Make a Baby Doll dress – Free Sewing Pattern & tutorial

This is a pattern to make and sew a cute flowy loose fitting baby doll dress/ top . This dress has an empire waist and long frilled sleeves. The opening is a button placket on one shoulder seam.

baby doll dress

Step  1

Cut out the pattern pieces for the bodice – front and back

The following pattern is for front and back – The only difference is the neckline height

The front neckline is 6″ from C and back neckline is 5″ from C

The height of the bodice is 14 inches – just under the bust which makes it an empire dress bodice

The neckwidth is marked as 3.5 ” A- C

A-H is the armhole depth . 

Mark A- E = 1/2 of shoulder to shoulder + 1/4″
Mark down from E so that E-F = 3/4″ – this is for the shoulder slope

baby doll dress pattern


smock dress pattern


smock dress pattern

Step 2

To add the button placket, cut the seam allowance (1/2 inch) off the shoulder of one side. I have chosen the left side (when you wear the dress).

baby doll dress

Make the button placket. Cut two pieces of fabric 3 inch wide and length same as the shoulder seam.

baby doll smock dress

Double fold the piece as in the picture below

baby doll smock dress

Keep the shoulder seam inside the placket . Stitch in place. Do this for both the front and back bodice – corresponding side ie if you want the button placket on the left side – take that side for front and back bodices.

how to sew a baby doll dress

smock dress pattern

Make buttonholes on the back bodice placket. Checkout this post on making  buttonholes on the sewing machine. You could make it by hand as well. Checkout the post on making buttonholes by hand here

ssmock dress pattern

Now keep the button plackets stacked so that buttonhole one is on top. Baste stitch in place on the armhole side.

baby doll dress

Step 3

Join the other shoulder seam as usual

baby doll dress

Step 4 Make the sleeves

Cut out the sleeves as per the pattern below. The total length of the sleeve piece  should be 25″

smock dress pattern

Keep the sleeves opened on the shoulder seam. Stitch in place

Hem the sleeves – Turn under the cut edge twice and stitch in place.

Now cut an elastic piece 8 inches  long ( 1/4 inch ) and keep it 3 inches from the bottom hemmed edge. Baste stitch in place in the center. Center of the elastic aligned with the center fold line of the sleeve

baby doll smock dress free sewing pattern

Stretch the elastic to the sides and stitch in place. This will gather the sleeve hem and give the appearance of a frill.

baby doll smock dress free stitching pattern

baby doll free pattern

Step 5

Make the bottom piece of the dress

Cut two pieces of fabric with height 19 inch and width each equalling your hip round. Hem the bottom edge.

baby doll smock dress pattern

how to sew a smock dress

Gather the other edge of the pieces with long stitches.

how to sew a smock dress

Keep the gathered edge aligned with the bodice. Keep them right sides together. Stitch in place, making sure that the gathers are equally distributed.Do this for back and front bodices.

baby doll smock dress


Sew the side seams ensuring that all the stitching is aligned.

Step 6

Bind the neckline with a bias binding fabric strip.

Step 7

Attach the buttons.

baby doll dress

You can embellish your baby doll dress with some cute embroidery motifs or embroidered flowers like the bullion stitch flowers

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