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Welcome to my Blog

I am a grandmother to 4 little girls. I blog about the things I make for them, review patterns, provide tutorials on how I've dealt with techniques or problems, which I hope may help others, and give links to the (mostly) free patterns I use. Every so often, I do a 'Best of..' post listing the best free patterns I've found under specific headings - babies, girls, boys etc. Enjoy the Blog!

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Girl Patterns - Baby Girls - Page 2, Crawlers to Toddlers

This is page two of a post covering free PDF sewing patterns for baby girls. Page 1 covered babies up to about crawling age, though there is obviously some overlap, so do look at Page 1 as well. Some of the patterns do come in multiple sizes.

The majority of the patterns I've covered in these two pages are for dresses, as I've already covered more unisex clothes (pants, hats, bibs and aprons etc) in separate posts. So do a search in the search box on the blog if you want something less obviously girlie. I will also be following up soon with posts on patterns for older girls, or c. 2 years upwards. 

Note that most of the links have a code called 'My ref.' You can completely ignore this. It just helps me find them again on my extensive spreadsheet!

1. As with the earlier post, I'll start with dresses and move on from there. First, I'll refer you again to the Oh Mother Mine DIY Spanish site, which has lots of free patterns for c 12 months up. But you need to be prepared to add seam allowance, and watch the videos (in Spanish) if you need instructions. This link is for a pinafore dress and dungarees, from baby size upwards. But there are a blouse, a waisted dresses, a flouncy sleeve dress, an A line dress, a frilled sundress - among many other free patterns in multiple sizes.

2. If you want something less challenging (than Spanish), I can also refer you again to the Cottage Mama Party Dress, which has suitable sizes for toddlers (6 months up), and a free pattern and instructions in English. This one below, modelled by my 11 month old grand-daughter over her pyjamas, is a mash-up between from the Cottage Mama pattern, and the Fiesta Frock Faux Peter Pan collar idea from Melly Sews (only the size 3T version of that is free.) I used the sleeves, scaled down, from the Melly Sews dress, as the Cottage Mama dress is sleeveless. You can find out how I made this, and two larger sizes, in this post.  My ref: D30 / D32

3. Cottage Mama also has a picnic dress - more of a sundress, for age 12 months up. My ref: D31.

4. I made this little dress from Pretty Prudent's Snappy Toddler Top. I made mine from the originasl 6-12 months pattern which is also on this link, but it does now come in more sizes up to 5/6T. It took me a while to figure out how to print the larger size pattern, but I succeeded eventually. You have to print it as a poster. My ref: D20

5. Pretty Prudent also has a sleeved yoke dress for 9-12 months. I haven't made this one yet. My ref D129

6. This is a pretty design, in 6-9 months and 12-18 months. It's called the Fine and Dandelion dress. Not my photo, so I've disguised the child. My ref: D28

7. I still think you can go a long way with a peasant dress pattern, for example this one from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom. It comes in sizes 12 months right up to age 14. I think it's well worth looking at her site for her many ideas of the different things you can do with a peasant dress. My ref: D29

8 Another peasant dress possiblility in size 12-18 months (also 2-3 and 4-5) is from Once Upon a Sewing Machine. My ref: D60.

9. Small Dream Factory has many free patterns that can work for this age group. I've already referred to the Dutch baby dress in my earlier post on clothes for pre-crawling girl babies. But I've made it for toddlers too. I also like her long sleeved dress. From that link you can also reach her raglan version and an envelope neck version which is ideal for crawlers and toddlers. Note her patterns exclude seam allowance. There are multiple sizes from newborn to age 4. However, I find there is something a bit odd about the shape of the smaller and larger sizes. the size 12 months, 18 months and 2T look fine. I'm not sure the others have the right shaping on the sides. As it's the 12 month size I'm suggesting here, it shouldn't be a problem. If you want to use the 9 months and smaller sizes, I'd rpint the 12months-2T as well and compare the side seams. My ref D63.

