Sew a Dress

You guys have asked forever….Can you make a video of the First Day Dress??
What an excellent idea! Yessssss.
Let’s make a dress together!

How to Sew a Kids Dress | Video Tutorial from MADE Everyday with Dana Willard | First Day Dress sewing patternMaking a kids’ dress is one of the most fun sewing projects you can do. I’ve completely lost count of how many of these I’ve made. It’s so rewarding! And once you get the hang of it, it doesn’t take long at all.

You can make one for the First Day of everything! Haha. I love how this large scale Blush print looks on the A-line version.

How to Sew a Kids Dress | Video Tutorial from MADE Everyday with Dana Willard | First Day Dress sewing patternIn the video, you’ll see how to do everything from cutting out to hemming. Even the lining and the closure aren’t difficult! It’s all demystified.

How to Sew a Kids Dress | Video Tutorial from MADE Everyday with Dana Willard | First Day Dress sewing pattern

How to Sew a Kids Dress | Video Tutorial from MADE Everyday with Dana Willard | First Day Dress sewing pattern

Let’s sew dresses. Hit the play button below and enjoy!
If it isn’t showing up for you, you can WATCH IT HERE.

If you don’t have the First Day Dress pattern yet, you can get it here.

To watch other episodes of MADE Everyday with Dana–Subscribe to my YouTube channel so you’re updated as soon as the episode goes live.


  1. 1) Kathy

    I need this style for an adult!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 2) Dana

      haha. Yes. It would be adorable 🙂 It would take a lot more tweaking with adult curves and bust sizes 🙂 But it would be cute!

  2. 3) Nancy

    I already made this dress and the video helps very much!! Thanks!

  3. 4) Meredith

    I love your patterns and this dress is adorable! Sadly, our daughter grew out of size 10 over the summer. I was able to figure out how to size up your shorts pattern for her (thanks, Internet!) so I could eek out a size that would fit her, but don’t foresee me doing that in the long term. Any chance you’ll start having a few bigger sizes for kiddos on your patterns? (Maybe up to size 14?) Would love it! 🙂 Thanks!!

    • 5) Dana

      Hi Meredith…..yes, I wish I had larger sizes on this dress too. Unfortunately that would require drafting of new pattern pieces since now you have hips, bust/bust darts to consider 🙂 Why are our bodies so complicated?! Sorry!

  4. 6) Kim

    I have made this dress too many times to count! (in different sizes as my granddaughter grew) I just love it; it’s easy to sew, instructions are great and it is just the sweetest dress on! Love this pattern!

    • 7) Dana

      Aww that’s so awesome to hear!
      Thanks Kim! 🙂

  5. 8) Tammy

    I love this dress! What type of fabric would you recommend for the lining? Would muslin be acceptable? Thanks for always being so helpful!! Have a great weekend!

    • 9) Dana

      Hi Tammy,
      Sure, you could use muslin fabric for the lining. It’s best to use a fabric of the same fiber (both cotton for the outer and lining, etc), so that the layers continue to wash/shrink at the same rate over time. I find that even if I have pre-washed my cotton fabrics…they can sometimes shrink a bit more as I wash them.
      But just experiment with it and see what works for you!
      Hope that helps 🙂

  6. 10) Jennylou Raya

    I would love this in a size 12 for my daughter and a 14 for me. This way, we can match with my 16-month-old! I hear ya on the darts and all but this is a loose dress and I am admittedly flat =)

  7. 11) Cora

    I love sewing these dresses for toddlers……. but……. I don’t have any younger siblings (I’m 9 years old) so when I make them for toddlers, I don’t really have anybody to give it to. Anyway these dresses are so cute. I also have a question. If you were to sew sleeves on a dress, would you sew them on the same way you sew sleeves on to a shirt??

    — Cora —

    • 12) Dana

      Hi Cora, there are many different types of sleeves and ways to attach them to a garment. The sleeves that are go with the First Day Dress pattern are sort of a cap sleeve. They don’t go all the way around to the armpit area of the armscye, like a traditional shirt sleeve would. To make a sleeve like that, the side seam of the dress would need to be adjusted a bit, so it would be a slightly different pattern piece.
      Not sure if that helped! 🙂

  8. 13) Karen Marie

    Hi Dana,
    Thank you so much! I was hoping that you would make a video about making a dress, so this was great! My mom always wanted me to learn how to sew (she could!), but I never had much interest. When I finally did, she passed away before I could get around to having her give me lessons. Thanks to your blog, patterns and wonderful tutorials on YouTube, I have learned how to make sweatshirts, shorts/ trousers and t-shirts (and soon dresses, too) for my girls! I know my mom would have loved it. So – thanks again! 🙂

    • 14) Dana

      Awww Thanks Karen! Your mom would be proud of you 🙂
      Thanks for sharing with me!

  9. 15) Celina

    Hi Dana! First time watching the video… Congratulations, The dress looks sooo cute !! What kind of fabric do you use?

    • 16) Dana

      Hi Celina, Thanks!
      I just use cotton for the outer and the lining. But you could try a variety of fabrics!

