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Girl’s A-line Sheath Dress Tutorial and PDF Pattern (in sizes 3-7)

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Learn how to sew a simple A-Line Sheath dress with this free Girl’s A-line Dress Pattern and Tutorial!

Make a simple A-line dress with this free girl's pdf pattern and tutorial.

A few months back, I was shopping at Joanne’s and came across this cute Madras plaid fabric.  Madras is one of my favorite fabrics for boy/girl coordinating outfits.  I grabbed two yards and (with the 40% coupon- madras is expensive…)

I figured 2 yards would be enough fabric for a simple pair of shorts and an A-line dress. I put off making the outfits all summer. I finally got them done in time for a back-to-school photo session.

back to school photos

I’m so glad I got these pictures done.  I have a feeling this will be one of the last times I’ll be able to get them in matching outfits. (My 8-year-old son announced that this is “embarrassing”… )  You can see a couple more posts featuring brother/sister outfits here.

Learn how to sew a simple A-Line dress with this free Girl's A-line Sheath Dress Tutorial and PDF Pattern!

The final fit of the dress is absolutely perfect.  I will say, I had a bit of trouble making the pattern.  If my heart hadn’t been set on using this fabric, I would probably have scrapped the first dress and just started another. The dress is lined, so there was a ton of seam ripping going on.

free a-line dress pattern

The first error was just carelessness.  I was working too fast and not really paying attention.  

I had serged all four side seams of the dress before I realized I was supposed to flip the dress right side out before sewing the sides seams.  I’m sure you know, it’s no fun ripping out serged seams.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to flip the dress right side out before sewing the side seams. 🙂


The second issue was a problem with the fit of the armholes.  (They were too small and there was too much fabric across her chest.)  I had finished the dress and top-stitched everything.  I had to take apart the entire dress and re-cut the armholes.

The dress is a really nice fit now and I know she will still be able to wear it next summer.

how to sew an a-line dress

What I love about this style of dress is that it’s such a great wardrobe piece to help transition to fall.  It’s still so hot here,  (I just checked out 8-day forecast, we will be over 100 for several days next week, but lucky us, they are predicting a cool down by next Sunday- it will only be 97.   )

If and when the weather ever cools off, she will be able to add a cardi for the cool mornings and just take it off when the day warms up. (I have a gathered cardigan tutorial here.)

The free pattern comes in sizes 3/4, 5/6, and 7.

Ready to sew the pattern?

Let’s get started!  First, download the pattern.

Click here for the pattern.

Girl’s A-Line Sheath Dress Pattern Sewing Instructions

Save this Pattern and tutorial by pinning here ==>>  

 Materials needed:

  • Size 5 and up: about a yard for the outer dress and about a yard for the lining
  • Size 4 and down: about 3/4 yard of each.
  • 6 to 8 buttons
  • pattern
  • iron/spray starch
  • Ruler/measuring tape and other basic sewing supplies

Pattern printing and fit tips:

  • When printing the pattern, download it to your computer, open it in adobe reader and print from there, turning off all scaling.
  • Keep in mind, our kids all range in height, so I recommend comparing a dress you have or taking a measurement to ensure your dress is the right length.
  • If you need a pattern size I did not include, it’s super simple to create your own pattern.  I included the instructions for making a pattern. (Click this link to see the picture below much larger and in a new window.)


A-line Sheath Dress Instructions: 

(Seam allowances are 1/4 inch unless otherwise specified.)

Step 1: Printing and assembling the pattern.

Create or print your pattern.  Assemble and tape together.  If printing, I recommend printing twice and cutting out a separate front and back pattern piece.

Step 2.  Cut out the pattern pieces.

 Fold the fabric, so the selvages meet in the middle.  (For the larger sizes, you will probably need to adjust the placement of the pattern based on the width of the bottom of the skirt.

– cut two front pattern pieces (on the fold.) One from the lining fabric and one in the main dress fabric.

– cut four back pattern pieces (not on the fold.) Two from the lining fabric and two in the main dress fabric.

Step 3.  Assembling the dress.

Line up the shoulder seams of the main dress fabric (right sides together) and sew at the shoulders.  Repeat for the lining.

Line up the main dress fabric and lining, right sides together, and sew around the neckline, stopping 3/4 inch from the center back seam.  Sew around the armholes, leaving a 2-inch opening on both arms to turn the dress.

Cut notches around the curves of the neckline and armholes.  (Just be careful not to cut into the seam line.)

Flip the dress right side out by pushing the pattern through one only one of the armholes.  (picture shows two, sorry…)


Pull the lining away from the dress and line up the side seams right sides together and sew along the edge.

Fold in the extra seam allowance at the opening in the armhole.

Pin the opening in place and press all the seams flat.

Step 4: Finishing the seams and topstitching.

Fold/tuck the center back seams (lining and main dress fabric) 1/4 inch in towards the inside of the dress.  Press using spray starch, taking care to line up the edges, so the lining does not show.  Do both sides and pin it in place.

Do the same thing at the bottom, folding about 1/2 inch.  Press, use spray starch and pin in place.

Topstitch around the entire dress:  both back seams, bottom, neckline, and both armholes.

Layout the dress, overlapping the back pieces by about 1/2 inch.  Using a fabric marker, mark the placement of the buttons.

