Girl’s Tiered Ruffle Dress

Free girls dress pattern

When I saw this Riley Blake fabric at The Ribbon Retreat I absolutely fell in love and knew I needed to make something out of it. I stared at it for a couple of seconds and then it hit me-baby girl dress with lots of layers and ruffles. Because, you know, with 4 little boys I have tons of need for baby girl dresses.

This dress is similar to the 4th of July dress and Candy Corn dresses that I have done, but adds in a few more layers and slightly different straps. I love, love, love how it turned out! I think it’s my favorite baby dress yet.

I know you want to make one of your own!

And…there’s matching shoes! Click here for that pattern

Free Mary Jane Baby Shoes Pattern

What You Need:

3 coordinating fabrics (amount will depend on size of dress you are making-if you are making a baby/toddler size you can probably get away with about 1/2 yard of each. If you are going bigger than that, get more like 1 yard of each.)

Small amount of lining fabric (in coordinating color)

2 Buttons

Baby Dress Pattern Pieces: Infant (about 3-6 months size) or Toddler (about 12 month size)

Tiered Ruffled Baby Girls Dress Tutorial:

First of all, print off the pattern pieces (above).  If you need a different size I recommend finding a dress that fits your child currently and use it as a template to create this dress. Simply create a pattern just like the ones I have given you, but size it up to fit your child. I will be adding pattern sizes down the road.

With those pattern pieces, fold your main fabric in half, place the pattern piece on the fold and cut. You will have one piece of the front and one of the back. You then need to do the same with the lining fabric so that you end up with 4 total pieces of cut fabric to create the top of your dress.

Now, grab the front piece of your dress and the front piece of the lining. Put right sides together and sew all the way around except across the bottom. Do the same with the back pieces. Turn right side out and iron them nice and flat.

With those 2 pieces that you just created, again, put right sides together and sew together on the sides. Turn the whole thing right side out.

The only other thing you need to do to complete your top is to sew your buttons in. Hand stitch the button in place on each strap and create a button hold on the dress bodice for the button to go through. And you’re done with the top! By the way, turns out I need some serious practice at sewing button holes.

Baby girl dress pattern and tutorial

To make the body you need to cut 3 long strips of fabric-one of each of your 3 fabrics.

You need to know how long you want your dress to be and then make your strips accordingly.

For the toddler size dress my strips are about 4 inches wide. For the infant do more like 3 inches wide.

To determine the length, first measure your bodice width. (The toddler one is 10.5.”) Then use the following chart to figure out length:


Chart for the layered ruffles:

***When I say width here, please measure your bodice piece width and then double it. So that the width I am referring to is the width of the front and the back piece together.

Layer 1: 1.5 x the width of your bodice

Layer 2: 2 x the width of your bodice

Layer 3: 3 x the width of your bodice


Take your first strip, fold it in half and sew the ends together:

How to sew a ruffleThen run a basting stitch along the top end, leaving the thread hanging nice and long at the end. (Do not knot the thread at the start or the finish.)

Gently pull one of the threads to create a gather in your fabric.

DIY Baby Girl dress Pull and gather until it is the width of your bodice.

Insert the bodice of the dress into the gathered ruffle that you just created so that right sides are touching. Stitch all the way around the dress to sew the ruffle to the bodice top.

Now do the same with layers two and three, stitching them into place on the layer above them.

On the bottom layer sew a hem:

Turn everything right side out:

And gawk at its cuteness for a minute or two. Don’t you love it?

This post was originally posted at The Ribbon Retreat.


You’ve just found another prize in the Sew Crazy Monthly Challenge Scavenger Hunt:

1 Person will win a Pepe in Paris Fat Quarter Bundle from Riley Blake Designs:


Enter to Win It Here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


And here’s another clue for the next prize pack:

If it’s bags that float your boat,

Try this purple chevron tote!


