Authentic Toddler Wear

– 2 Dessert Rolls – if using Authentic by Sweetwater
{you can make both outfits using 1 dessert roll if the roll contains 2 or more of the same print of 3 different styles.}
– White Button Shirt in the size needed for your girl and/or boy
– fusible web
– coordinating thread

– rhinestone button for girls dress
– coordinating rick rak for girls dress

PLEASE NOTE… All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise stated. RST stands for right sides together.
Select 8 dessert roll strips (5″ strips) to create the skirt and belt.
1 strip for the belt
6 strips for the 3 tiered ruffle {2 of each print for each tier}
1 strip for the ruffle extension {this fabric will not show when done.}
From the girls button-up shirt, square up the bottom by cutting straight across from side seam to side seam. If your shirt is already straight across the bottom, you don’t need to do this step. Make sure the shirt is buttoned before cutting so you get a straight cut.
Once you have trimmed the bottom of your shirt, measure across the bottom from side seam to side seam. Write this number down… This is your shirt measurement. Now multiply this number by two… This is your skirt measurement. For example… If your shirt measures 13″ across, then the ruffled skirt measurement is 26″. Set the shirt aside.

From the skirt extension fabric strip, cut two pieces that measure 1″ larger than the shirt measurement you took in the previous step. For example… if your shirt measured 13″ from side seam to side seam, then you will want to cut two pieces that measure 14″ each.
Now, take these two cut pieces and cut them lengthwise in half so that you now have 4 pieces that are 2 1/2″ wide.
Sew two of the cut pieces RST on both of the short ends. Zig-zag stitch the raw ends. Repeat this step for the other two cut pieces. You should now have two tubes that measure the same as the skirt measurement. Set the extender pieces aside.
Now, from the 3 prints for your ruffled skirt, determine which print you want for the top layer, middle and bottom layers. You should have two strips of the same print for each layer.

From the top layer print, cut your two strips down to 3 1/2″ wide X the width of the fabric.
The middle and the bottom layers will stay 5″ wide… no cutting involved on these layers.

Taking the two strips you just cut down to 3 1/2″ place two of the short ends RST, stitch 1/2″ seam and zig-zag stitch the raw edge. DO NOT stitch the other short side together yet. Repeat this step for the middle and the bottom layers.

Fold and press the bottom pinked edge of the top layer 1/4″ to the wrong side of the fabric. Repeat this step for the middle and bottom layers.

Sew a 1/8″ stitch from the pinked edge to create the bottom hem of the ruffle. Repeat this step for the middle and bottom layers.

On the other long, raw edge, sew a basting stitch to form the ruffle. You can do this however you like. I prefer to use my machine and just make my stitch width as large as it will go. To begin, I start off with a backstitch to hold one side in place. When I get to the other end, DO NOT backstitch. You need to leave a little extra thread so you can pull the top thread GENTLY to create the ruffle. Repeat this step for the middle and bottom layers.

You will make your ruffle the length of your skirt measurement plus 1″. For example… if your skirt measurement is 26″, then your ruffle should be 27″. Once you have your ruffle to the desired length, tie the threads in a knot at the end where you were pulling to create your ruffle so your ruffle does not stretch back out while creating the side seam. Match up the two raw short ends RST and sew 1/2″ seam and then zig-zag the raw edge to finish it off. Repeat this step for the middle and bottom layers. You should now have three ruffled skirt layers.

Assembling the skirt…
Match one of the extender pieces and the top ruffle and pin the raw edges toghether as shown. The right sides of the extender piece and the ruffle should both be facing out. First, match the side seams together when pinning to make sure you get an acurate amount of ruffle all around the skirt. Then work your way around the skirt making sure you have it pinned evenly. Stitch 1/4″ seam allowance around the top of the skirt to hold the top ruffle and extender piece in place.

Flip the top ruffle wrong side up to expose the first extender layer.

Slip the middle layer ruffle over the first extender piece with RST. Pin in place.

Next, slip the 2nd extender piece over the 2nd ruffle creating a sandwich effect. Matching the side seams with the first extender and the middle ruffle, pin the second extender piece in place with the right side facing the wrong side of the middle ruffle. Sew through the three layers a 1/2″ seam from the raw edge where pinned. Zig-zag the raw edge to finish it off.

Flip the middle ruffle right side out exposing the first extender. Pull the second extender down so it is parallel to the middle layer and flip the top layer wrong side up out of the way so you can top stitch the seam in place on the first extender layer. See the pictures below.

This picture below show how the top layer should now lay against the first extender and the middle layer should be laying against the second extender.

Flip the ruffled layers wrong side out and keep the second extender pulled up with the right side facing out. Pin the bottom ruffle RST to the second extender, first matching up the side seams and then working your way around the skirt. Stitch a 1/2″ seam around from the raw pinned edge and then zig-zag to finish off the raw edge.

As done with the middle layer, flip the top and middle ruffles wrong side up exposing the second layer and the bottom ruffle. Make sure the bottom seam is facing up towards the top of the skirt and top stitch 1/8″ from the bottom ruffle to hold the seam in place.

This picture shows how the layers should be laying when sewing the top stitch on the second extender piece.

We will now assemble the skirt to the button-up shirt.

Matching up the side seams of the shirt and the skirt, pin the shirt to the skirt RST. Make sure the button up shirt is buttoned up all the way to help ensure that the shirt stays aligned with the skirt. Sew a 1/2″ seam all the way around from the raw edge and then zig-zag the edge for a nice clean edge.