10. One of my favourite patterns - the Good Dress dress, available from Craftsy / Bluprint. The original aim of this pattern was for charity sewing, but I've also used it for my grand-daughters. I've made a summer version, and a winter one with added sleeves - for much older grils, but the pattern starts at 12 months. The crossover front makes it easy to get over a wriggling toddler's head. (The frill is my own addition - these girls liked frills.) My ref: D62

11. Suzy from Baby Patterns at Space (a designer from the Netherlands) has several easy DIY patterns (you draw them from grid squares), including a nice little long-sleeved dress for about 6-12 months. However, I've always found it easy (because of her grid squares) to make her patterns a little bigger if needed. I just make the squares into rectangles, so I add to the length more than the width. My ref: D168

12. The next free pattern comes from Baste and Gather, and is called the Cupcake Dress. It includes sizes 12 months and 18 months.  I don't have a picture of this made up, but something very similar. This is the Widi Mela dress, which you are welcome to look at too, but it's a minimum size of age 2. In fact, I found the Baste and Gather pattern when the Widi dress appeared temporarily to have gone offline. Both have a fitted bodice and thin straps, with the back of the bodice elasticated for comfort. The Baste and Gather pattern shows as a halter dress, Widi has crossover straps that tie at the back - but you could use either with either pattern. I made mine with three tiers, but you can use just the one, or as many as you like, provided you add a bit more gather into each lower tier. Jane modelling the Widi version was about 2 and a half. I recommend measuring to determine the skirt length, Initially I followed the Widi directions for a three tier dress and it was much too long. I took all the layers apart and shortened each. But it all depends on the height of the child!

 My ref D59 and D67.

13. For something a bit different, how about a T shirt dress? There is a free pattern and tutorial from Shwin and Shwin for about 12 months. (It says 12-18 but I found it a bit small.) Here's one I made for Fleur, who was about 18 months at the time. However, I hadn't adequately allowed for the fact that I was attaching a non-stretchy skirt to a stretchy top, and the waistband was a bit tight. I did end up separating the top and bottom, making a T shirt for Fleur and a skirt for her younger sister!  My ref D23 

Nonetheless, I like the idea. In future I would ensure that the skirt was attached with a stretch stitch, and was not cut so tight.

You can also add a skirt to a ready made onesie. I did that too, but more often I made a separate circular skirt which could be worn with more than one onesie. Or you can also add a circular or gathered skirt to a T shirt pattern, cut short to waist level. 

14.  Another simple baby dress in 6-12 months comes from Sew Jereli. It has a bodice and a gathered skirt. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm a huge fan of the Jereli PJ pants, from 18 months - see below - so I imagine the Baby dress pattern would work too. My ref: D52

15. Shwin and Shwin make a pattern, the Carolina dress, for 12-18 months with sleeves - not many have sleeves, but you may find this useful especially in winter. I found that the sleeves were too tight for the dress and needed modifying. This wasn't too difficult - I measured the armscye and moved the fold on the pattern piece about 1/2" - 3/4" from the fold on the fabric to increase the width. It's a pretty design, but I recommend measuring the child across the shoulders. Maybe my grandchildren are particularly broad-shouldered. If I use it again I will widen the shoulders at the back. My Ref: D71 

16. To finish off on dresses, here are a few more patterns you might like to try - though as I haven't tried these myself, you'll have to judge for yourself.
  • a simple reversible 'Folly jumper' (what I'd call a pinafore dress) from Ginger House designs, in size 12 months and 18 months (and larger sizes) My ref: D139
  • another pinafore dress, but with open sides on the bodice, is from Sew Mama Sew. It's called the Sydney Pinafore. Sized 12-24 months. My ref: D155
  • an easy gathered top, Corinne's Thread Gathered Summer Top, from Purl Soho in many sizes from 12 months up. My ref: D61
  • a peplum top from Sew Much Ado in 12-18 months. My ref: D48
  • This Big Oak tree make a 'Sweet as a Berry' dress in 12-18 months. I found the instructions slightly confusing but it's probably just me. I recommend reading the comments below the tutorial. Most people find it would fit 9-12 months rather than 12-18, but it would be very easy to enlarge. My Ref: D43
  • I have made shirred dresses for girls of this age - quite easy to make if you can master it! One of my sewing machines doesn't let me shir properly, it gathered it all up far too tight. Eventually I switched (back) to my very ancient Frister and Rossman, and it worked like a dream. There are lots of links on how to do shirring. Here are some I found useful. I like the last one, that suggests threading elastic through the top to make it neater.