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Hey there! I'm Amber, mom of 4 crazy boys, wife of 1 and non-stop, always busy, crazy project doer. (There's a reason why we call it *Crazy* Little Projects.) I love chocolate, reading, sewing and being with people!
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  1. Patti says

    I made a pattern like this for my daughter when she was 5 years old and sewed several of these dresses, one was gingham and the other from sewing scraps. Glad to see a pattern for a baby, I have a new niece and 2 more on the way.

  2. diane tucker says

    Hi, I just tried to print your sewing instructions from and it would not print. It prints everythng to the right of the instructions. I love the litlle ruffled tierd dress and was able to print the bodice back and front but not the actual instructions. I highlighted them and hit print but it printed like 18 pages of stuff.
    Can you help?
    Thanks. Love this project!

  3. Erin Squires says

    Hi there – I am currently trying to make this dress – it’s super cute! However, I’m having some issues with the instructions for the layers. Maybe I’m not reading it correctly.

    But, you say the length of the first layer should be 1.5x the width of the dress. We are then instructed to fold it in half – when you do this it is then too small (even before ruffle-ing) because it wasn’t even twice the width, which I would think would need to me the minimum to create a skirt piece that fits the bodice, and that leaves no room for ruffle-ing. Like I said, perhaps I’ve read it wrong. If so, please help! :) Thanks so much. I really want to make this for my little girl. Erin

    • Amber says

      Oh I can see how that would be VERY confusing. I need to fix the wording on that. I mean 1.5 times the width of the dress if you were to measure it all the way around in a circle. So really, the width times 2 and then 1.5 times it. Does that make sense?

  4. Mary Jane says

    I would like to make this, but not sure how to do it to fit my almost 20 month old granddaughter! Any chance of you making a pattern for this size or could you tell me in details how to do it, if it’s not too much trouble? Thank you so much!

    • Amber says

      The easiest thing to do would be to use one of her dresses that she owns as a guide if possible. Try to adjust the top part of the pattern to match the top of one of her dresses and then work from there.

  5. polly says

    omg thank you for the measurements, I wasn’t sure how much wider/longer to go for the ruffles. I am making ruffled dresses for my 9 yr old granddaughter and this was so very helpful.. thanks again

  6. Carole M says

    favourite? don’t make me pick. I’ve pinned so many things from your site. I just wish I had more time to take a bunch of them on! I do like the pencil case because I actually made that one :)

  7. Randi says

    I love this dress, the shoes and the skirt! Its so much easier to make clothes for my little girl than buy them, since she grows out of them so fast. Thanks for the ideas!

  8. Colleen Garner says

    I love all your projects, you have inspired me to sew with your learning to sew projects, Thank you so much for all you do.

  9. Renee says

    My very favorite project that I’ve done with you is the beach bag. But I’ve also done this dress and it turned out soooo cute.

  10. Leah says

    I have learned to sew with you. I’m going to try hooded towels for birthday gifts for my kids. Hopefully, they are as cute as hours!

  11. Jen S. says

    I am pretty excited about making a messenger bag from the blog. I had a lot of fun making the oven mitt–it gave me exposure to bias tape and was a quick, easy, fun project that gave me almost instant satisfaction (unlike the quilt and special occasion dress I’ve been working on for forever).

  12. Leslie says

    My favorite project is not one project, but a series of projects! The Learn to Sew series from last year! I have learned so much, and the projects are good reference for when I just want to practice some skills. Thanks!

  13. Kim H says

    I loved your Learn to Sew lessons and projects. Probably my favorite (and best known for) are the hooded towels. I’ve since branched out and made my own creatures.

  14. Maria says

    Favorite project (you ask all the hard questions!)… ok the one I am looking most forward to trying is the hooded towel. My daugher’s from Pottery Barn are all completely destroyed (of course 2 of the 4 we’ve had for nearly 8 years, so I shouldn’t complain) and we need some more.

