Simple tunic or dress pattern

striped tunic dress
Floral tunic with free patternDSC_1364 A whole year after I drew this pattern for a simpletunicdresspattern I’ve finally got round to digitizing it and writing a tutorial. (Mental note: never put your intention to do something in writing if you’re not then going to get round to it for ages). At the moment it is available in two sizes, to fit approximately 18mths-2yrs and to fit 2-3yrs. There are tunic and dress options for both sizes with buttons (or poppers) to close at the back. The pattern is for light to mid-weight wovens. Good choices would be cotton shirting or lawn. The bodice is lined but it would be easy to add a lining to the skirt section as well.  I haven’t drawn pieces for the collar which I added to the Liberty print tunic version below, but there are some great tutorials out there for drafting your own (I promise it’s not that tricky). This tutorial by Monica of Adirondack Inspired shows a great method. toddler tunic in liberty print The pattern can be downloaded here. There are 9 pages which fit together as shown in the image below. Make sure your printer does not resize the pages before printing. Unless stated otherwise the seam allowance is 1cm. Please remember this pattern is for personal use only. tunic pattern layout simple tunic or dress tutorial


81 thoughts on “Simple tunic or dress pattern

  1. What a lovely pattern! Came together so easily for my (large) almost 6 month old! I used the 2-3 tunic skirt and increased the bodice seam allowance for everything except the neck stitches. The (almost) final result is appx 9-12 mos size. I still have to topstitch and add buttons/holes, but SO CUTE! Thank you!

    1. Oh – but did you make the smaller bodice? I’d be surprised if the larger size came out at 9-12 months, only because my daughter has only just grown out of it at 4 and a half. If it was the smaller size then hopefully it will fit longer than 12 months too. Quite often babies seem to grow taller but not wider from that point so tunics seem to just get shorter but not stop fitting. Could there be a chance your printer printed at a smaller scale? I have to say I based the size on my younger daughter not any industry standards and although she is average in height she is more slender so sorry if I didn’t get it quite right for you.

    1. Well you never sew the placket completely up – but in step 6 you hem the long edges before sewing the back seam and bottom edge of the placket only. If you prefer a bias bound slit fro your skirt you could always use that method (although I think this way is easier). Not sure how to explain it any better!

  2. Hi Tonya, I am planning to make this dress this weekend for my granddaughter and I am using a nice knit fabric. Do I still have to line it with the knit or do I just skip that part and turn the edges under. I can make a knit lining if I need to because it is light weight, but wasn’t sure about the bulk. Normally, I use cotton fabric, but my Daughter-in-law like knits on Caroline because they don’t need ironing.



    1. Hi Kathie, honestly I’m nervous to recommend making this design in knit at all as I worry that the extra ease might mean the pattern won’t fit or will hang wrong. I would suggest finding a style designed for knits, or using a t-shirt pattern and adding a gathered skirt?

      1. Hi Tonya,

        Well, I decided nothing ventured, nothing gained so I give it a try and I used a solid line green knit for the bodice and a multi-color floral knit of pinks and greens for the shirt portion and it came out fantastic. I did line the bodice with the same lime green knit and it really did stablize the bodice. The knits I used were fairly dense with low stretch, so that helped. I just have to add the snaps today and hem it. If tell me where I can attach a picture, I can send you one.

        I will definitely make more of these. It was so easy and what I like about the knits, I just tacked the inside bodice lining with stitch in the ditch from the front since the knits don’t unravel. No hand sewing at all.

        Thank you so much for sharing the pattern and have a great day,



      2. Oh I’m so pleased! Sorry not to recommend it when it worked out so well but as I hadn’t tried it I wasn’t sure..I’ll Pm you so you can send me a pic as I’d love to see.

  3. Hi Toya,

    This looks lovely, thank you for sharing. This is going to be my first proper sewing project 🙂 Silly question, but do you have to print borderless on A4 paper?



    1. Not a silly question at all. Borderless shoudln’t be required but you will have to make sure you set your printer to 100% size not scale to fit and auto-rotated and centre. The pattern is printed in rectangles smaller than A4 so the whole thing should print but you will need to trim to fit them together. If you’re not sure it is always worth printing just one page first to make sure.

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