DIY

$2 Fat Quarter Dress

2 Fat Quarter Dress
Just last week, I made two dresses out two fat quarter pieces of fabric. One for Penelope, and one for my friend Stacey (who had the awesome post this week about a great outdoor activity for a wild boy!) She is very close to giving birth to a sweet baby girl and I wanted to make her one of my pillow case dresses. 

I also made her a crinkly toy and earlier I gave her the too small shorts I made when making Penelope’s jumper.

The baby girl’s dress is about a 3-6 months if I had to guess. I am not big on measuring, I just use an old dress and eye ball it. One of the reasons I love pillow case dresses, they are so forgiving.
2 Fat Quarter Dress

I got the fat quarter’s at Joanne Fabric’s for $1 each, when they were on sale. A fat quarteris simply a 1/4 of a yard of fabric, cut a certain way to be more square shaped than long and skinny. This is what the fat quarter looks like all in one piece.
2 Fat Quarter Dress
This is the other one. I cut off the bottom panel to use on Penelope’s dress.
2 Fat Quarter Dress
Then I pinned and sewed the bottom panel to the one for Penelope. It took me forever to figure out this part. I starred and starred at it, for like 30 minutes, and couldn’t figure out how to sew it on in one line of stitching. Then by the grace of God, when I was Joann Fabric’s later that day, to get more pink ribbon, they had a sample dress on a manikin with this type of bottom and I was able to look at it and figure it out!

So you fold the long rectangle panel of fabric in half along the long side. So the wrong sides of the panel are in the inside and the right side is on the outside. Then pin the bottom panel to the big piece, right sides facing.
2 Fat Quarter Dress
Then sew a straight line. If you have a serger, you could just do one line with the serger and be done. But I don’t have one, so I just use pinking sheers to finish.

The picture on the left is what it looks like on the back, the right is the front.
2 Fat Quarter Dress
If you look down the middle, you have made a little tube.
2 Fat Quarter Dress
Then I added a piece of pink ribbon, so I could coordinate the ribbon that I used for the straps and to coordinate the finished dress to baby girl’s dress. I am hoping that they still fit when get together again, I am sucker for matching outfits.
2 Fat Quarter Dress
Then I sewed both rectangles together along the sides. I put the fabric right side facing and sewed on either side. Then turned it inside out. At that point you have a big tube.

Then I made the casing at the top. Fold the top down twice to your desired width, and make a tube with your fabric. When you sew it, be sure to leave a hole open, to thread your elastic through.
2 Fat Quarter Dress
Use a safety pin to help you thread your elastic.
2 Fat Quarter Dress
Once you thread your elastic all the way through, sew your hole closed. This is what the top looks like finished.
2 Fat Quarter Dress 10
Then I pinned the straps of ribbon to the dress. I pinned them on either side of the elastic in the tube, so my stitching would line up with what I sewed already.
2 Fat Quarter Dress 11
2 Fat Quarter Dress 12
And ta-da! This dress was the first dress I used without using a tutorial or pattern, so I was pretty stoked.

2 Fat Quarter Dress 13
It’s a little long on Penelope, but I wanted her to get plenty of wear out of it. She is in the 97% for height and she always grows out of the length of her dresses before her chest.
2 Fat Quarter Dress 14
Oh, those blue eyes.
2 Fat Quarter Dress 15
What do you think? Think you could make one too?

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  • Victoria @ One Crafty Momma
    July 28, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    You make me want a girl sooooo bad!! 🙂

  • Maureen
    July 28, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    I love it, Steph! I love it love it love. I love the elastic at the top, and that the ribbons are sewn to the dress. I HATE when the ribbons fall out, and I have to fudge with the length of the ties. This would be super easy to transition into a halter top, too!

  • Kristy
    July 28, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Cute. I like the elastic at the top. At first glance I thought you had made a dolly & me dress for Penelope. As soon as I dig my sewing machine out, I'm getting to sewing & have plans for little dolly dresses to match Lottie's too.