  15. Arika says

    wow that is a hard question…of those I’ve tried I like the layered skirt – the coloring book case was good too…I just had a few screw ups that make it harder to love this time! The shoes were cute but I couldn’t get them right…so many more that I want to try too!

  16. Kelly says

    my daughter came over as I was looking at this post and has decided I am making 2 of these dresses, she even went down to the sewing room, pulled out her bin of fabric and chose the materials she wanted for each dress. And yes my 4 year old has a whole bin of fabric that she has picked out over the years, Riley Blake is one of her favorites :)

  17. Corina says

    My faves are the ruffled purse, the baby burp cloths, and the pajama pants. As you can tell those are from your learn to sew series. I’m making my way to your second series which is purchased and waiting for me!

  18. Patricia S says

    I can’t seem to pick one favorite project…I don’t even think I’ve seen them all yet. Just when I think I have seen them…I discover another. :)

  19. Emily says

    I would have to say that so far my favorite project on Crazy Little Projects is the learn to applique project. It really did teach me how to applique and now I LOVE it!

  20. Torrie says

    You have such a great collection of projects. I’d have to say the scripture tote is my favorite b/c I’ve done it twice now and loved the finished product both times.

  21. Sophie says

    I haven’t made one yet, but I love the messenger bag tutorial. I usually only buy fabrics when they’re on sale so I’m waiting to get the perfect combination before I start. Can’t wait to do that one!

  22. Erin M says

    I haven’t done many projects yet but I made the messenger bag from last month and I already have 2 people asking for one! So I guess that’s my favorite. :)

  23. Katie Kobus says

    I haven’t had a chance to try any projects because of my machine, but I’m excited to try some of the baby projects!

  24. says

    It’s so hard to pick just one. I have made so many credit card holders as gifts. I have made a bunch of the burp cloths from diapers for shower gifts. I love the diaper and wipe carriers. Just to name a few. Your newsletter is my favorite. I can’t wait to see what ‘s coming next.

  25. Meghan Mack says

    My favorite project(s) are all your hooded towels! I have made several (with the minion being a favorite of those) and can’t wait to try more!

  26. Brenda Weikel says

    The sleeping bag is my favorite project on this blog so far. The three tiered dress would be a big hit with a little girl I know, however.

  27. Sharon Williams says

    I love the messenger bag! I really like a lot tho :) and you tutorials are so great to follow!!! Thanks for all the time and extra stuff you put into it!!!

  28. Mippy/Sabrina says

    I am a new fan to your page (Riley Blake sent me) I am also new to sewing so I haven’t tried any of your projects yet. I would say one of my favorite project that is yours would be: THe MEssenger BAg and tutorial :)

  29. Holly says

    You have so many cute ideas! I love getting your emails in my inbox to see what the next one is. I love your hooded towels and the messenger bag.

  30. Chelle Chapman says

    I’m gonna have to say THIS post, the Girls Tiered Ruffle Dress is hands down my fave! Back when I found you it was THIS post you were sharing & I made this dress & sent it to my Gran baby in Germany!! I tried to get as close to these colors also as my DD is a purple hound!! Thanks for this FUN giveaway/hunt!!

  31. says

    I love so many of your projects! I only found your blog a month or two ago so I’m not sure of my favorite yet but I can’t wait to make this dress with some cute baby shoes!

  32. Kathleen Lambert says

    I’m anxious to try the Sleeping bag pattern for my grandson and Girl’s Tiered Ruffle Dress for my granddaughter. By the way such a fun contest. Love the scavenger hunt theme.

  33. Jenny Kingcome says

    Oh dear. This scavenger hunt is certainly making my list of future projects a lot longer! Thanks for all the top tips.

  34. Ashley says

    I love ALL the projects on Crazy Little Projects, but the lion hooded towel project was just so adorable and perfect for my nephew.

  35. Lisa H says

    My favorite is the first project I did from this site…the mini messengar bag! I made it for my neice and she loves it.