    This one below is in size 12 - 18 months, with an appliqued butterfly.

17. Now for some things for little girls other than dresses! First, my favourite sleeping bag pattern. (Of course, it will work for boys too!) I changed the zip to go round the bottom rather than down the middle, but the pattern is perfect. I sldo masde a larger one just by making it a bit wider and a lot longer. Small Dream Factory sleeping bag is sized as 6-14 months. My Ref: S2

There is also a larger sleeping bag design for 12-18 months from Coupe Couture (a French site) which has measurements rather than a printable PDf, but a good tutorial.

18. A nice little peplum jacket to be worn over a dress, skirt or trousers comes from Shwin and Shwin. It starts at size 12-18 months. My ref: D117

19. A couple of other 'warm' pieces are the 9-12 months hoodie and trackies from See Kate Sew, my Ref: P72 / SW8, and the 6-12 months hoodie from Baby Patterns at Space. (My ref: SW7.) I've already mentioned the one pictured below, the Owly Shrug, in my earlier post, but I'll mention it again as it has 5 sizes from 3 to 24 months. Picture from Owly Baby blogspot.)

20. Here's another reversible crossed strap apron, from Naehen in Germany. Google will translate the web site for you. This is for size 74cm, or about 9 months, but can be enlarged. However, with a crawler you don't want it too long! (My ref: A18) I also like the two bib / apron patterns from Vickis Creations. I'm giving you both the links, since I like the design of the new baby apron bib feeder, and I used it to modify the larger baby toddler apron to be the same style. My refs: A2 and A3.

21. This nice T shirt pattern, the Tiny Tulip, is not one I've used yet. But it comes in a multitude of sizes from 3 months upwards. The most useful sizes for this age group are the 9, 12 and 18 months sizes. You have to sign up to the Patterns for Pirates (P4P) Facebook page to access any of their patterns that are free, as this one is. They have several others, but this design is one in a feminine style. It's not frilly, but I wouldn't put it on a boy. My ref: T53.

I mentioned I haven't yet used this pattern (though I probably will). Previously, I had designed my own pattern which is fairly similar. I refer you to it just so you can see the sort of style you can make using the Tiny Tulip Tee. Mine has an overlap at the back, with a curved hem. With the Tiny Tulip, you can also have the overlap in the front, or no overlap at all.)

22. Finally, I'm going to refer you to one of my favourite patterns for little girls. The pattern sizing starts at age 2, but I certainly used it when the girls were much younger. It's the Purl Soho Summer Romper. I modified it downwards to fit a toddler coming up to 18 months, as well as using the sizes provided. So far I've made at least 7 rompers, and few more with a modified top. If you want to use this great pattern for a toddler (pre-potty-trained especially), then I suggest you also look at my post on the first ones I made. I modified the pattern to either have an opening crutch seam, or a two piece version. The first picture is my 18-month-old version. (My ref P36.) 

If you still haven't found a free pattern that you like for little girls (up to toddling), I suggest you have a search on my web site. I've done separate clothes on bibs and aprons, on shorts, skirts, hats, towels and quilts, and 'boy clothes', which I consider to be unisex. I've actually made far more onesies, shorts, and trousers, for my 4 grand-daughters than I have dresses, because for most of them, that's what they choose for preference. And our climate in the UK is not kind enough for them to live in little lightweight dresses and skirts all year round, anyway.

If your baby is younger than my starting point in this post (roughly when they start crawling), you can also find ideas for smaller babies on Page 1 of this post. If you want patterns for older girls, you'll have to wait a while for me to finish my post on the subject. I've literally hundreds of free patterns for girls over the past 6 years, and I've used many of them! But you will find a lot of them covered in different posts, so you could start with the tab at the top called 'Make baby / child dresses'. You may also find the tab 'Free Baby / Child Patterns' useful. There you'll find some of my reviews of patterns I've used.

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