Love sewing for little girls? Learn how to sew an adorable, sweet dress for a little girl using this easy to follow, step by step flutter sleeve dress pattern.
Flutter Sleeve Dress pattern
Hi guys! I have a really fun and easy sewing project to share with you today, a super easy flutter sleeve dress pattern! This adorable and simple dress with cute DIY flutter sleeves is something I’ve been afraid to start working on for ages! And you might be wondering why since it’s so crazy easy! I know, a sewist’s mind can be so complicated sometimes!
This tutorial has been converted to a PDF file, available to purchase here. This article is completely free to read.
Well, I don’t consider myself an experienced sewer, I still have loads to learn about sewing and unfortunately not enough time to do so. Also when I made this flutter dress, I was working on a little sewing machine that was pretty rudimentary. Oh, and I also have 2 left hands lol! But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try and make pretty stuff like this lovely flutter sleeve dress pattern, even if I do fail every once in a while (ok, ok, pretty often!). But in my sewing book, trying is more important than succeeding so I keep trying my luck. And this time I was pretty lucky as I did have great success with this dress from start to end! Everything went super smooth and pretty fast for a dress, I was so thrilled!
Other little girls projects you might like:
- Reversible kids apron
- Bunny pillow
- Round crossbody bag
- Reversible skirt tutorial
- Hello Kitty coin purse
- Peasant blouse pattern
- Gathered dress for girls
The result of a 3 hours work (yup, it took me that long lol) is a sweet and cute, colorful, comfortable flutter dress that is a perfect fit for a 4 years old little girl. And the best thing (that I’m very proud of), I did not use a purchased pattern, I made my own! I was using just a few measurements, common sense and a lot of praying that I won’t mess it all up lol. I am completely in love with this girls flutter sleeve dress, it’s so cute and girly!
You are going to fall head over heels for each flutter sleeve dress pattern that you’re gonna create! Cause you’ll want to make loads of these for every little girl in your world! And the best thing is you can apply the same technique for this dress to make a flutter sleeve top pattern too!
For this flutter sleeve dress tutorial I made the dress extremely simple. The instructions are meant to help any beginner sewer, who doesn’t know how to master drafting patterns, sewing intricate sleeves or a curved underarm. This flutter sleeve dress tutorial is also suitable for those who don’t own a serger and their sewing machine lacks a lot of options so they’re not able to serge the fabric.
I’m not particularly crazy for the zig zag stitch, I think it gives a rather unprofessional finish. If you’re anything like me you’ll love that you won’t need to use the zig zag stitch, you just fold the fabric in. I know, I’m such a rebel! lol For future though I think I’ll use pinking shears, I like pinked seams! Or the much faster and best looking method: serging (since I own a serger who’s been crying for some attention for ages now!).
This flutter sleeve dress pattern is for a 4 years old girl of about 40″ height, 40 lbs weight. I measured her from one shoulder to the other, to establish how wide I want the bodice to be, then I measured from shoulders to just under the chest, to establish the height of the bodice. Then I measured from shoulders down to her knees, to establish the total length of the dress. I approximated the neck line using an old dress but I also opted for leaving an opening in the back, closed with a button, to make sure Ellie’s head fits through the neck hole.
Flutter dress pattern
- 100 % cotton fabric in 2 different patterns – fabric 1 for bodice and sleeves and fabric 2 for skirt (optional; you can use same fabric for both bodice & skirt): 64 cm W x 100 cm H for bodice = 25″ W x 39″ H; 136 cm W x 40 cm H for sleeves = 53 ” W x 16″ H; 122 cm W x 68 cm H for skirt = 48″ W x 26″ H)
- contrast or matching thread
- Sewing machine and serger if you have
- baking paper to draw the pattern
- Fabric marker
- 1 button
- small piece of ribbon, fabric, elastic or lace to make a loop for the button
Directions for the Flutter sleeve dress pattern:
Preparing the fabrics
Please note conversions from cm to inches are approximate.
- Start by cutting the fabrics for the Bodice: 2 times 12″ x 20″ – Fabric 1
- Cut 4 piece of 13″ x 4″ – Fabric 1
- Then cut 2 pieces of 24″ x 13″ for the skirt – Fabric 2 (if you want to make the skirt longer add an inch or two to the height)
Making the bodice
- Put bodice fabrics together facing wrong side
- Decide which one is going to be the outer bodice
- On the “outer” bodice fabric draw a circle for the neck using the measurements in the photo above.
- Leave a 4″ slit in the back.
- Cut out the circle and cut down the slit.
- Put the bodice fabrics right side together
- Take the lace, elastic, ribbon etc piece and make a loop
- Place the loop in between fabrics, on the slit, as close to the top as possible
- Sew the fabrics together with 1/8″ seam allowance, around the hole and line.
- Clip around the circle as shown here.
- Turn the fabrics right side out, finger press and iron press
- Serge the top and bottom edges of the bodice. If you don’t have a serger, use the zig-zag stitch on your machine to finish seams or fold fabric in twice, 1/8″ each fold (note: this works well on thin to medium fabrics only)
Little Girls Dress Patterns & Tutorials you might find useful:
- Little Lady Braided Dress Pattern
- The Elsa Dress
- Two Hour Girls’ Dress Tutorial
- Layered Dress for Girls
- Pocketful of Butterflies Dress
- Vintage Mod Tee Dress
- Simple A-Line Dress
How to sew flutter sleeves
- Take the sleeve fabrics pieces and use something round like a bowl to round off the edges
- Cut along the line
- Put 2 fabric pieces right side together
- Sew all around, leaving an opening on the straight side of the fabric, to turn the fabric right side out
- Turn the fabric right side out and top stitch to close the sleeve opening
- Finger press and iron press
- Gather the sleeve using a loose stitch setting on your machine. Back stitch at one end, where you start sewing the loose stitch. When finish stitching, leave at least 6 cm = 2″ long thread out. Pull fabric with one hand and on one thread with the other hand. Gather as much as you like.
- Repeat for the other sleeve
Attaching sleeves to bodice
- Take your bodice, place the sleeve in between outer and inner bodice fabric, with the outer right side out, pin the sleeve centered on the hole for the neck and sew in place
- Place the outer bodice over and stitch all the way through, stopping 1″ before the ends
Super Simple Beginners Sewing Projects You Might Like:
- 5 Minutes Kleenex holder
- Handy reusable fabric bowl cover tutorial
- Super simple DIY skirt idea
- Basic pillowcase sewing tutorial
- Pretty fabric envelopes
- DIY rope bowl tutorial
- Time for tea dish towel tutorial
- Creative Chicken fabric weights sewing crafts for beginners
Attaching skirt to bodice
- Take your skirt fabrics and serge on all sides or fold fabric twice as indicated above to finish the seams. If you use a serger, fold fabric twice only on the hem. Sew 2 stitches on the hem.
- Gather the skirt fabrics so that they match the bodice’ width
- Take bodice and place right side out
- Place gathered skirt fabric right side out in between bodice fabrics and stitch to the inner bodice fabric.
- Place outer bodice over and stitch again
- Now it should all look like this and all you have to do is stitch the sides together, starting from the hem and stopping 3″ past the body. I wanted this dress to be a surprise to my daughter and took the chance, I didn’t have her try it on before sewing the sides but I suggest you don’t skip this step as your dress might need some adjusting. If all fits well, just sew the sides up.
And you’re done!! Enjoy your hard work and give yourself a good pat on the shoulder for an excellent job done!
Let me know in the comments below how your flutter sleeve dress turned out and please don’t forget to rate this tutorial! Thanks!
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