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Tutorial 2: habitual – Simple Sundress

2014 Please read below:

  • Yes! I will send this to you for free!
  • Please email me at afinlarc at yahoo dot com if you would like a copy of this pattern. Emails with [no subject] will not be opened.
  • The sundress is sized in IN and CM…. from age 6 months up to a youth 8 (8 years).
  • Creative Commons License

117 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2009 5:25 pm

    I love this summerdress. Looks perfeckt for hot days. Thank you for sharing!

  2. becky permalink
    February 8, 2009 12:04 pm

    I am printing this pattern now! I landed a few yards of cute pink fabric for a buck from a yard sale and now I plan to make matching dresses for taylor jane 2 months and emma lyn 5 yrs. I’m sure they will hate me for it!

  3. February 16, 2009 3:06 pm

    Your tutorial is so GREAT! I found you in the SewMamaSew forum link, you should submit this, if you haven’t already it is so cute and very easy to follow! Thank you!

  4. annie permalink
    February 20, 2009 8:17 pm

    I used McCalls 5425 to make an adult version of this for my daughter. I cut it tunic length. She wore it into an Anthropologie store and the employees were all over her asking her where she got her outfit. I felt very proud….sew simple to make!!!!

  5. habitual permalink*
    February 22, 2009 10:25 am

    That is so interesting, because I made a version of this for me, but it looked awful (all the gathers around the chest amplified my bosom and made me feel fat!) I like that McCall’s pattern and will check it out. I wonder – was there any shaping or darts to make it fit well?

  6. Lieke permalink
    February 24, 2009 3:24 pm

    Your pattern for this dress is great! From now on the sundress will be worn even in Holland:) What’s McCall’s? I would love to have a dress like this one for myself, but since I am breastfeeding, I will probably look aswell a bit uhm…. out of shape😉.

    • habitual permalink*
      February 24, 2009 7:19 pm

      Thank you Lieke!

      McCall’s is a large sewing pattern company here in the U.S. (like Burda or Vogue)…..

  7. Darlamom permalink
    February 27, 2009 2:10 pm

    Thank you so much for the pattern! I put the dress together last night; it was so quick and simple, and I think my 4-year-old daughter looks great in it. Thanks again!

  8. gwynne permalink
    February 27, 2009 8:18 pm

    This is such a wonderful project to do with my grandaughter. Passing down the love of sewing, by sharing your patterns…How wonderful you touch the futures of people you havent even met. Thank you

  9. habitual permalink*
    February 28, 2009 9:08 am

    Thank you so much Gwynne, comments like that touch me more than you could know….

  10. Holly permalink
    March 4, 2009 3:10 pm

    I am very new to sewing and would love to try this sundress. I am trying to figure out how many yards I need to make a size 4 dress? And how much fabric for the sash? Also, what would be the best way to make this pattern…measure one out on paper and use that or just measure it directly to the fabric. I have only been sewing for 2 weeks, so please excuse the questions!!

  11. habitual permalink*
    March 4, 2009 4:45 pm

    Hi Holly,
    I recommend marking out the pattern onto a piece of scrap fabric or clean muslin. That way you will have the pattern for future use. You can also mark up on the pattern any changes you make (i.e. longer or shorter).
    You will need less than a yard for the sash, but you will need the full width of the fabric. And 1/8 of a yard would be fine. For the size 4 dress I’d recommend at least a 1 1/2 yards; 2 yards if you are using a large pattern that will require matching/aligning.
    Hope that helps, please feel free to email me any questions!

  12. March 17, 2009 3:52 pm

    adore… must make 3! now!

  13. March 25, 2009 1:04 pm

    i love this. thanks so much fo rthe great idea! i will be making some for my daughter.

  14. March 27, 2009 2:19 pm

    Thank you for this tutorial. I have made two so far and there will be more to come. Great work!

  15. Lizzie permalink
    March 27, 2009 3:01 pm

    I love your fabrics and your creations, wow! Where do you find such cute fabrics?

  16. habitual permalink*
    March 27, 2009 8:20 pm

    Here’s some of the places from which I gather fabric:

  17. belle permalink
    March 29, 2009 4:42 pm

    You can’t imagine the high I get from making this dress — so easy for a poor-middling sewer. Little room for error, lots of room for creativity.
    Results so, hmm, boutiquey. I made the last two out of old curtains, Von-Trapp-style. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  18. habitual permalink*
    March 29, 2009 9:52 pm


    I’m so glad to hear that Belle! I love comments like that!