  • Stephanie
    July 28, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    @Victoria…yes, having a girl is really fun if you can sew!
    @Maureen…that is a good idea, I have done one halter top for her in the past, but I would like to do more.
    @Kristy…I have been meaning to make little dresses for her Blabla dolls but never got around to it. You will have to show me what you do.

  • Amy {All In A Day}
    July 29, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    I LOOOOVE it!! It's so cute! I'm going to have to make one of these for Emily for sure!

  • Tara
    July 29, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Funny- that looks just like the Layer Cake Dress that I made.

  • Monica
    July 30, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    Stephanie, it looks great! The color combo is fabulous and the directions make it look so easy! As soon as I get a new machine, I might have to make this for my niece! And, Penelope looks adorable–as always!

  • Stephanie
    July 30, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    Thanks Amy and Monica! I really liked the color combo too. I am visiting with a friend in Savannah right now, and she is a master seamstress, I am learning so much! Can't wait for my next project. 🙂

  • Anonymous
    July 30, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    Wouldn't the cost of the ribbon make it cost more than $2?

  • Stephanie
    July 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    @anonymous…I had most of the pink ribbon already, so when I had to purchase more to finish the dress, it was such a small amount that it still came in under $2. I have a huge ribbon bin that I save ribbon from presents and try to reuse it in my projects to save money! 🙂

  • Anonymous
    July 30, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Thanks for clarifying. I just read where you said the fat quarters cost $2 and then you had to go to the store to buy ribbon. Sounded like a $5 dollar project but whos counting.

  • Mom2fur
    August 2, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Oh, sweetness aplenty! I don't really know any little girls but I'm bookmarking this anyway. Someday, I might actually have a granddaughter I can sew adorable things like this for!

  • Anonymous
    August 5, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    Love Love Love! Questions…what size elastic did you use? And how long was the elastic that you used on the dresses? I have a 4 month and 2 year old granddaughters. Perfect project! Also love your site!

  • Anonymous
    August 5, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    hmmmm… My 14 month old is only 20% for weight, but I don't think a fat quarter is going to be enough material to go around her chest? What were the measurements of your fat quarter? Mine says 18"x21".

  • Fatima
    August 9, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    This so simple and nice, and can sew for my little niece.

    send gift to pakistan from USA

  • Stephanie
    August 9, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    @Mom2fur…I know finding cute, easy things to sew for boys is much harder!
    @Anonymous…I think it was 1/4 size? Pretty thin.
    @Anonymous…yes, I think that is the measurements of mine. I didn't write it down, I bad with details! Try to use an dress that fits her now to figure out width and length.
    @Fatima…thanks! Send me pictures when you are done!

  • Anonymous
    August 16, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    This is fantastic! I have been trying to figure out how to use some fat quarters and this will be perfect!! Thanks so much!

  • Amy
    January 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Hi- I love your site! Had to tell you I tried my first pillowcase dress yesterday and it actually turned out a shirt because I messed up on the armholes and had to cut the top off. Thanks for the inspiration:)

    • Stephanie
      January 20, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      I love pillow case dress shirts! All of the dresses I have made for Penelope when she was a baby are now worn as shirts. I love how much use you can get out of them that way.

  • Annette Holbrook
    February 6, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    I can’t wait to try this!! It looks simple enough for even ME to try! (I’m a visual learner, so patterns do no good for me.) At Christmas time, I purchased like 25 fat quarters to make a quilt for my daughter’s “big girl bed”. (My mom told me to buy 20.) I misunderstood her and got 5 fat quarters of 5 different patterns. OOPS! I can’t return them now, so I may as well make good use of them! Good thing I have a few nieces who are also under 2 years!

  • Jennifer C
    April 21, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    Did you sew the sides straight so you had a equal rectangle or did you contour? Also did you make arm holes or does the elastic go under the arms?

    • Stephanie
      April 21, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      I sewed straight down,so it is a rectangle shape, similiar to a pillow case dress. For the one that is elastic at top, I didn’t cut armholes, they are under the arms like a tube top. For the one that I have bias tape for the armholes, I cut them out similar to a pillow case dress.