Learn how to sew a Peasant Dress with this free peasant dress pattern for girls! Peasant Dresses are truly are one of the simplest dresses to make. This free peasant dress pattern and tutorial comes in size 12 months to a girl’s size 14 with both long and short sleeve options.
Want more free patterns? See my free patterns and tutorials page for girls ==>> here.
Why Sew a Peasant Dress?
One of the reasons a basic peasant dress pattern is so great, (other than the fact it is so easy to make) is there are just SO MANY different ways to change up the look of a simple peasant dress.
From various lengths – this dress looks great above the knee, below the knee, tunic length or as a top.
To all the different fabric choices you can make, different sleeve options (long, short, 3/4 flutter, flounce) and of course hem choices (ruffles, tiers, contrasting fabric bands or scallops.) And don’t even get me started on all the ways you can embellish this dress for a little extra pizzazz, lol!
I do like like to keep our dresses fairly simple. I’ve learned, (the hard way) that after about the age of 5, too many frills, ruffles or too much pink is not the way to go, lol.
I do have at least 20 variations of this peasant dress pattern (different sleeve options, hems, lengths, etc…) that I have sewn over the years. See them here for a few ideas.
Why a peasant dress is so perfect for beginners:
Whether you are picking up sewing again after a several year hiatus (as I did – nothing more motivating to get you back to sewing than a sweet little daughter or granddaughter to sew for!) or are just starting out (welcome to the club!)
A peasant dress is a super simple pattern that will help you master a few basic sewing skills. The most difficult part of this pattern (other than cutting it out and taping it together) is trying not to sew the sleeve on backward or maybe sewing the casing for the elastic band in the sleeve (and that is only because it’s small.)
This style of a dress is very forgiving, if you make a mistake, just remove the stitches and re-sew it.
A peasant dress will grow with her:
A peasant dress is fairly boxy in shape. The elasticized neckline and sleeves bring the dress in and give it shape.
Because a peasant dress is loose, it will start as a dress but as your daughter grows, she will most likely continue to wear it as a tunic or top. As an example, my missy had a nightgown made from this pattern, she wore constantly for 3 years. I just replaced the elastic just last year, to make the neckline bigger and she is still wearing it! (Another great “grow with her” dress is a pillowcase dress and I have a downloadable free pillowcase dress pattern as well!)
This printable Peasant Dress Pattern is free for you to download. The file is a pdf pattern and includes the full dress and 2 sleeve shapes (short and long.)
I have updated it over the years and it the free peasant dress pattern is currently available in 7 different sizes: 12 to 18 months, 2t/3t, 4/6, 7/8, 9/10, 12 and 14.
(Don’t print this photo, it’s just a screenshot. You will find a link at the bottom for the download page.)
(Note: On the last pattern update (May ’18) I updated the pattern to include the full dress instead of just the bodice. Personally, I preferred the original bodice only version because it used half the amount of paper. If you prefer that version too, I kept a copy of the original pattern and password protected it to avoid confusion with the new version. You’ll find the link to that version at the bottom of the page.)
For the peasant dress version I am showcasing today, I decided to keep the dress simple and let the two fabrics make the statement for our fall pumpkin photos.
I find the tunic length is perfect for school as it allows my missy to wear leggings to school and still adheres to the dress code.
Peasant Dress Pattern Fabric Amount Suggestions:
I am very conservative with my fabric when I sew. I will fold and refold, move fabric pieces around to use as little fabric as possible. The fabric estimates below are what I used for each size.
If you make a mistake or don’t cut properly, you might not have enough fabric. So cut wisely and feel free to add 1/2 yard to my suggestions below.
- 12 mo to 3t: Will easily fit on 1 yard of 40-inch wide fabric
- 4 to 6: With creative fabric wrangling on fabric with no directional fabric nap, you can just barely fit a size 6 with short sleeves on one yard of fabric. If your fabric will only go in one direction, you will need 1 3/8 yard.
- 7 to 12: you can fit these sizes + the long sleeve on 1 3/4 yard
- 14: 2 yards of fabric
- When I say “creative fabric wrangling” that means you will fold the fabric to use the least amount possible for the 1st cut, then refold for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th cut.