  19. April permalink
    April 7, 2009 10:10 am

    Can you please tell me how I download this pattern? I’ve been trying all morning, but not having any luck.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  20. AAmores permalink
    May 2, 2009 11:03 am

    Thank you sooo much, this dress is gorgeous, I can’t wait to make one for my 5 years old daugther. Thank’s again🙂

  21. May 8, 2009 8:41 pm

    You are supa dupa fly. ‘Nuff said.

  22. May 16, 2009 10:20 am

    I love this dress but I can not download the pdf file. I don’t know why…😦
    Can you help me please ? Thanks

  23. May 19, 2009 10:58 am

    thanks….so beautiful….

  24. sorella permalink
    May 30, 2009 8:41 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern … stitched a 6-month version up in 2 hours last night for a friend. My 4 year old saw it this morning and promptly put it on. It was an adorable shirt! Now I must make her one🙂

    • habitual permalink*
      June 1, 2009 6:24 pm

      Yay! It’s really fast isn’t it?🙂

  25. June 11, 2009 4:51 pm

    I’m thinking about trying to make this into a maternity top…. I’ll let you know how it goes! lol

    • habitual permalink*
      June 12, 2009 6:34 am

      Good luck! I made one for myself (not maternity, just a top)….

  26. Simone permalink
    June 16, 2009 8:47 pm

    I like your idea of making it a top for an adult to wear – would you be able to give me the dimensions you used?

    Also, how would you convert this to a pattern for a dress for an adult?


    • habitual permalink*
      June 17, 2009 6:12 am

      Well, I didn’t hang on to it as the cut was not very flattering to me. It need darts in the bust region (if you know what I mean)….. but I will take a look at it and see what I can come up with!

  27. June 17, 2009 12:31 am

    I noticed that you mentioned that you made a top for yourself. May I ask how you figure out how big the armysce needs to be? I am five feet tall and normally wear a 1/2 and am petite. We are going away this weekend and would love to make me a top to wear with capris
    thanks in advance for any help.

    • habitual permalink*
      June 17, 2009 6:14 am

      You are petite!

      I will take a look at it this evening. My guess it you could wear an equivalent of youth 10-12. Because the nature of the dress is loose for girls, it will work nicely for a top (around the arm pit). Stay tuned!

  28. June 17, 2009 2:25 am

    I’ve used your nice pattern to make a dress for my 17-months old daughter. She’s so cute in it. I love it!!!
    Now, there ‘s one to come for her sister.
    Thank you for sharing!!!!

    • habitual permalink*
      June 17, 2009 6:15 am

      Thank you Stephanie, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  29. Pam Nees permalink
    June 17, 2009 4:12 pm

    I love your sundress. It reminds me of one I made for my (now 33 year old) daughter when she was about 4…I took a new pillow case with a contrasting and piped bottom edge, undid the top and cut down the sides part-way and finished off the top like you did, only with ties at each shoulder. Necessity is the mother…

  30. June 21, 2009 2:44 pm

    bonjour, je n’arrive pas a telecharger les explications des kimonos et des sundress,
    pourriez-vous me les envoyer par mail je vous en remercie d’avance


  31. Anna permalink
    June 21, 2009 9:57 pm

    So sorry! I wrote you about the kimono top download and now I need this one as well! I just don’t know why it won’t work for me! I really appreciate your help.

  32. June 23, 2009 4:57 am

    Thanks for your pattern, I made a really great dress for a present!! You can see it on my web site. Thanks so much!!

  33. Amy permalink
    June 30, 2009 8:37 pm

    Hi there,

    I just love these two patterns, I have made the sundress in black merino as an overdress for winter and it looks gorgeous with a bright pink floral tie…Everyone comments on it……

    I am about to try the kimono. Have just got back into sewing after years of none so thank you for inspiring me again.

    I live in NZ and we have a small selection of funky patterns.
    Do you have any other patterns to share with us?

  34. yolanda permalink
    June 30, 2009 9:20 pm

    Hi, I am having a problem downloading the sundress pattern, could you send it to me. Its just what I have been looking for.

  35. habitual permalink*
    July 2, 2009 6:14 am

    Amy, I’m so glad you like the sundress. I made it for my niece in a plaid merino for winter with a charcoal tie. She loved it! I’d love to see your charcoal version.

