Pretty Party Dress with Free Downloadable Pattern!

So I showed you a tease of this dress awhile back on the Prudent Baby Facebook Page (we have so much fun over there, why don’t you join us: It took me a minute to get it to you because I was waiting to give it to miss Dove. Umm, how cute is she?

Adorbs. So this is a bit more work then some dresses, but I am really happy with how it turned out.

If you think you’re ready for it, get the full Pretty Party Dress Tutorial with Free Downloadable Pattern after the jump.

And remember to leave me or Miss Dove a comment, because any comment you leave could win you this week’s surprise prize!

Pretty Party Dress Free Pattern

These fabrics are so amazing, I can’t get enough. Yes, it’s Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush! The bodice is Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush (Quilt Cotton) Shattered Punch, and the skirt and sleeves are Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush (Quilt Cotton) Turn of Events in Plum. I kind of think I could maybe pull off an adult dress in these fabrics, no? I am going to try. But anyhoo, back to the baby dress!

First you’ll need to download our free pattern. This fits about 9-12 months. You’ll want to scale up the bodice and sleeves for bigger sizes. You can make a top or dress by cutting the skirt to as long as you desire. So download the pattern here: Prudent Baby Pretty Party Dress Free Pattern.

Now you’ll need to cut it out and trace it onto the back of your fabrics as directed. I did the bodice and cuffs in one fabric, and the skirt and sleeves in the other.

Now cut them all out.

Start by pinning the two front bodice pieces right sides facing:

Sew in place around the edge with a scant seam allowance, leaving the bottom straight edge unsewn.  Trim the edges and clip the corners close:

Turn inside out and iron flat.  Make sure to poke your corners out.

There you go:

Now take your back bodice pieces.  Take two reversed pieces and lay them right sides facing and pin:

Sew in place leaving the bottom flat edge unsewn:

Clip your corners, turn inside out, and iron flat:

Now let’s just assemble the bodice so we can see where our buttonhole will go.  So lay the front piece, then one back piece with the shoulder edges lined up:

Then lay the other back piece on top:

Mark where your buttonhole will go:

Sew your buttonhole according to your sewing machine’s directions:

Now let’s assemble the bodice.  Pick which side of the front piece you want to show.  Lay that side up:

Now lay the buttonhole piece right side down with shoulders aligned and pin:

Now lay the other back piece on top, with opposite shoulder aligned, and pin:

Sew in place just across the shoulder seams.  When you’re done, flip it around and it looks like this:

Pin the two back pieces together just to hold them steady for a few while we sew the skirt:

Now take both of your skirt pieces and sew a basting stitch across the top.  A basting stitch is a straight stitch set to the widest width your machine will allow, usually a 5. Leave a long length of thread at the beginning and end of your basting line:

Now lay your bodice down. Take on skirt piece and pull the bobbin thread and gently gather the skirt until it is the same width as the bodice:

Open up the bodice.  Lay the back part of the bodice right side down with the unsewn edge aligned with the basted edge of the skirt and pin:

Sew in place with a straight stitch just inside your basting line.  This is what it looks like from the skirt side:

Serge the edge or sew with a zig zag stitch.  When you flip it over, it looks like this:

Now take the other skirt piece and repeat the gathering process:

Then lay the front bodice piece and skirt right sides facing with unsewn edge aligned with the basted edge and pin:

Sew in place with a straight stitch just inside the basting line:

Finish the edge by serging or sewing with a zig zag.

Now assemble the dress with skirt pieces right sides facing, and sew up each side the skirt, then finish the edge by serging or sewing with a zig zag stitch.

Now for our sleeves.  I decided to add a cuff and to do it first for easier sewing.  So take the cuff rectangle and fold each long edge in 1/4″ and iron.

Then fold it in half lengthwise and iron.

Now slip the cuff pieces around the straight edge of the sleeve piece:

Sew in place at the edge of the fold.

Now take the sleeve piece and fold it in half and pin.

Sew each one together:

Now you have assembled your sleeve.  Repeat with the other one.

