Ruffled Flower Sundress – Girl’s Halter Style Tutorial and Free Pattern

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I’ve got an adorable new girl’s Halter-Style Ruffled Flower Sundress tutorial w/ a free pattern to share with you today!

Girls halter style sundress free pattern


This sweet sundress is put together with a simple bodice made from knit fabric and an attached skirt of woven cotton and topped off with an adorable ruffled flower.  The fabric combination possibilities are endless!

A friend of mine gave me the floral cotton fabric and I already had the purple striped knit in my stash.  (got it here.) I saw a dress just like this in a catalog and had to make something similar for our spring photos.  (and this dress totally complements the flowers in our front bed, lol!)

How to sew a halter sundress

Oh, how she loves to pick the flowers from Nana’s flower bed…

free sundress pattern

And toss them in the air!  (Aren’t those purple sandals just darling?  They are from Gymboree.)

Are you ready to make one for your princess?


Ruffled Flower Sundress Tutorial

Supplies needed:

  • Pattern  <<== click that link to download pattern.  (when sharing this pattern, please share blog post link not pattern link)
  • up to 3/8 yard knit fabric for the bodice (purple fabric is from Funkalicious Fabrics)
  • up to 1.5 yards for skirt (1.5 for a very full size 8 below the knee length skirt)
  • 1/8 yard for ruffled flower
  • Ball point/stretch needle
  • interfacing
  • ruler, iron, other basic sewing supplies


  • Use a ballpoint needle and increase stitch length when sewing on the knit fabric.
  • If using a stretch knit for the straps, you will want to apply iron-on interfacing to the back of the fabric to keep the straps from stretching too much.
  • If your machine is pulling the knit into the throat plate, place a piece of tissue underneath the knit fabric to get started.  Using spray starch and an iron helps stiffen the fabric as well.
  • Read through instructions entirely before starting.  (Oh, if only I could practice what I preach 😉
  • when selecting fabric for the ruffle, you can use a knit or woven as long as the finished width is 1.25 inches.  (if using a woven, you will want to hem or serge the edges) If using a knit, try to avoid one that curls on the edges.  (mine curled- If I had realized this was going to happen, I would have spaced the ruffle closer together to avoid the purple fabric showing.)

Pattern notes:

  • Seam allowances are 1/4 inch unless otherwise stated.

Step 1:  Assemble pattern and cut out pattern pieces.  

Bodice: Cut around gray boxes, line up and tape together pattern pieces.  Fold fabric and cut 2 front and two back bodices of size needed.
Straps:  Cut 2 strips, 3 inches by 20 inches
Skirt: Cut 2 fabric pieces according to the sizes below: (width x height) The measurements below are NOT on the fold.
3: 23 x 14.75
4: 24.5 x 16
5:  26 x 17.25
6:  28 x 18.5
7:  30 x 20
8:  30 X 21.5

The height measurement of the skirt is a guesstimate based on a standard chart.  For the perfect length, cut out the bodice, hold it up to your child and measure from the bottom of the bodice to the desired length.  Add .75 for seam allowances.)

Step 2:  Sewing the bodice.
Line up the bodice front and bodice back right sides together and sew along the sides with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Do the same for the bodice lining.

Fold straps and sew along the sides.  If you are using a very stretch knit, I recommenced applying a light interfacing to the back side of the straps.  (otherwise the straps will stretch and may create a “wardrobe malfunction”.) Flip the straps right side out.

Flip the bodice right side out (picture shows wrong side out-ignore that) and line up the straps as shown.  Pin in place.

Slide the the bodice lining, wrong side out, over the bodice and line everything up and pin securely.  The bodice and bodice lining should be right sides together and you will want to move the pins from inside the the bodice where you originally pinned the straps.

Sew around the top of the entire bodice front and back, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  When working with stretchy knits, it helps to remove the pins before you get to them – sometimes the pins will contribute to the machine stretching out the fabric.  (it also helps to use a walking foot and a longer stitch length.)

Flip the bodice right side out and give everything a little press.

You have 3 choices for the ties.  1.  Try the the dress on your little one, pin the straps to the back where they need to go and stitch them into place for a perfect fit. (Trim excess strap after sewing them in place.)   For option 2 or 3, you will want to tuck in the edges of the strap and hem for a pretty finished strap-end.  2.  Create a loop and attach the the back of the bodice.  You can tie the straps through the loop to help support and keep the dress in place.  3.  Leave the ties as they are and just tie around the neck.  (I’ll update with pictures to demonstrate choice 1 or 2..)

Step 3:  Attaching the skirt.

Line up the two skirt panels and sew along the sides using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Finish this seam with a zig zag on your sewing machine, pinking shears or serger.


Sew a gathering/basting stitch around the top of the skirt.  Pull on the bobbin thread to gather the skirt.  Keep gathering until the top of the skirt is the same width as the bodice.

Right sides together, line up the raw edge of the skirt and bodice.  Try to keep the gathers spaced evenly and pin the bodice and skirt together.

Sew along this edge using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, removing the pins before you get to them.  I recommend serging or using a stretch stitch here for a little give.  (If you have the lightning bolt stitch on your machine, that one is excellent for this purpose.)

Flip everything around and give this seam a light press with the iron.

Hem the bottom with a 1/4 inch hem.  (Fold the bottom edge over 1/4 inch, press.  Fold over another 1/4 inch, press again and sew along the edge.)

Step 4:  Adding the ruffled flower.

Cut 2 strips of fabric, from selvage to selvage 1.25 inches wide.  Sew a basting/gathering stitch down center of strip.

Pull on the bobbin thread to gather.

Starting at the center of the bodice, start pinning the ruffle into a spiral shape.  When you run out of the ruffle, fold the edge over and start with the 2nd strip.

When your flower is a s large as you want it to be, trim the excess fabric and tuck the edge into the ruffle and pin.  To attach the ruffle, start at the center and sew directly over the gathering stitch, rotating the dress as needed.

You are done.  So darling!  (You can see what I mean about my ruffle curling at the edges in the photo below.)  If your fabric has lycra in it, it will probably curl.  To avoid the fabric showing through, line the ruffle/spiral up closer together.  If this is the case you might need more than two strips for the larger sizes.

Like this post? Please pin it!     

Don’t forget, if you make a dress from this pattern, be sure to come back and share it on my facebook page or tag me on Instagram with #scatteredmompatterns.

My favorite fabric shop for knits:  Funkalicious Fabrics.
  1. My Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist
  2. My Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger or you can just use Pinking Shears
  3. Rotary Cutter
  4. I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start of with a smaller Cutting set
  5. Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen and Fray Check
  6. Ball Point needles
  7. Singer walking foot or universal walking foot
  8. Blind hem foot.
  9. Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!

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  1. Monika Bourderioux says:

    Love it! Its so cute

  2. Lydia @ Huckleberry Love says:

    This dress is just adorable! I love it! We are featuring it this week over at Much Ado About Monday. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing and for linking up!

  3. Kristine@thefoleyfam says:

    I really need to attempt this! Beautiful! Thanks for linkin up to Sunday FUNday!

  4. Kimberly Lewis says:

    I love this dress! What cutie! Pinned! Thanks for stopping by our party last week! We are tickled to have you. Please come and party with us tonight at 7 pm. Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  5. Adorable!!! I love the ruffle! Wonderful job!

  6. Desiree @ The 36th AVENUE says:

    Adorable.. I am pinning 🙂

  7. Anne Weaver says:

    So so pretty!! I've got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for this evening that links to your free pattern!

  8. Ana Lopes says:

    This is really adorable! I love the dress and the sweet pics! Thanks for sharing tutorial!