    Yolanda, I will email you the pattern!

  36. July 6, 2009 5:22 am

    This dress is beautiful ! I will try to sew it this week for the summer’s wardrobe of my little daughter ! Thank you so much !

  37. July 10, 2009 8:59 am

    Amy, let me tell you that I love your sundress pattern; I’ve just started to sew and I’ve already made two of your dress. I’m really pleased with the result, the dresses are marvellous on my daughter, the simple and fresh shape of them are perfect in every occasion. Your tutorial is so detailed that even a beginner can follow all the steps.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  38. habitual permalink*
    July 10, 2009 12:57 pm

    Thank YOU elisa~ I love comments like that!🙂

  39. July 16, 2009 11:55 am

    Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial and pattern. Your detailed instruction and pictures gave me courage to make my 14-month-old a lovely dress. My previous projects were crooked pillow cases and curtains. Now I’m going to embark on the baby kimonos that I plan on giving to my dear girlfriends as baby shower presents.

  40. July 30, 2009 10:44 pm

    It’s amazing how such a simple dress can be so beautiful! I am SO thankful for this pattern. I thought I wasn’t able to do much with my sewing machine (due to lack of skill) but you made it so easy and I have new skills (french seams!) and a sweeter bond with my sewing habit b/c of this dress. haha. I love it. It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to have my daughter try on my version tomorrow!

  41. July 31, 2009 9:50 am

    I’m sad to hear that you don’t recommend making this for big people. I love your pattern (and the tutorial is SO easy to follow), but my baby is 14 now, and she would probably have the same problem I would with the dress. DID you like it as a top???

    Anyway, I might just have to snag a random little girl and make this dress for her, just because I LOVE it.

  42. habitual permalink*
    July 31, 2009 5:02 pm

    I loved how it felt as a top (nice and flowy) but I didn’t like how it looked. I’m petite but a bit on the chesty side, and it made me look enormous/ pregnant / round. It’s great for adults that are flat chested, because it will hand straight versus out. Lol.

    Thanks Saras~ I love comments like that! I aim to simplify and streamline sewing.😉

  43. Rachel permalink
    August 16, 2009 3:46 am

    Hi there, Lovely tutorial. Im just wondering how you can claim orginality for this design? I have been making what would be known as a pillow case dress, which is practically identical, for several years now. I also sell such an item in my online shop, and I have seen many others available for sale online aswell. I just briefly checked out your tutorial, and I do contruct my sundress slightly differently, and I use ribbon instead of a handmade ‘tie’. However, I think the statement of ‘This pattern is intended for personal or gift use only, not for commercial or retail use. Please do not sell items made from this pattern, on your own or in an etsy shop. Please do not modify a part of this pattern and post it as your own pattern.’ should perhaps be removed for this particlar tutorial? I’m not being hostile at all by the way!🙂 Just thought it was worth pointing out.

  44. Elizabeth permalink
    August 28, 2009 4:45 pm

    Love it! Just whipped one up for a present for a 4 year old’s birthday! I’m think I will have to make one for me as a top! thanks for the tutorial!

  45. September 3, 2009 6:24 pm

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I made one for my daughter and we love it. Your designs have come to Japan now!

  46. Sarah permalink
    September 11, 2009 4:01 am

    Thank you so much for the tutorial – so easy to make and very cute! Perfect for hot weather🙂

  47. lilactreecreations permalink
    September 16, 2009 2:11 pm

    this is so pretty

  48. Katy permalink
    September 18, 2009 10:58 am

    I have made pillow case dresses quite a bit and I really like this take with the bow on the one side! What a great way to only have to worry about one!

    Thanks for the great idea!!

  49. October 7, 2009 7:24 am

    Amy, thank you so much for sharing this awesome tutorial.
    I made a dress out of it…

  50. October 13, 2009 4:03 am

    Love it! Very simple and pretty design. I made two and blogged about it here :

    Thanks for the tute Amy!🙂

  51. December 2, 2009 12:59 am

    Hi! I made this dress as a gift for a friends little girl today and have posted a pic on my blog and linked to this page. Thanks for the great pattern!🙂

  52. Ruth permalink
    January 11, 2010 9:35 am

    I used this pattern for my first ever machine sewing project (apart from doll’s clothes when I was younger) and played around with the sizes a wee bit and I now have a cute dress to through over my bikini when I got to Australia in November. Looks different to the photos for obvious reasons and made the tie longer so that it acts more like shoulder straps.