Create the buttonholes, sew on the buttons, and you are done!

Learn how to sew a simple A-Line dress with this free Girl's A-line Sheath Dress Tutorial and PDF Pattern!

free a-line dress pattern

If you end up making one of these, please come back and share your finished dress on my facebook page or tag me on instagram!

Like this tutorial?  Don’t forget to pin it!


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  1. Sally Maree Williams says:

    Dear Jamie
    Thank you for your patterns. I am really enjoying sewing for my granddaughters after not sewing for many years. With your A-line sheath dress, could you please explain why the front pattern piece is longer than the back? On your photos the hem doesn’t seem to dip down at the front.

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      Sorry, I can’t explain why, lol. I made the pattern 10 years ago and it was based on one of my daughter’s favorite dresses from Gymboree. (She is now 16 and my memory does not go back that far.)

  2. Hello thank you for the pattern. Do I need to add space for the seam or is already included in the pattern?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      seam allowance is included.

  3. Do you have a similar pattern in larger sizes for girls?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      no, I don’t sorry!

      1. thanks dmso much for the patterns

  4. Catherine Hart says:

    Thankyou so much for your generosity in sharing this pattern. I am a novice seamstress and this is the 1st dress I’ve ever made. Thank you!

  5. Patti Blankenship says:

    Hi Jamie. Thank you so much for offering so many adorable patterns and for FREE!!! It is so appreciated! I have printed several of your patterns and made dresses. My granddaughter is now 8 years old, and I was wondering if you have made this pattern in larger sizes yet? I made one for her last year using this pattern, and I even had the same fabric! But she has outgrown this size. Her birthday is in April and I’m wanting to get started making her some new dresses. I know you are very busy, and making the patterns larger has to be labor intensive.
    I just want to say again THANK YOU for all you do to help us fellow-seamstresses. I really appreciate it
    Your daughter is growing up into such a lovely young woman. Watching her grow up has been an added benefit in following you. I know you are proud of her!

  6. Thank you very much for the pattern and tutorial. But I must say, that was not a good choice of fabric to show illustrations.

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      That is adorable! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  7. I downloaded the pattern and purchased fabric; now to confirm the pattern measurements with my grand-daughter’s measurements, age 7. I will post a pic here if you wish. I do not use social media.
    Thank you very much for the pattern!

    1. You are welcome and good luck. This is one of the patterns on my list to add some larger sizes for very soon.

      1. Hi Jamie,
        Well, it looks like your sheath dress will be used for my 3 grand-daughters for a 1920’s Father/daughter dance/party next Feb. 2020. Their Mom plans to make the sheaths and add fun layers of swishy trims for the 20’s affect.
        So, have you had the chance to make this up to size 12? Please let me know. (I made the flamingo dress posted in your comments in May 2019)

  8. Any instructions on how to bump this lovely pattern up to an 8 or 9?


  9. Hi, Jamie, it seem i can’t find the download link for the pattern, and im not browsing using mobile phone. please help. 🙂

    1. My Apologies! I switched to a different pattern delivery system last week and accidentally left out this pattern. Give me 20 minutes and it will be back on line!

  10. What a delight to find such a cute dress pattern for free!! I look forward to making it for my granddaughter. Thank you!

  11. Thank you, Jamie, for the cute girls’ dress patterns. I got the A Line Sheath and the Peasant Dress. I am going to be using them to make dresses for donations to the Hurricane Harvey shelters. I have years of fabric, as most of us sewists have, that will make cute dresses. I appreciate you offering these for free. They are both very cute.

    1. That’s an amazing gesture, thank you!

      You probably don’t know, but I am from Port Aransas where the hurricane 1st came on land. My family and friends still live there. My brother’s home had 2′ of water plus sewage in his home and lost the roof. All possessions are ruined. Both my sister and law and mother in law’s homes have sustained damage as well.

      We are grateful for any type of help for all the areas affected.

      Thanks again, Jamie

  12. Sherry Smith says:

    Love your patterns! Could you make this dress without buttons (just slip over the head) and reversible?

    1. Thank you! You could do buttons halfway down, but the pattern as drawn, does not have enough ease to slip over the head.

  13. I love your free patterns. I live off disability and patterns can get expensive especially for 9 grand kids and 2 great grandkids. Your models are adorable.
    Thank you so much for all your ideas. I love Pinterest and of course follow you.

  14. Shahidul Islam says:

    best dress is,

  15. Allison Miller says:

    I can't even begin to tell you how much I love your blog! Every time I'm looking for a pattern for my girls, I find what I want on your site!! Thank you so much for sharing your patterns and tutorials with the world, they're wonderful 😀

    1. Thank you for stopping by with such a sweet comment Allison, you made my night!
      ~ Jamie

  16. LittleLucyGoosey says:

    I love this dress! Thank you so much for sharing! I am going to make this for my girl's Easter dress (nothing like leaving it for the last minute!), and I don't have matching buttons – do you think I could easily replace them w a zipper wo ruining the line of the dress

    1. You could definitely do a zipper, you would probably need to remove a bit of the extra fabric on the back, since it was meant as an overlap/button placket
      Good luck,

  17. TheKimSix Fix says:

    I love this dress! And the fabric you chose was divine!

    1. Thanks, good luck!