With the dress inside out and the sleeve right side out, slip the sleeve (cuff first) into the arm opening.

Pin the unfinished edge of the sleeve opening to the arm opening.

Sew in place all the way around.

Turn inside out to check out your handiwork.

Repeat on the other sleeve.

Looking good!

Now just hem your dress. You can folded in 1/4″, then 1/2″ and sewed all the way around with a straight stitch, but I actually used the contrasting fabric to make double fold bias tape and used that around the bottom edge of the dress.





So cute! I love it paired with the leggings and ballet slipper socks. Of course, she would make anything look cute! She's a doll!

Mrs. Jacobson

Its on like Donkey Kong. Who will finish a dress first for my nieces me or my mom. I'm wagering me and this pattern is so cute I have to do it soon. Thanks!


This is beautiful! Love the fabric!
Ladies!…..I made the snappy toddler top this weekend!!!! Aactually I made it in one nap! YAY! Go me! It's beautiful! I actually made it longer than a top and a little shorter than a dress…..more like a tunic length! It's so so so cute! My first actually article of clothing!!!!! I'm just so pleased! Thanks prudent baby for the inspiration, pattern and confidence!

Matt and Cristin

Too cute…SHE is cute! The dress is cute! Just cuteness all around! :)Thanks for giving me yet ANOTHER something cute to make for my little cutie. Too much cute? I don't think so! ๐Ÿ™‚

Amanda @ PandiolaLane

So cute! I assume you sewed a button on to go with that buttonhole ๐Ÿ™‚ hehe
Can't wait to try this out! Sleeves scare me. I'd hate to go to all that trouble and not have my baby's chubby arms fit through the sleeves. I must conquer my fear!


going to get some fabric for this project right now…literally, leaving the house after i post this. so friggin cute!!


oooh… I see lots of variations of this coming off my machine soon. With an almost 3 year old and a baby on the way, a little creative resizing could yield matching tops for all 3 of us…

Meg Ring

She is soooo stinking cute! I love seeing all of the different things you guys come up with.. I'm a beginning sewer (very beginner.. just got my very first sewing machine this week and started hand sewing last week, haha!) So I'm absolutely absorbed by all of the different things you can actually make yourself! Haha. Your site is so incredible.. and encouraging. I can make these things (eventually)! ๐Ÿ™‚


I just love, love, love this dress – and the incredibly adorable squishy wearing it!

I'm going to have to size it up for some of my friends bebe's!


I love those fabrics! That dress is too cute. Going to see if I can upsize to a 4T … not sure I'm that advanced, but this is cute enough to try. ๐Ÿ™‚


I am going to have to try this one, and soon because my daughter is exactly that size. I think I can do it, although sewing button holes is a little scary to me at this point, and I've never made anything with sleeves….be gone sewing demons of self-doubt!


I love this so much I think I will have to make it. Unfortunately I don't have any baby girls in my life… I have about 8 baby boys in my life (including my son), so maybe one of them will want to play dress up. Not my son though, my husband about had a heart attack when he took my son's socks off the other day to find bright pink toes underneath. I don't know what he would do if he came home and found his precious baby boy wearing a dress!

mrs. olson

I just made one for my little 7 month old, Olive and she looks darling in it! Thanks for the pattern. I usually don't use patterns, I like to freehand sew but I do enjoy your patterns. Thanks!!!

The Queen

Thank you so much for yet another beautiful free pattern! It's so pretty and cute. I can't wait to get started. And I am so impressed with your buttonhole. I wish mine turned out so nice.


I am so excited for this dress! My daughter turns 1 in a few weeks and along with your tissue paper #1, and paper garland, this is the final step to awesome party pics and a day to remember! Thank you so much for all the fun, easy and USEFUL tutorials!!


Ok, I love this and want to make it but my daughter is 19 months old. I am horrible at altering patterns. Does is work if you just print the pattern at like 120%? Seems like it would work but not sure.



