Girls Dress Pattern | Reversible Dress

From Stitch Savvy, 25 skill-building projects to take your sewing technique to the next level by Deborah Moebes

I came up with this dress when my daughters were itty bitties. I was so bummed every time they out-grew something I’d made with hoarded fabric—once they were too big to wear it, I was forced to Reversible Dress Patternpack it away and lost  the chance to look at the prints I love so much! Step one: Make it reversible, so I can use two fabrics at the same time (and so we always have a spare outfit near at hand for random food incidents). Step two: Make it adjustable with tie straps that really tie, so the dress can be raised and lowered at the underarm as she grows, giving her the chance to wear it as a dress to start, as a tunic later and as a swing top before it gets retired. I’m all about making the good stuff last just a little bit longer.


You Will Need:

Get The Template




Cut the Pattern
This dress is a very simple one, but its success hinges largely on good cutting.

Seam allowance: 1.6cm (5/8″)

1. ARRANGE PATTERN ON FABRICS_W7260-i-girldress-01
Fold both your fabrics in half (as shown). Lay the pattern pieces on
top (being sure to match the fold line on the pattern with the folds
on the fabric) and cut them out.
I like to lay out one fabric, then lay the other directly on top of
it, and cut both the outer dress and the lining/reverse at the same
time. For the largest size of this pattern, you won’t be able to fi t the
pattern on with the fabric folded this way; instead, fold the fabric with
selvages together and cut each piece on the fold.
The curves at the straps are pretty tight, so when you reach them,
take care cutting them out to preserve as much of them as you can.
Consider using super small scissors to do just this one section
of cutting.

3. PIN OUTER DRESS AND LINING_W7260-i-girldress-05
Place the lining and outer dresses right sides together, matching
side seams, notches and keeping raw edges even. Pin to secure
all the way around the upper edge, including the straps and curved
neckline. Use plenty of pins if you need to—remember, pins are not
about rules; pins are about confidence, and you ought to use as
many or as few as you need to make you feel good about the results
you’ll get.
Sew the side seams first before joining each piece. Stitch all the way around the upper edge, including the front and
back necklines and the straps. Do not stitch the bottom hem (this is
how you’ll turn the dress right-side out later).
Take care to stitch slowly on the curves—if they’re really giving
you a tough time, try shortening your stitch length to allow you a little
more control as you round those strap ends. A sketchy or jagged
seam here will show right at the top of the garment where it’s the
most obvious, so if I were going to rush through any part of this
project, here would not be the place. Take your time with the straps
and they will reward you!
Clip the curves on the neckline seam allowance (up to but not
through the stitches). Trim the seam allowance on each strap to a
scant 1?4″ (6.4mm). This will keep the curves nice and defined as you
flip the dress right-side out—if you turn the whole thing and find a
big lumpy blob, go back and make more clips closer together and
trim just a bit more.
Turn right-side out through the open hem, using a knitting needle
to get really clean curves on the strap ends. Press, press, press. Use
steam. Force those straps into submission.

Hem a Reversible
The hem is the real key in keeping this dress totally reversible: no part of the fabric from one side can peek below the
hemline on the other. This dress doesn’t have to be truly reversible—if you want, the reverse side can simply be a lining.
But really, why line it when you can just get two dresses for the work it takes to make one?

Begin by pulling the lining away from the outer dress, and
pressing under 1?2″ (1.3cm) on the lower edge of the outer
dress. Do the same on the lower edge of the lining.
Place the two folded edges together at the hemline. At the
side seams, give a gentle tug to make sure there is no slack,
then pin at the lower edge, taking care to keep the two folded
edges even. Forcing them to be even when they aren’t pressed
to the same depth will make puckers and bulges in the rest
of the dress, so take care with this step—it will make all the
difference in the end.
Continue in this manner all the way around the hemline,
and re-press any edges that want to escape your rigorous
checking. Pin the edges in place.
After the entire hemline is pinned, stitch the hem 1?4″ (6.4mm)
from the lower edge.
In the same way that you hemmed the lower edge, let’s_W7260-i-girldress-15
topstitch around the upper edge. Sew 1?4″ (6.4mm) from the
edge all the way around the neckline and straps, backstitching
when you return to where you began. Not only does this
secure the seam allowances on the inside of the dress and
keep them from getting lumpy when we launder it, topstitching
here will keep the look of the garment consistent. (When you
reach the straps, you might need to get closer to the edges
than ¼” (6.4mm)—this is totally fine, just be consistent!)

To hold the dress up, tie knots. To make the best knot, one that will
lie fl at when tied and not rotate around, tie the knot fi rst with right
tie over left, then the second knot with left over right. This will help
your “ears” to point straight!