    I just wanted to say thank you so much and now I have my pattern all cut out I can recycle it every year.

  53. Ruth permalink
    January 11, 2010 9:35 am

    oops ‘throw over my bikini’!!!!

  54. February 23, 2010 3:26 am

    thanks for this tutorial. it easy to follow. this is my first time doing dress. u can view it here. thanks for sharing.. but i done a set with headband and short.🙂.. nice.


  55. March 1, 2010 6:26 pm

    Thanks for the great tutorial – you are the first person that described a french seam in a way that I understood and felt good tackling, so thank you for that, too! I’m relatively new to sewing, and love learning new techniques.

    Here are the dresses I made for my daughter and my niece (both modeled by my daughter): and

    I made your kimono top too, but haven’t gotten a good photo of it. I think you should start a general Habitual flickr group – I love your designs and seeing what others come up with! Thanks again, and take care.

    • habitual permalink*
      March 2, 2010 7:44 pm

      Thank you so much Kristin! Well done! I’m sorting through more pattern options (I have 4 that I’ve saved up) and copyright issues…. but stay posted!🙂

  56. March 9, 2010 7:55 pm

    I downloaded your lovely pattern sometime ago and just managed to make a dress for my girl. Here’s a photo on my blog. Great dress for summer!

    • habitual permalink*
      March 9, 2010 8:40 pm

      I love the dress Adeline – the fabrics are great. I love your blog and all the projects!

  57. March 19, 2010 10:39 am

    Thanks for sharing the pattern of this beautiful dress. You can see my first attempt at it on my blog – I am hoping to make a couple more for my nieces soon. I love it!

  58. Frankie permalink
    March 23, 2010 2:04 am

    Hi there,

    I made this dress for bridesmaids dresses for my sister’s wedding. My 3yo daughter, and her now husband’s 5yo daughter were the bridesmaids and my sister wanted something that looked pretty but that was cool (wedding was in Fiji and it was hot!), they could run around in and sit down in. I have made a few of these as kindy dresses for my daughter and thought they’d be perfect.
    I made it from two layers of muslin, and embroidered the top layer of each dress with a small, gold, floral pattern. I made the neck tie out of a gold-y ribbon and the girls looked beautiful!!

    Thank you for such a simple but versatile pattern!

    • habitual permalink*
      March 23, 2010 12:29 pm

      Wow – they sound wonderful Frankie! And…. you’re welcome!🙂

  59. March 30, 2010 12:35 am

    Please send me this pattern .. it looks great🙂

  60. yiyi [Taiwan] permalink
    April 13, 2010 9:23 am

    Thank you sooooooooo much…

  61. HappyNappyJoy permalink
    April 20, 2010 8:53 am

    I just love this sundress. I bought some linen with big pretty flowers on it yesterday from JoAnn’s. I had this dress in mind for my daughter, but I don’t have a pattern! I came in on a link to the kimono and then I saw this dress! This must be fate that brought me here, lol! I will be emailing you for the patterns! Thank you for you creativity!

  62. May 3, 2010 2:17 pm

    I’ve just made this pattern and I LOVE it! Thank you so much!
    You can see a photo here:

  63. Joann permalink
    June 5, 2010 9:55 pm

    Thanks for a nice tutuorial & easy to follow directions,, however in making this in size 5, I found the arm holes were enormous on my daughter. I followed the instructions to the letter,, cutting down 10.5″ for her size for the arms.

    • habitual permalink*
      June 6, 2010 4:51 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Joann…. the 10.5″ is the overall, and the neck band should take up 4″ of that measurement leaving a 6.5″ armhole. Was that still too big?

      • Joann permalink
        June 6, 2010 5:19 pm

        perhaps i misunderstood,
        the way I did it each side comes down 10.5″,, then
        neckband takes up about 2.25″ from each side,, still leaving 8″

  64. June 10, 2010 9:14 pm

    I downloaded this pattern long ago, and was so happy to finally make one for my baby daughter. The design is stylish and simple. Love it, thank you!

  65. Kim O permalink
    June 28, 2010 8:25 am

    I don’t really sew, but have an old machine and this pattern looked simple enough to try. I made my daughter one and just finished one for a little friend’s birthday gift.