  36. Linda says

    Hi, love the Lion Hooded Towel project>it is just the perfect gift for Baby Showers>love it!
    Thanks so for the fun+giveaway!

  37. Angelia L. says

    We don’t have any small children in the family at the moment but I really do love the hooded towels. Hopefully I will have grandchildren someday so I can make some.

  38. Lisa says

    I have two older boys so I will have to make them the sleeping bag. For my three girls the three tiered skirt looks like a simple project as well as this ruffled dress.

  39. Sarah says

    I love all the little girl dresses and skirts. I found the three tiered skirt while searching for this and can’t to make it for my daughter.

  40. Kristen says

    I just started following and doing the #sewcrazychallenge this year, so I still have a lot to explore and try. But so far, I have made a hooded towel, a pillow with applique, and an oven mitt! I’m thinking about either a girl’s dress or the cross body tote bag next! …And of course March is almost here so, I can’t wait to see what the next challenge will be!

  41. Sandy Lasher says

    You have many fun projects, would love to make this cute dress, or any in you 25 fun thing to do with 25 fat quarters!

  42. Adrienne says

    My favorite Crazy Little Projects would have to be the sleeping bag. It’s really difficult to find cute sleeping bags in the store.

  43. Megan Jevne says

    All your projects are great but I’d say the hooded towels. Perfect for my very tall 2 year old since the toddler ones just aren’t big enough anymore.

  44. Elizabeth Dye says

    So far, I like the shoes for a little boy and all the girl dresses (but I see hooded towels I need to check out after this!

  45. Melissa says

    I love many of the projects but my favorite has to be the heart shaped oven mitts. I’m planning an entire kitchen linen set because of it. Even though it’s past Valentine’s I’ll be using Valentine’s fabric, I cook with love so it works. :) I’ll be making both the oven mitts, some towels, hot pads (we have contact paper on ugly rental counters), and an apron. Thanks! :)

  46. Hinahon says

    I love the Duck Hooded Towel. I have no kids but I’d love to modify this to make something for myself cause I just LOVE duckies ^^

  47. Crystal S says

    The crayon and coloring book carrier!!! I made one for my 3 year old niece, she adores it! I also made one for my 10 year old niece with black fabric that is more preteen with scribbled hearts and words like “Boyfriend” and “rockstar” she keeps her sketch pads and colored pencils in it.

  48. Rachel says

    I love the shoes, the one’s I’m currently working on. I can make them and embellish them to switch up the “look” of the shoes! So adorable!! This is the only one SO FAR that I have done (working on) – BUT there are many on my to-do list. You have a fantastic variety for both genders and a variety of age groups! Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us!

  49. Colleen says

    Oh my gosh, how do I pick just one? I actually love this tiered ruffle dress. I’ve made two for my daughter and they’re just darling!

  50. says

    I can’t wait to start on this dress!! I am fairly new to sewing, so, I’m not sure I understand all the directions on how to measure the body of the dress, but, I’m going to give it a try:)

  51. Kasha says

    I just wanted to thank you for the inspiration and guidance into how long each layer needed to be. Using your calculations, I made a rainbow one for my 7 year old that she adores! Thank you so much!

  52. Kelbe Lawson says


    When you say:
    “To determine the length, first measure your bodice width. (The toddler one is 10.5.”) Then use the following chart to figure out length:”

    Are you referring to the length of the strips that will create your ruffle (since you’ll be pulling it to create the ruffle). For example my toddler dress bodice is 23″ there for the length of the strips should be as follows:

    with each strip being about 4″wide taking away seem allowance I’m thinking my skirt part of my dress will be about 10-11 inches long.

    Thanks …just needed clearing up. This is my first dress…so far the bodice turned out great!


  53. Anja says

    Thanks for the pattern of this lovely dress! I made a (my first one after 3 boys) dress for my granddaughter with it!

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