Flip the dress Right side out and top stitch the seam down 1/8″ from the skirt ruffle. The stitching should be on the white shirt bottom.

Creating the belt…
Take the last piece of dessert roll that was set aside and fold and press both of the short edges of the strip towards the wrong side of the fabric.

Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press.

Unfold the strip and press the two long sides in toward the middle fold. Press.

Fold the strip in half again lengthwise, concealing the raw edges all the way around the strip. Press.

Stitch a 1/8″ seam around the four sides of the strip to finish off the belt. Set the belt aside.

From the extra dessert roll fabrics, create your applique flower or any other applique favorite.

Using your preferred method of applique, stitch around the applique pieces and stitch the ric-rak stem in place.

Attaching the belt….
Pin the belt in place aligning the bottom of the shirt and the bottom of the belt. Leave about a 3 inch opening to be able to tie a knot or bow once the belt has been stitched on the dress. I offset my opening so the tie would be on the side. Make sure you leave the same amount of fabric dangling on both sides of the tie before stitching into place.

Stitch the belt into place on both sides of the belt. I simply followed the current stitch line that was on the belt which is approx. 1/8″ on either side. Be sure to backstitch on all the beginnings and ends of your stitching on the belt. Tie a knot or bow to finish the belt off.

Add a rhinestone button to the middle of the flower applique and YOU ARE DONE!

You now have one happy little girl! Add a coordinating tank top under the shirt dress, a pair of lace capri leggings, and slip-on shoes to complete the look.

Print out the ABCD font graphic shown or create your own. Pick out a fabric to use on three of the letters and another fabric for one of the letters. I chose to do AB and D in one fabric and the letter C in the other fabric. Apply the fusible web to the wrong side of your two fabric choices.

Cut out the letter templates and place the letters upside down on the backside of the fabric where the fusible paper is left. Trace around the letters with a pen and then cut on the traced lines to form your fabric letters.

Remove the paper backing and iron the letters in place. I wanted to give the shirt a more modern / retro look, so I placed the letters vertically on one side of the shirt starting at the shoulder then working its way down. The shirt I used had a mono-tone pin striping detail in it so I just aligned the letters along the lines of the shirt. You may need to use a straight edge to help you align your letters if your shirt is plain.

Once you have fused your letters in place, applique the letters on using your preferred method of stitching.

One handsome little boy in a cool modern shirt made especially by you! I like the long sleeved shirts and then just roll the sleeves up a couple times. Makes it very versitle for warmer and colder months.

Two Authentic Dessert Rolls will make two dresses and many appliqued shirts.
The skirt will adjust easily to any size toddler shirt. If you want to make the dress bigger, simply adjust the skirt measurement to fit the shirt size and add a couple more layers to the bottom to the appropriate length needed. Applique’s can easily be changed up to fit the childs personality or event.
Great for school wear and any other fun events!
Thanks and enjoy!
Angela Yosten

26 comments on “Authentic Toddler Wear

  1. Celia says:

    That's gorgeous!!!! LOve the idea????

  2. Stephanie says:

    Absolutley darling (and so are the models), cute, and original. Also fresh–fantastic use of a great line of fabric.

  3. jaybird says:

    seriously adorable… now i just need to find a few kids to borrow to make it for!

  4. Wow, that is a really cute idea. I always enjoy making outfits for my girls, this looks like a real easy way to make a lovely dress.

  5. Heather says:

    Love, Love, Love it!!! Thanks for this great tutorial – yay!!!

  6. Carmie says:

    What a great way to make it with the shirt and I love the fabric. I guess I will have to make it and hope for a future grandchild one day–ha! Love it!

  7. Heather says:

    These are adorable! Love 'em.

  8. Sheri Howard says:

    Angela, I knew that was your daughter before I even looked at your name on the post!!! Golly-gee that is a darling outfit! Love that poka-dot ruffle!

  9. Mauri says:

    That is the cutest idea I've ever seen! I am so going to make one of these for my little girl. I might even try making one for my 10 year old! I think she would really like this too. Thank you so much for the tutorial.

  10. Lucy says:

    This is the cutest thing I've ever seen! Fabulous ideas.

  11. cute!!!! need to make these!

  12. lissa says:

    It helps to have such cute kids as models. Hi Paige, you are adorable. Matthew, you rock!

  13. Stephanie says:

    You seriously make the cutest kids clothes EVER!!

  14. Kim says:

    What a great idea and mom's will love it! I'll have to go looking for a shirt to use to make one for my grandaughter.

  15. Very cute Angela, on my list to do.
    Keep Stitchen'

  16. jen duncan says:

    Oh goodness. I know cute kids when I see 'em, and these are ADORABLE!!

  17. Brenda says:

    ADORABLE! What a great idea. My daughter loves skirts and we have made several the past few months! I love the idea of attaching it to a button down shirt! I will have to try it! Thanks!

  18. jabeybaby says:

    This is so cute! I was just wondering what I should make with some fabric my daughter picked out, and this will be perfect!

  19. V and Co. says:

    oh my gosh.
    i hate you for making me have to make these now. like RIGHT now! 😉 awesome tut ang!

  20. Amazing job Amanda on this very creative tutorial!

  21. I love both the girls AND boys idea! i linked to this at

  22. dotti white says:

    Angela…This is very sweet! Thanks for your time with this!

  23. Jessica says:

    what an adorable idea!!

  24. This is fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing. I will definetly make a couple of these dresses.

  25. Nicole says:

    DArling – I'm guessing you have the cutest dressed kids on the block!

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