The Summer Vacation DRESS and SHORTIE Pattern

What are you doing this summer?
Will there be shopping and dancing?
Are you headed to grandpa’s farm?
Will there be amusement parks and friends?
and lots of yellow sunshine?
We hope it’s all of the above.

Summer vacation is whatever you make it.
But it certainly helps to have a cute dress or shortie to make it in!

You guys have asked over and over again. How do you sew with Elastic Thread? How do you make a Shortie? Well here it is! A Pattern for ALL skill levels. Make it as easy or as complex as you’d like.
The pattern includes FIVE different looks, 3 additional ideas, and plenty of room for your own creativity.

This Pattern is a 40 page PDF file document, which will be emailed to you after purchase. This is our largest pattern YET!….with tons of great info. We don’t just give you the basics, we give you the details, and the “what if’s?”

The pattern works for ANY size child or even an adult. The examples shown in the pattern are for a 3-4 year old, but we have included a sizing ratio to help you adjust to your size and needs.
Hey, you can make one for yourself!

Included in this Pattern are:

* FIVE different Looks and styles to choose from.

  • The Basic Blue DRESS
  • The Dot DRESS, with Armholes and Buttons
  • The Yellow SHIRT, with Armholes and Bias Tape Straps
  • The Red Dress, with Ruffled Straps and Gathered Pockets
  • The Shortie, a one-piece shorts outfit made from a Man’s T-shirt

* VERY detailed Step-by-Step and Easy-to-follow instructions for the beginner to intermediate sewer.
* Beautiful colored photos.
* Patterns and measurements (only 2 pages of pattern pieces need to be printed)
* Working with Elastic Thread and making Shirred summer dresses (or “faux smocked”).
* Original Pattern Piece and info for attaching more room in the “seat” of your Shortie (so it’s not so tight in the bum).
* Making your own Satin Ribbon using your Serger (note: you do NOT need to have a serger to sew from this pattern).
* Making gathered pockets.
* Measurements in the METRIC system are included (as well as the English system)
* Answers to the “what if” questions.
* Tons of great stuff!

Would you like to see a PATTERN PREVIEW?

If you’ve like our other patterns and tutorials, this is plenty of the same….and more.
To see more pictures of each look, please see the original pattern post HERE.

PLEASE NOTE, there are additional NOTES for the pattern at the end of this listing, for those who have purchased and started sewing, such as:
If you have a BROTHER sewing machine and are having problems with the elastic thread gathering up,
this info will help you:

This is a 40-page PDF document which means you download it after payment to your computer–the pattern is not mailed to you. When you open the download pattern link, make sure you save the pdf file to your computer so you always have it for future use!

Please make sure your proper email address is listed in your Paypal profile when you check out.

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School’s almost out. Get your summer clothes ready!

And if you need a more modest look for the Summer Vacation Dress….
Throw a sweater on top, a shirt underneath, or better yet….add sleeves to it!

Combine The Summer Vacation Dress and Shortie PATTERN with
The SHIRT DRESS TUTORIAL, and you have a Shirred Summer Dress with sleeves!

More info shown HERE.


UPDATED PATTERN NOTES, for those who have already purchased the pattern
(NOTE: these changes have been added to the pattern for future buyers):

* I’ve changed the word “smocking” to “shirring”. It’s a more appropriate term.

* As you sew each new line of “shirring”, try to keep the fabric as smooth as you can so that you’re not sewing on gathered fabric from the row before. It’s not a make-or-break thing (since the whole thing will be gathered in the end) but it will look nicer if you try to do this.

* If you have a BROTHER sewing machine and are having problems with the elastic thread gathering up, this info will help you:

* A reader mentioned that when she cut her armholes, the shirring came undone (as shown in the DOT DRESS instructions). I’ve never had this problem, but if you’re worried about that….here are a couple ideas:

  • Cut the armholes before you do the shirring (though it’s hard to know exactly how wide you want the dress to be until after the fabric is all gathered up. So you would need to be confident with your size). OR
  • After marking where your arm holes will be with a fabric pen (BEFORE you cut the arms out), sew a baste stitch around the arm hole (a stitch to just hold things in place till you serge and fold over the arm hole). Then Cut out your armhole and continue on with the pattern directions.

I hope these changes help. If anyone else has feedback or concerns like the notes above, please let me know. I want to make the pattern the best it can be for all of you.


All patterns, photos, and information contained in this pattern are the property of Dana Willard and the MADE site. All rights reserved. Reproduction not permitted. Sales of products produced using this pattern must be done by purchasing a Limited Production License.

The Summer Vacation Dress and Shortie pattern Copyright © 2011 Dana Willard. All rights Reserved. Reproduction not permitted.

  1. 1) Holly

    Woo-hoo! I just finished my first Summer Vacation dress and my girl *loves* it. So do I, really. Thanks for de-mystifying shirring for me! My stuff still doesn’t shrink to the 2:1 ratio mentioned, but it’s shrinky enough to be functional. Thank again for a great tutorial!

  2. 2) Janina Conuel

    Hi.. silly question.. is a gathering foot needed in order to complete this dress? Thanks.

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