Just made this one last night and had great success! I constructed my bodice a little differently (attached the back pieces to the front pieces at the shoulder as my first step, then attached the "lining" set to the "front" set as one piece – my goal was to reduce bulk at the shoulders).

The pattern was right-on for 12-18 months and the directions were very clear. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

Here's a photo of the one I made:


OMG! I just finished mine and I have to say I’m jealous of yours! It’s freaking adorable! I love those fabrics!!

my mudda' calls me jack

found you through
I LOVE IT! I have so many t-shirts of my own that are too big for me now and I haven't found the right project for them. I have a black/grey tie dye t-shirt that will soon be a dress for my almost 1 year old!


I totally made this dress the day it was posted….AND it was my first ever baby dress. I feel so accomplished right now! Thanks for sharing!


Thank you so much for this pattern! I just made a muslin today and it was very easy. I made mine sleeveless and did the shoulder seams the same way the poster Raechel described. I love it and can't wait to make it with my pretty fabric!

I had trouble resizing it to the size I needed (2T) and just hand copied it in a size that I thought might work. And it did!!

Thanks again!!

Patterns of Yum

I'm wanting to make this for a little girl who is about 15 months.( a little small for her age though) How much would you suggest that I enlarge the pattern?


This fabric is definitely not something I would pick up in the store, but it looks so cute! I would also never have thought to pair those two prints together.
If only I was a little braver. I personally gravitate towards solids for myself and it seems I kinda do the same for my 10 month old.
Does that make me boring?


I was just collecting some information about my upcoming Baby i found the new one thing in the shape of 3D ultrasounds it’s amazing and really awesome now i can see a preview of my upcoming new born in clarity it’s a miracle and have a really New experience for me……..


I've made this dress for my baby niece before and it came out beautifully. I did the bodice bit in ivory satin and the skirt and sleeves in a white(ish) and green batik fabric with a tree design on. I loved it so much that I am being brave and trying to adapt it to make a light cotton summer one with little gathered cap sleeves (first time I've really adapted a pattern). I'll let you know how I get on. So far I've adapted the pattern adn cut out the fabric. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

The Eco Mum

I just attempted this as my VERY first peice of clothing made by moi for Missy… it worked! (posted on your FB page) so am going to add frills & pretty things in the second attempt to make it as her Name Day dress. Wish me luck (though with your online tut, easy as anything! LOVES IT!)
The Eco Mum ๐Ÿ™‚


I just finished this dress and MAN is it cute! But MAN was it difficult. Granted, I’m not the most experienced sewer (sewist?) but I have tackled a few complicated little dresses….maybe the directions were not as dumbed down as I’ve grown accustomed to. Nonetheless, with a few “I guess she did this” moments, I finished it and it is gorgeous. The sleeves were the hardest part for me but I’m so happy with it. I added two little heart buttons to the front placket to enhance the pink mini dot and Red and white polka dot fabrics I chose. PS I love that I was able to use literal fabric scraps for this project…score! I will make it again, but it’s a labor of love for me (i.e. I wouldn’t be making this for any old Joe baby girl, it’s going in my own kids’ closets). Next time I will sew the bodice pieces together first and THEN sew the inner to the outer linings to hide the shoulder seams and I also want to try converting it to a jumper by omitting the sleeves and using the same bias tape as on the bottom around the armpit area. I also think some little patch pockets would look really cute on this! Awww the possibilities. Thank you for sharing, I can’t wait to get my little one into this when she arrives in October!


I love this pattern, I decided not to gather mine but did a box pleat in the centre instead. Only problem is my baby’s arms are too chubby! I’ll have to do the sleeves again, am going to try gathering wider sleeves to fit at the shoulder.


Well, it’s over ten years since you released this pattern. However, I am a grandmother who decided to start sewing. Thought I would try some free patterns to begin sewing again. Maybe the pattern is no longer available, as I was not able to download this pattern. I do know my way around the computer so it’s nothing I did. Other than trying to download it from this site, is there another way to get this pattern? Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for your assistance.


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