Got Fabric? We Do!!

TJ’s Curtain Dress

Curtain Dress with Ruffle






Well, here it is! TJ’s Curtain Dress! We tried our hand at a video which proves to be very hard to edit without the proper equipment, so we opted for a photo/tutorial which I hope you will enjoy following to create your own version of this cute, little dress!

   First of all, here is some basic information that will help you in determining the size you want to make.  Measure the child you wish to fit from under the arm to the desired finished length. You can then use this measurement to decide what size band and dress panel you want to cut. Remember you can create your own special design.

     The instructions I’ll be using are for making a 23″ long dress (from the top of the ruffle to the bottom of the hem). You will need to adjust the length of fabric you’ll be needing to fit your child. So remember as you read these instructions all the measurements are based on a 23″ dress.  Always remember measure twice, cut once! For this size we used;

1 yard of Riley Blake chevron

5/8 yard of Riley Blake small navy dot

3/4″ elastic (cut to the bust measurement of the child)


and of course my Baby Lock sewing machine (and serger if you have one). I love them both!

And now a little lesson about chevron:

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE CUTTING YOUR FABRIC; If you are using fabric that has a design from selvage to selvage you will not cut your fabric on the fold. You will cut it from fold to selvage resulting in two 18″x45″ pieces of fabric. If you need the dress fabric to be longer than 18″ you will need more than a yard. Example: If you need the dress part to be 24″ then you would need     1 1/3 yards of fabric which is 48″. Cut this into from fold to selvage and you will have two 24″x 45″ pieces of fabric. You can make the dress part as long as you like. If you want a 36″ dress you would need two yards which is 72 inches cut in two 36″x45″ pieces of fabric.  JUST REMEMBER YOU’LL NEED TWO TIMES THE DESIRED LENGTH OF THE DRESS FABRIC.

Now back to the Riley Blake chevron which runs the length of the fabric. It will need to be cut on the fold for your stripes to be horizontal. If your dress panels need to be longer than 22″ you will need to use a chevron that runs from selvage to selvage, such as Robert Kaufman chevron. Using the RK chevron will allow you to cut panels as long as you need them. For instance if you need the dress panels to be 27″ (which is 3/4 yard) you would need 1 1/2 yards for the panels cut into 2 pieces from selvage to selvage, giving you 2-27″x45″ panels.

Cut the fabric on the fold.

You will now have 2-22″x36″ dress panels.

Cut 2- 6″strips WOF (width of fabric)

Cut 2- 5″ strips WOF (width of fabric)



Trim the 2-5″x45″ band strips to the width of the dress panels, which for this size will be 36″.  If your panels are 45″WOT(width of fabric) your bands will not need trimming. They will need to be 45″

Now with right sides together stitch one side of dress panels and one side of bands.

Line up right side of dress panel and right side of band, matching seams and edge of fabric.


With side seams and bottom edges of fabric lined up stitch band to dress panel.








Press open side seams


This is what your dress should look like after these steps.

The next step is to edge finish the top of the dress:

















The next step is to make the straps and bow.
























Remember to leave about a 2″ opening in the center of the tie so you can push the ends through.


Push ends through the opening and insert a pointed object into the tie through the opening to push out corners. I use a knitting needle for this. It works great!








This strip is your finished! Now tie it into a bow to attach to your dress.

Our next step will be sewing the straps.












Each edge of the straps should be 4 1/2″ from the center of dress.







This is what your straps will look like from the inside of the dress. Now try on the dress and pull straps over the shoulders marking the length so you’ll know where to attach them to the back.


The straps will be attached to the back just like the front but only 3″ apart. Each edge is 1 1/2″ from the center.


Yes, your dress will be approximately 70″ around, but the fullness is what makes it sooo cute after you add the elastic, which will be our next step.


















We attached the bow with with a safety pin or you could sew it to the dress before tying.

Here’s another suggestion. When it’s too short to wear as a dress, take off the straps, change out the elastic to the waist size and wear it as a skirt!


