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How to Make a Split-Neck Peasant Dress/Top

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How to add a Split-Neck with ties using bias tape to your Peasant Dress or top.

how to add a split neck with bias tape

One of my favorite little girl’s dress pattern is my Peasant Dress Pattern! I love that the dress is so versatile and can be dressed up or down depending o the fabric and embellishments. 

peasant dress pattern

I had spotted this fall colored “vine” fabric at one of my local fabric stores.  

It reminded me of an adorable dress I had seen online (anybody remember the CWDKids catalog – they always had the cutest stuff!)

This fabric was almost a perfect dupe for that dress and I could use my peasant dress pattern and a few accessories to duplicate the look for our fall family photos. 

Changes to the Pattern

The changes I made to the original peasant dress pattern for todays version is:

  • Slightly narrower width. (To do this, I just move the pattern over about 3/4 of an inch form the fold.)
  • The bias bound, split neck with ties (today’s tutorial)
  • Shortened the sleeves to three-quarters. (just guesstimated based on 3/4 of the long sleeve pattern length.)
  • Shortened the dress and added a bottom ruffle. (Similar to the ruffle on my free pillowcase dress pattern. Scroll to the bottom of that post for the ruffle tutorial.)

I added a vest, tights and boots from Target and created a picture perfect outfit! (plus a big cheesy smile)

free girls dress pattern

peasant dress with ruffled bottom

Check out all my peasant dress variations here.


How to add a split neck with ties to a peasant dress.  

Materials needed:

  • Peasant dress patter, plus all supplies needed for that dress.
  • You’ll need enough extra fabric to make about 60 inches of 1/2 inch or less bias binding, plus a small scrap. (Of course, you can use store bought bias tape too.)

Step 1:  Cut pattern pieces and make the bias binding

Cut out your pattern pieces (from this free peasant dress pattern) plus a small scrap about 4 inches long by 2 inches wide. The scrap is used to create the split neck.  (For a deeper split, just cut the scrap piece longer.)

Finish the side and bottom edges of the scrap piece with pinking shears, zig zag on your sewing machine or serger.  (I just used my pinking shears.)

You need about 60 inches (for a size 6) of coordinating 1/2 inch double fold bias tape. (Visit the quick tutorial to see how to make bias tape.)

Step 2:  Create the front split:

Lay out the front bodice piece right side up and find and mark the center.  Center the scrap piece over the center of the bodice, with the unfinished edge along the edge of the bodice.

Determine how long you want the split to be, (I made mine 2 1/4 inches for my 5 year old) and mark it on the fabric.

Sew around the line you made a little less than 1/4 inch your mark.

Cut along the mark as shown and trim the cut edges about 1/8 inch from the seams. (The seam is marked in red.)


Flip the scrap piece to the other side and iron flat.

Top stitch around the cut out to anchor down the back fabric piece.

Step 3:  Assemble the dress and neckline:

Assemble the sleeves and bodice as instructed in the peasant dress tutorial.  Instead of an elastic casing, the neckline is gathered and encased in the bias binding.

To gather the neckline, set your sewing machine to the longest stitch setting and sew a gathering stitch all the way around the top of the dress.

Pull on the bottom thread of the gathering stitch and pull on the fabric until it starts to gather up.

Keep gathering the neckline, and try to keep the gathers as even as possible.  Once the neckline looks like it is gathered enough to fit your child, have her try it on and make any necessary adjustments.

Grab your bias binding, fold it in half and find the center.  Fold the back of the dress in half and find the center of the back bodice piece.  Mark both these center points.

Open the bias binding and “sandwich” the bias binding over the gathered neckline.  Pin securely in place.  Be sure to line up the two center marks you made to keep the bias binding/tie even.

Sew along the edge of the bias binding from one end to the other.

When you get to the ends of the bias binding, open it up and fold the edges in and finish sewing closed.

Finish the sleeves and the bottom hem how you like and you are done.

Let  me know if you give this neckline a try!

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  1. Carol Baumgartner says:

    What a beautiful daughter you have and she sure likes having her pic taken. Very photogenic.

  2. Thank you so much for the directions on “how to create a front split”, I didn’t have a clue on how to do it–my pattern wanted me to put a large facing around the entire neckline which I thought was unattractive and bulky, you helped my idea happen, I am so grateful to you.

    1. Marion Williams says:

      I love this neckline, but I was hoping to make something in a summer top with a shorter puff sleeve and a shirred waist, but I can’t find a pattern anywhere. My granddaughters are 3 and 5. Any suggestions would be lovely. Thank you.

  3. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I ended up putting the split in the back and put on a hook and eye instead of having it tie…but without your tutorial, I wouldn’t have known how to make bias tape, or how to modify the neckline of the pattern. Thank you SO much! My little girl’s Christmas dress turned out amazing! I just wish I knew how to share a pic!

  4. Andrea Villaroman-Santos says:

    aside from being crafty, you take very good pictures. i was smiling all the time looking at your kids' photos! Brilliant mom!

  5. beautiful tut and super cute models u got there:)

  6. Amy Turner says:

    Quick question…you did a 3/4 length sleeve in this tut…how many inches did you add since the original was a short sleeve?

    1. The sleeves actually started out as long sleeves, but I thought the print was a little overpowering and shortened them. Measuring from the top of the sleeve, the final measurement was 15.25. (This allows for .75 inches at the top and bottom for the elastic casing.

  7. Amy Turner says:

    Quick question…you did a 3/4 length sleeve in this tut…how many inches did you add since the original was a short sleeve?

  8. thank you for the very clear tutorial.
    the pictures of your kids are frame-worthy!

  9. Northwest Lamp says:

    Just wanted to say the pics of your kids are absolutely adorable! Thanks for the tutorial, and thanks for the smiles your pictures brought to my heart!


    Thanks for sharing…just can't wait to make 1 for my 6 yrs princess…

  11. Amy Mayen says:

    I love this fabric! Where did you get it?

    1. Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom says:

      Hi Amy, this fabric came from Hancock Fabrics, but I looked on line and couldnt find it. It could still be in the stores though.

  12. Justine of SewCountryChick says:

    This is so pretty and such a nice idea. have a nice weekend jamie!

  13. Awesome!! Thanks so much!

  14. Donna Wucherer says:

    Great tutorial on the ncekline. This is a great variation on the usual peasant dress neck. Thanks for sharing.
    Donna @onceuponasewingmachine.com

  15. Really cute. Thanks for sharing how you did that!

    1. Very clear explanation, even for a beginner sewer ! I made my first summer peasant dress with the split neck right the first time for my daughter.

      Some others to follow !

      Thank a lot.

  16. Pam @Threading My Way says:

    Thanks for showing how you did the neckline. Looks great!!! Hope you don't mind, but I'm pinning.