to cute!


I love this! I’m making one tomorrow. I need to make another in a 5t.. Does anyone know how to enlarge this pattern to a 5t? Please please please hear my plea!!!!

Jane Louis

Adorable, thank you for the download, I’ll be making this for my 2 granddaughters plus the new one on the way 🙂 x


Mine is almost done and it looks great! I am making this as a top and I was hoping someone with a kiddo could tell me how long they made theirs for a t-shirt (for the pattern at 100%). And how much you might add for a dress (I’d imagine 2-3 inches longer. Thanks in advance!

The Beached Librarian | My first top

[…] I recently jumped head first into making clothes by making a wee top for my wee niece. I used the Snappy Toddler Top tutorial from Prudent Baby. It wasn’t exactly hard, but I think that it was a bit beyond my current […]


I have tried to download this cute little dress but the page can no longer be displayed – are you able to reload it or point my where else it might be?
Thank you


Question-I consider myself an experienced seamstress,however, when I made this pattern for my 17 month old granddaughter-it was too small. Does the pattern include the 1/4 in. seam allowance or do you need to add the seam allowance when cutting? I printed it at 100%. I love the pattern-resized to 110% and try again.

Mama is Inspired

Hi. This is a sweet top/dress. Thanks for the pattern! I couldn’t find anywhere in the instructions to let me know if I need to add a seam allowance when I cut out this fabric. As well, how much fabric does this require? Thanks!


Just made this dress and love it! I reduced it to 90% for a 6 month size and it was perfect. I did add a few inches for length though. I am going to do another dress at 100% and it should be good for when my LO gets a little bigger. Thanks for the free pattern!!!


So lovely! I made my very first dress last night following your tutorial and it’s so beautiful… not perfect, but still beautiful! Fits my 14 mo loosely enough to be -hopefully- put in use this summer with no troubles.

I’m Back! | Crafter in the Making

[…] a sewing machine! and I am in the middle of my first sewing attempt. A top for Lillybug found on Pretty Prudent, the snappy toddler top. We will see if she allows me to have a few moments to finish it tomorrow […]

emely boone

I will like a
free pattern for snappy slippers for all sizes thank you
why cant I get the pattern without all this hassel


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