  10. 17) Maureen Morris

    Thank you so much for this clear and easy to follow tutorial. I’m new to dressmaking and plan to make this sweet little dress for my granddaughter. Is there any chance you may do a follow up tutorial covering the other more complicated dress styles included with this pattern? That would be just perfect as an extension to the skills covered here. Fingers crossed because I love your teaching style.

  11. 18) JESS


  12. 19) Marilyn Stafford

    Is the First Day Dress with sleeves hard to sew? I would love to watch an updated tutorial with sleeves.
    Your videos are awesome!!! You make the cutest things!!!!

  13. 20) Anna

    Hi Dana, do think I could adapt this to add a ribbon at the waist and longer skirt to make a Wendy from Peter Pan dress?

  14. 21) Jona

    dear ms dana… i love your videos… can u give me a pattern or where can i find it

  15. 23) Helen

    I purchased this pattern as I make dresses for the Charity Little dresses for girls in Africa.The pattern is fab .I put the slit in the front as buttons and zips not appropriate ( as they may not have the needles and thread to re sew a button or zip ) I also purchased your shorts pattern once again it is fab . Thks

  16. 24) Brenda Lucas

    Hi Dana: I have looked all over the internet for tutorials on sewing children’s clothes….and I always end up back at your sight! Your tutorials are top notch! Excellent videography and clear concise instructions.
    Thank you! You have made my life so much easier as I learn to sew clothes for my beautiful grandchildren.
    Brenda from Ontario Canada 🙂

  17. 25) amy

    i love this pattern, the swing dress is my neices fav.
    im a novice and i was wondering if theres a way of making the dress with directional prints that hang the right way?

  18. 26) Beth Klingel

    I have made these dresses for my grand daughter from size 3 to a 7 that I am mailing to her today. The dresses come out beautifully and the swing dress has been such a popular one with her, I am experimenting with some different necklines. I have passed your info on to several people who have downloaded it and are enjoying it too.
    Thank you for a wonderful pattern

    • 27) Kamara

      Hello, Beth how do you cut out the different sizes from the pattern?

  19. 28) Kamara

    How do you cut out the size you need from the pattern since it comes in multiple sizes?

  20. 29) Lena Wood

    I love this dress and pattern so much, but I made the same mistake twice, and now I’m wondering if there’s an error with the pattern. In the video, you clearly turn the lining right side out (wrong sides together), and then insert inside the main layer (which is inside out, or RST). But in the instructions on page 11, it says “With right sides of fabric together, place the lining inside the outer dress/shirt.” From the illustration it’s clear the main layer is inside out (RST), but it’s not clear whether the lining is RST or WST (d/t the white fabric and white stitching).

    Both times I second guessed myself and ended up having to rip out the neck seam and switch the lining back to WST, or right-side out. Am I reading this incorrectly, or missing an errata section?


    • 30) Dana

      Hey Lena, sorry for the confusion! That is a tricky part. So when I say “turn the lining right side out”…that means that the right side of the fabric is on the outside…or rather, the seams are on the inside (the way you would wear a dress) So. When you insert that INTO the main dress (which is INSIDE out) then technically, the two dresses are Right Sides Together. Hope that makes sense!

  21. 31) Keri

    hi- I’m very new to sewing and would love to try this dress for my daughter. We’re quarantined right now so I only have a little fabric. Just wondering if you’ve ever made this dress without the lining? Thanks!

    • 32) Karen Mann

      Keri-do you have enough to just line the bodice like with the top? The lining helps with neckline and arm holes. I am not a professional but if you have an old sheet you could use that.

  22. 33) Karen Mann

    I love this pattern, so easy after watching your tutorial. My granddaughter loves it! I would post a pic if I could, it’s lovely.

  23. 34) sarah

    Thanks for the video, Really helpful with such great tips!

  24. 35) Jenny Collins

    Hi Dana. Thanks so much for your makes. I’ve been watching and learning for a couple of years now. I’ve made 2 circle skirts, some scrunchies the storage boxes and most recently. I’ve sewn two little girls dresses. If love to send you a photo of them. Thanks again and Happy New year.

  25. 36) Kathy

    Dana, You are amazing! You are such a great teacher! I am new to sewing and I could follow every step you did to make the First Day Dress for my sweet little granddaughter. I can’t wait to see her in it! I will be watching you more! Kathy

  26. 37) Mrs Nnamdi C.D

    Am Delight from Nigeria. Pls how can I get the pattern and pls those materials used. I will be glad if you will respond positively. I love it and I would want to start a living with it. Thanks

  27. 38) Bar

    I will like to subscribe patterns.

  28. 39) Meaghan

    I am wondering if i am able, whilst the dress is still the wrong way, am I able to stitch the sleeves closed then turn it right way in. Instead if having to tuck it all in and sew when the right way?

  29. 40) Trudy

    I love your teaching style and have made your circle skirts, and blankets. I’d like to make this first day dress. We live in Maine and the cold weather is coming. Can it be worn with a turtleneck underneath?




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