You can never have too many cool and comfy dresses for summer, right? This free Halter Dress Pattern is the perfect way to stay cool and comfy this summer!
Especially when you’re working hard in the hot and humid evenings picking tons of wild blackberries! (You can tell it was super humid, just look at all her little ringlets in that top pic!)
We’ve had so many blackberries this year, that even our beloved Stripey Yum-Yum has been getting in on the action too!
I’ve had this yellow floral fabric in my stash for a couple of years now. It’s hard to remember, but it either came from Girl Charlee or Funkalicious Fabrics. I know the navy knit came from Girl Charlee because I bought it specifically for this 4th of July outfit. (She is still squeezing into those red boots! The toes are completely scuffed up so I let her wear them to school now- she says they make her run really fast!)
This halter dress is so easy to put together. Just two pattern pieces and the halter tie. (Plus an optional loop for the back of the dress.) Should take you no longer than an hour- MAX!
The pattern does not include cut marks for the contrasting top and bottom strip, but you can easily cut the pattern apart to add them. (3.25 inches on the top and bottom. DON’T forget to add a seam allowance or your dress might be too short!)
I used knit fabric to achieve the flowy, breezy-ness of the dress. (Plus knit fabric is usually wider, so I was able to squeeze this dress out of one yard of fabric), but you could use quilting cotton too.
Unfortunately, I did not plan ahead, so this is the best shot I have of the back of the dress. You can kind of see how the halter tie loops and ties through the loop at the back. (There are a few construction pictures on page 3 that might also help you picture how the back will look.)
Ready to make this dress?
Let’s get started! First, download the pattern.
Easy Breezy Halter Dress Sewing Pattern, sz 3 to 10
Pattern tips and additional info:
- Download the pattern via the form above and save it to your PC, open the pdf document in adobe acrobat. Don’t print from google’s online version of adobe. (It will sometimes cause the pattern to print to small.)
- Seam allowance is 1/4 inch with a 1/2 inch bottom hem.
If sewing with knits:
- Use a ballpoint/stretch needle
- Spray starch helps so much when folding and sewing the bottom hem of knit fabric. (The starch stiffens the fabric!)
- Sew seams with either a serger, double-needle, stretch stitch, narrow zig-zag with a long stitch length, or a straight stitch with a long stitch length and a slightly loosened tension. (Make a couple of practice stitches on your fabric to see what works best.) I also like to use this “lightning bolt” stretch stitch on seams that need strength but a little give. (I used it when attaching the skirt to the waistband).
If sewing with woven cotton:
- You will need to finish the inside seams with your favorite finishing method. (Serger, pinking shears or a zig zag on with your sewing machine.)
Products used and recommended in this post:
- My favorite fabric shop for knits: Funkalicious Fabrics, Fabric.com and Girl Charlee.
- My Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist, my coverstitch: Janome Cover Pro 1000cpx
- My Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger or you can just use Pinking Shears
- Rotary Cutter
- I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start of with a smaller Cutting set
- Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen and Fray Check
- Ball Point needles
- Singer walking foot or universal walking foot
- Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!
Easy Breezy Halter Dress Sewing Instructions:
- 1 to 2 yards fabric
- 1/2 inch elastic
- Single fold bias tape
- basic sewing supplies
Step 1: Print pattern and cut out pattern pieces.
Print pattern and assemble. Front and back pieces are combined. You could print the pattern twice and cut each piece separately. Or cut it out once: cutting the front piece out first, then tape the little arm piece section back on and cut out the back.- (Then tape it all back together and save it for next time!)
Line the pattern up on the fold of the fabric and cut on the dress front and one dress back.
Halter tie: Cut a strip of fabric 44 inches by 1.5 inches wide.
Optional halter support strap: 6 inches long by 4 inches wide.
- 3: 11 3/8 inches
- 4: 11 1/2 inches
- 5: 11 5/8 inches
- 6: 11 3/4 inches
- 7: 12 inches
- 8: 12 1/4 inches
- 10: 12.5 inches
Step 2: Adding elastic and finishing armholes.
Fold the top of the back panel over 1/4 inch press, fold over another 3/4 inch, press again Sew right along the bottom of the fold to create a casing.
Use a safety pin and thread the elastic through the casing. Pin in place and sew a quick straight stitch to hold the elastic in place.
Open the single fold bias tape and pin it, right sides together to the armhole of the front dress piece. Sew a straight stitch, right along the first crease.
Fold the bias tape over along that first crease and press. The bias tape will flip the seam over and make a prettily and cleanly finished armhole.
Sew along the bottom edge of the bias tape.
Fold the top of the dress front over 1/4 inch, press and fold over another 7/8 inch and press again. Sew right along the bottom edge to create a casing for the halter tie.
Line up the front and back pieces and sew along the side you anchored the elastic down.
Sew along the other side, stopping a few inches below the elastic casing. You could have your little one try on the dress and adjust the elastic casing if need. BE VERY CAREFUL- DO NOT TIGHTEN THE ELASTIC TOO MUCH! IT will cause the front to sit awkwardly around the armholes. (Yes, I totally did this and had to go back and loosen the elastic.)
The dress is meant to be “easy breezy and loose,” Plus you can add the shoulder support loop to help keep the dress in place and from sagging in the back.
After any adjustments, finish sewing the side seam and trim any extra elastic to reduce bulk.
Step 3: Sewing halter tie and optional shoulder support loop.
Fold your halter tie in half, right sides together, and sew along the edge. Flip the fabric tube around and tie the ends. (Or tuck them in and sew- whatever you prefer.) BTW, this little tool/loop turner rocks. If you don’t have one- definitely add it to your list! (This one is highly rated too.)
Use a safety pin (or tool turner) and thread the tie through the casing.
Step 4: Optional shoulder support loop.
Fold your fabric together like bias tape and sew along the open side. (As shown in this photo.)
Pin the loop/strap to the center of the back as shown below. Stitch in place. If possible, avoid stitching through the elastic.
Step 5: Hemming
Hem the bottom and you are done!
Now go have your little one try it on and let’s see some pics!
Don’t forget, if you make one of these Halter Dresses, please come back and share your finished project on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram! (@scatteredmom)
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About the Author
Jamie Sanders is a wife and mom of 2, located in the heart of Texas. She founded Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom in 2011 as a place to share creative ideas and family friendly recipes. Her work has been featured on Martha Stewart, Woman’s World, HuffPost, TODAY, Pioneer Woman, HGTV, CNET, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo, Oprah Daily, and Redbook, plus many other publications. To date, she had given away just under a million free pdf sewing patterns.