22 Responses to TJ’s Curtain Dress

  • Love this dress!! I made one before reading your instructions and couldn’t get the straps right. Now I have it all figured out! Thanks so much for the directions!! Going to make more!!!!

  • Thank you TJ for all of your hard work….I know this took a lot of time, but I am thrilled that you did…can’t wait to make Kaitlyn one of these…Hope to see you soon…keep up the good work!

  • LOVE this dress! Thank you!

  • Oh how cute. Wish I would have found this ahead of time. It’s after the Fourth of July There’s always next year. Posting it to my iPad screen. Another project in my bucket of things to do! Thanks

  • I am going to try it. My two granddaughters will love it, the third one is too little . 2month old

    • She’s not too little! I made one to fit a doll! Just shrink down the measurements.

  • Thank you so much for the pattern. Can’t wait to make one, guess it is time to do some fabric shopping. On you site of course!

  • Saw you in Birmingham at the EAC. You gave me enough verbal instructions to get the dress put together but I was also struggling with the straps. The last time I had her try the dress on, I marked the straps for placement. Hope I’ve done it correctly now that I’ve seen your instructions (thanks so much by the way. I love this!! Thank you so much for putting it together. And what’s funny was when I showed it to my other DIL, she said “I could wear that as a skirt”!! And there, at the end of your instructions was the same comment!!

  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this dress. I am going to make one for my niece. Is the Riley Blake chevron the small, medium, or large chevron print?

  • Love, love, LOVE this! I bought 2 sets of fabric to make 2 different styles. I can’t wait!
    Quick question though, since I won’t be making this for my child(darn me for having a boy! LOL), what size did you make for this example? Is there any way recommended for figuring out various sizes(Infant-Child)?
    Thank you SO much for offering this pattern! Very much appreciated!

  • Love the Curtain Dress and the instructions look great! I have a little grand daughter and I want to make one for her. She is almost 2 and I think it would look adorable in the chevron. I love it that you talked about the run of the chevron for different designers. I am also impressed that you use Baby Lock Sewing Machines and sergers! That’s what I love also! Thanks for sharing such a cute, cute dress!

  • Please tell me how to join your blog so I can follow you. I love the dress and thanks for the instructions.

  • This is an adorable dress! I made one for my older daughter using the exact measurements you gave. I did have a lot of trouble adjusting the strap length. I finally got it right. Now I want to make a matching one for my younger daughter but am lost on how far apart to make the straps in the front and back. Also, there an easy tip you can give for making the length correct?

  • Loved making these! So easy and fun!!! My girls love them. I made more of a maxi dress out of mine with some awesome prints. Thank you for the wonderful idea and fabulous tutorial!!! (top dresses….not really easy to see)
    Sincerely, Kathryn

  • This was a great tutorial! I made my daughter a Halloween dress and it turned out fantastic! She’s 6 months old today but wears 9 month clothing so I shrunk the measurements down quite a bit. So cute and I’ve already had several compliments on it. I will definitely be making her more.

  • Want to make this for my Granddaughters this summer. Thank you for doing the directions. So simple for such a great finished dress.

  • The 23″ length what size would that be? I do craft shows how would I cut the
    Fabric for making different sizes?


  • I am giving this a try as my first ever handmade dress! It’s just too adorable.
    My daughter is a little small for the measurements you’ve provided and I just wanted to make sure my adjustments are appropriate for her size before I end up with a finished dress that doesn’t fit. She needs about 18″ in length (she’s 2 and 4 months) and is 20″ at the chest. She’s a skinny thing.
    I’m guessing my panels should be about 17″ x 32″ and the bottom fabric should be around 40″
    Does that sound right? I’m most worried about the space she’ll have at the bottom.
    Thank you so much for the great tutorial!

  • This little dress is just TOO CUTE! My baby sister in a new Gramma, making me a new Great Aunt! This clever little dress will be perfect, and what a great tutorial! Thank you!!!