Materials Needed for this Peasant Dress Project:
- pattern (When printing, be sure to download the pattern to your pc, open in adobe reader choose auto/landscape and print at actual size.)
- 1 to 2+ yards of fabric
- 1/4 inch Elastic (I have some elastic cutting estimates at the bottom, but if possible, you should fit the dress on the child.)
- basic sewing supplies (such as Pinking shears, fabric marker or fabric chalk, scissors, ruler )
Elastic cutting guide for the peasant dress pattern:
- 12 to 18 months: 15 to 16 inches
- 2t/3t: 17 to 20 inches
- 4/6: 19 to 20 inches
- 7: 20 to 21 inches
- 8: 21 to 22
- 10: 22 to 23
- 12: 23 to 23.5
- 14: 23.5 to 24
Arm Elastic (if you chose to add arm elastic):
- 12 to 18 months: 7 to 7.5 inches
- 2t/3t: 8 inches
- 4/6: 8.75 inches
- 7: 9 to 9.5 inches
- 8: 9 to 9.5 inches
- 10: 9.75 to 10
- 12: 10.25 to 10.5
- 14: 10.5 to 11
Sewing Products and Tools used and recommended in this post:
- My favorite shops for fabric are Fabric.com, girl charlie and Stylish Fabrics. (My fave for knits is Funkalicious Fabrics.)
- My Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist 600-Stitch Machine with Extension Table, Bonus Accessories and Hard Cover
- My Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger
- Pinking Shears
- Rotary Cutter
- I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start off with a smaller Cutting set
- Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen
- Fray Check
- Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!
Fabric Layout Guide for the Free Peasant Dress Pattern:
Pattern tips and tricks: Important, please read!:
1. *** Important pattern printing tip*** When printing the patterns, do not print directly from Google docs. Download the pattern to your computer and open it in your adobe acrobat reader, choose actual size auto portrait landscape and print. (If you use any program other than the adobe reader, there is no guarantee the pages will print at the appropriate size.)
2. Peasant dresses/tops are designed to be roomy, if you prefer a slimmer fit, move the bodice pattern over from the fold by about 1/2 inch. (I do this)
3. The short sleeves are so cute if you shirr or add elastic to the bottom. (Unless it’s a nightgown, then I will leave the elastic out of the sleeves…)
5. This Free Peasant Dress Pattern includes a 1/4 inch seam allowance unless otherwise noted in the instructions
6. Pattern note: If you choose to sew the long sleeve version, the sleeves sew up just like short sleeves and you can finish the edges with elastic, a regular quarter-inch hem (where you fold 1/4 inch, press, fold another 1/4 inch, press and sew.) or with the quarter-inch hem and shirring. It’s cute in all ways. The long sleeve pattern comes in a regular (fuller) sleeve style and a narrow sleeve for knits. (I only recommend the narrower version when you are using stretch/knit fabric.)
7. Want to make a modern version of the peasant dress with a sash? Jump to this tutorial.
update: the latest version of the adobe reader allows you to print different layers. Each pattern size is on its own layer, so you are able to save ink and print only the size you need. (Click the icon that looks like a stack of papers to see the layers and click the eyeball to turn off the ones you don’t want.)
Have fun making your dresses and as always, if you sew something from one of my tutorials or patterns I would love to see it! Be sure to come back and share a photo on my facebook page or tag me on Instagram @scatteredmom, with #scatteredmompatterns!
FYI: I update my patterns yearly with new sizes! To be notified about new patterns, tutorials pattern updates and fun family recipes, be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter. =>> Here.
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- *update 11/2013: this pattern now has a long sleeve option! See the long sleeve dress I made here.
- *update 5/14: pattern now includes size 8.
- *update 4/16: pattern now goes up to size 10.
- *update 5/16: There is now a flutter sleeve option/add-on piece! Instructions and flutter sleeve pattern found here and you can see an adorable patriotic version here.)
- *update 5/18 Pattern now goes up to size 14. Finished dress length hits at the top of the knee. Original bodice only/paper-saving peasant can be found on my Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom Pattern page in the files section. If you want this original version, you will have to log in to Facebook, click that link and request access in the group. Too many people keep downloading it by mistake and then email me because the full pattern is not there!!!