    My daughter gets compliments CONTANTLY when she wears it (and the matching capris I made her) and so you know I am now hooked. THanks for helping me take the plunge!

    (so of course I am now eyeing the kimono, but maybe I should learn some basics first!)

  66. Carmen permalink
    June 30, 2010 9:32 pm

    This was my first attempt at sewing, and I am happy to say that it was a success! Thank you for the easy-to-follow pattern!

  67. Shidah permalink
    July 3, 2010 10:44 am

    Thank you for the pattern. I’m a novice and expecting a lot of obstacles while sewing the dress, yet your pattern made it so easy for me to follow (except for the armholes – which is due to my inexperience)…my little girl loves the dress🙂

  68. mamido permalink
    July 30, 2010 4:43 pm

    very pretty. I fabric two dresses for the little girls size three and size 5 for the wedding of my son in France thank you mery much.

  69. Ellie May permalink
    September 14, 2010 3:56 pm

    Beautifully simple!

    I am getting married next August and will be enlisting my auntie to whip up 3 flower girl dresses!

  70. Beks permalink
    October 6, 2010 11:56 pm

    Can you tell me what the fabrics are called that you have used, they are so kewl.

    Cheers beks🙂

  71. Liane permalink
    December 30, 2010 11:16 pm

    I’m so excited to make this! Thanks so much for sharing!

  72. perrine from france permalink
    January 22, 2011 6:27 pm

    Thank you very much Amy! Bravo for this beautiful dress. This will be my first work in sewing. I can not wait to start. It ‘s beautiful! friendly !

  73. February 26, 2011 2:53 pm

    Thank you so much for this beautiful pattern! Such a pretty dress, I’m excited to get to work.


  74. March 13, 2011 2:48 pm

    Ohhh how good to be back again. I was the first to comment on this dress back in 2009. Somehow I lost track of your blog and your dress pattern. I have been looking for since then without luck. That is until today when I visited “floating world” and found a link to your kimono pattern…and then the longed for sundress pattern. The circle is closed . And I will write for the pattern right now. Happy, happy, happy.

    • habitual permalink*
      March 14, 2011 6:39 am

      I’ll email you the pattern Anne Marie! Welcome back,😉.

  75. Aimee permalink
    March 18, 2011 12:24 pm

    Thank you so much for this great pattern. I made one for my step-granddaughter. It turned out amazing. I used a great red plaid fabric that my mother has had for over 40 years. She made a maternity top out of it while pregnant w/me, made me a dress out of it that I was when I was 5, I recently made a skirt out of it for me and now this great sundress. Thanks for the pattern and inspiration!

    • habitual permalink*
      March 29, 2011 7:02 pm

      Wow, that’s so cool Aimee! How great that she still had some of the fabric!

  76. April 20, 2011 12:09 pm

    I have made three of these so far and will be making more! Thank you!

  77. April 22, 2011 11:59 am

    Thanks for the pattern! I’m so excited to make this dress over the weekend! You’ve inspired me to sew again, after a several-year hiatus.🙂

  78. Maria permalink
    May 19, 2011 3:56 pm

    Super. Very sweet, romantic and also simple.
    I would like to use the pattern with a light liberty flowers tissue. I’m imagining it “molto bello”.
    Thank you for the beatiful idea and please send me the pattern,

  79. helene permalink
    August 13, 2011 4:37 pm

    thanks for the pattern got it off you a while back . BUT never mind my little one !! bought enough material – made it longer and wider … extended the armholes a couple of inches and voila … mama got one too !! and daddy thinks mama looks woohoo !!

    • habitual permalink*
      August 20, 2011 5:45 pm

      Hey, that’s great! I’m glad you like the pattern!

  80. Kalene permalink
    October 17, 2011 3:18 am

    I just emailed you…this dress is gorgeous. Thank you!

  81. Shannon Hussey permalink
    February 17, 2012 2:26 pm

    Thanks, so cute!

  82. Joanne leggett permalink
    March 13, 2012 11:53 am

    So pretty :-))

  83. June 16, 2012 5:23 am

    WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for kids games

  84. tang permalink
    October 11, 2013 1:54 am

    so cute!

  85. Melissa smith permalink
    August 2, 2015 8:45 pm

    I would love to make for my niece.
    Please ?? I love it

  86. SIlvestra permalink
    August 6, 2015 8:28 am

    HI where can we find the pattern? It’s very pretty thanks!


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