STITCH_SAVVY_300512_-161Try This, Too!
One of my favorite ways to mix this dress up is to simply catch a little rickrack in the hemline as I stitch it. You’ll see the waves of the trim peeking out at the lower edge of the dress on both sides, so choose a color that works with
both your fabrics. Consider using appliqué, embroidery or pockets on one or both sides to spice up versions of this dress—no kidding, my girls wear them all year long, over almost anything, and I can’t get enough of them in their closets.





About The Book
Deborah Moebes, author of the bestselling Stitch By Stitch, “personalises” the instruction by allowing you to determine your own progression. There are four methods to learning from this book: You can pick a “track” (Garment Sewing, Bag Making, Home Décor, Patchwork, Sewing for Kids) and work from the tier 1 project all the way to the tier 5; or, you can do all five tier 1 projects in the book, then all the tier 2, etc.; or, you can follow prompts at the end of each project that will guide you to similar projects in the book… or you can just sew the projects you like best! The book includes a CD-ROM full of templates patterns and extras. Furthermore, the lay-flat binding lets you keep your hands free for sewing.

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17 thoughts on “Girls Dress Pattern | Reversible Dress

  1. I am very keen to make this dress for my grand-daughter but there is no indication of the sizes of the templates. Can you give me a rough idea?

  2. Thanks .

    I am in the US at the moment and the fabric I want to use is in the UK so I will have to wait until we are united. Hopefully I will have a photo to send to you.


  3. Hi- I am in the midst of making this and am wondering about 2 things. 1) What seam allowance should I use? and 2) Are you supposed to sew the side seams of each fabric before joining the fabric? These two bits of information are crucial and missing from the directions. Thanks!

  4. Hi Erin,

    Thank you for letting us know about this. The seam allowance should be 1.6 cm (5/8″) and you should sew the side seams of both pieces first. We hope this helps!


    – James

  5. i want to make a little girl dress for my younger sister.
    i understand your blog and also tips and steps for creating a little flower girl dress, i remembered.
    thanks for taking.

  6. I love tgis pattern but am finding it confusing. I have sewn the lining pieces together ( side seams), then the outer side seams . Now what do I do? Do I put the lining inside the outer?

  7. Hi Debbie, you have to sew the lining and the outer fabric together (right sides together) rather than sewing the two pieces separately. You leave the bottom hem open (step 4) so you can then turn the dress right side out. I hope that makes sense?

  8. I’m just not understanding step 3 at all. I think I understand how to lay the fabric —

    A RS up
    B WS up
    B RS up
    A WS up

    but I don’t understand what I’m supposed to sew — are we sewing two side seams (each through all four layers of fabric) or two side seams (fabric A sides together and fabric B sides together)?

    I’ve made myself paper templates and used existing dresses to try to figure this out, but I just can’t get it! 🙁

  9. Right — have figured this out, for anyone else struggling to understand the instructions! 🙂

    Place fabric A pieces together, RS touching. Sew side seams only.

    Place fabric B pieces together, RS touching, Sew side seams only.

    Turn fabric A piece RS OUT and place fabric B piece inside it. (RS of fabric A will be the outside of the dress and RS of fabric B will be in the inside of the dress. The raw side seams of the pieces will be touching each other.)

    Now, stitch the upper portion — armholes, straps, neckline — together all the way around. You will be stitching one layer each of fabric A and fabric B together at this point (i.e., the front of the strap will be fabric A and the back of the strap will be fabric B).

  10. Hi Ella, I’m sorry you found the instructions a little hard to decipher! I’m glad you managed to figure everything out in the end, and thanks so much for commenting with these helpful extra instructions. We’d love to see your finished dress if you feel like sharing – just post a pic to our facebook page ( ) or tag us on Instagram – we’re @stitchcraftcreate

  11. Hi, I have just made this dress today. I am a total beginner and this is the first dress I’ve ever made! I’m really happy with the outcome.

    This was how I did it, it was very straightforward. Instead of starting with the side seams I sewed the top of the dress first.

    After cutting the pieces, I pinned one piece of fabric A to one piece of fabric B right sides together. I started pinning at the underarm, up around the straps and neck and back down, stopping at the other underarm. Then I sewed that to make the front, and repeated all of it again for the back half of the dress.

    Then I joined the back and front of the dress together by matching up the seams at the underarm and pinning both pieces of fabric A together, and pinning from the underarm down to the bottom of the dress, and carried on like that for the other sides. Then I sewed down the sides of the dress where I had pinned, before turning it the right way round and continuing with the instructions above.

    This is a great project for a beginner especially if you want something that can easily be made in a short time.

    This is the finished dress:

  12. So, have just made the dress. Instructions not great and thanks to Ella for her additional ones. Anyway the finished item is gigantic across the body!!! I mean seriously!! I did half inch seams and it is still and inch and a half each side bigger than one of my daughters regular dresses. Really disappointed.

  13. Hi Sophie, I’m sorry you weren’t pleased with the pattern – it is intended as a very comfortable, loose-fitting dress so perhaps this explains why it was so large across the body?
    Anyway I wish you all the best of luck for your future sewing projects!