Rickety Rac Baby Dress Tutorial and Free Pattern

I love making baby dresses. They are fun to make, takes just a small amount of fabric and always turns out super cute. Here is a simple design I made in size 0-3 months. It took about 2 hours and cost around $5 for all the material. I found this pretty birds fabric at fabric.com.

 Here is what you need
1/4 yard main fabric
1/4 yard lining
2.5 yards ric rac
Coordinating thread

The Bodice 

You can download the pattern here. This pattern is for 0-3 months and has built in seam allowance of 1/4 “. After you print out the pattern ,cut out all your fabric for both lining and main fabric of the bodice. You should end up with a set looking like the image below for the bodice.

 Take your main back pieces and sew with right sides together to the shoulders of the main front pieces. Do this for the lining also. You will have one set for the main and one set for the lining when completed.

 Now take both sets and line them up with right sides together. Sew the lining and main fabric together following the diagram below. Basically, you are sewing all ends except the side arm area.

 After you sew the lining and the main fabric together, turn it inside out and iron out all seams.

 Now for the arm areas: take the lining pieces and fabric pieces and sew together with right sides facing each other. You can follow the red line in the diagram below.

 Iron out the seams and zig-zag the bottom of the bodice all the way around. I like to sew my button holes at the back after this stage, so you can go ahead and do that now or wait until the dress is completed.

  The Bottom Body

You will need two pieces, one for the lining and the other for the main fabric. Cut out the main fabric at 10″ wide x 40″ length. For the lining, keep the length the same but increase the width to 12″.
When you have both pieces cut out, hem both pieces by folding the bottom 1/4″ and another 1/4″and sewing all the way around. Once you have both pieces hemmed, you can start putting on the ric rac. I know there are several methods to put on ric rac but this is what works for me: with right side of the fabric facing up, slide ric rac under the fabric so that half of it is covered. Top stitch all the way to the end.
Oops! I added my ric rac on the outside of my lining body piece instead of tucking it under the right side.

Oops!!! For my lining, I mistakenly add the ric rac on the wrong side so the entire ric rac was facing out at the end. Be careful not the make this mistake. I didn’t think it looked that bad, so I left it for this dress.

Once you have your ric rac done, line up lining fabric under the main fabric. Fold both in 1/2″ and then another 1/2″ and sew all the way around. Its like hemming but with two pieces instead of one.

 To connect the bottom body piece to the bodice, line up your bottom body piece which is your lining and main fabric sewn together, as seen above, to your bodice. The right side of the bodice will be facing the wrong side of the bottom body piece. You will want to start from the back of your bodice piece.

 Leave about 1 inch out as seen above. This will come into play when you connect your two ends of your body pieces together.

Pin the end 1″ out to the bodice and start folding in 1/2″ increments all the way around. If you don’t like pinning, you can fold in 1/2″ increments as you sew around the bodice piece.

Sew all the way around, removing your pins as you go. Its best to go really slow for this step so that you get all your folds lined up nicely.
When you reach the end, fold it in 1/4″ and then another 1/4″ and iron all the way down. If you end up with a lot of extra fabric when you come around the bodice, just cut it off leaving 1/2 “. Once you have one side folded, sew down about 2 inches and then a diagonal to the end. See red illustration below.
Do this for both ends of your body fabric. You can then sew the two ends together with right sides facing each other all the way down to the bottom.
 If you didn’t sew on you buttons or do button holes, now would be the time to finish those.
If you want to embellish the dress, you can add a flower to the middle. It just gives it a little extra cuteness:-)



  1. Cute dress and fabric choice! Thanks for tutorial :)

  2. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Beautiful dress, already pinned!! ;-DThanks for sharing the pattern and giving instructions!!

  4. This is so sweet.I just entered your giveaway and following along via Sew Caroline!!Thanks,Shon

  5. I really like the design, especially the pleats on the outside of the waist! Thank you for sharing the pattern.

  6. Thank you so much for the comments. Its a simple dress but I think sometimes simple is better than ones with all the frills:-)

  7. I have been looking for some projects to make with my fabric hoard…and I am so glad that I found your site! So cool of you to provide the patterns. Thanks!!

  8. a really cute dress, a good job on the tutorial too. Love it!

  9. A darling little dress, and your directions are so easy to follow. Thank you. I believe I will try this one for the Bambi project, after the new year.

  10. I love this little dress but do you have instructions on how to make a bigger size? I'm pretty good with the machine it's the size of babies that's completely foreign to me andI want to make this for a little girl that will be 9 or 10 months when it's time to wear it!

  11. hi – this looks so awesome – but – when i try to down load the pattern – it is just a blank page – am i doing something wrong – i also tried it on another of your free downloads (dress with ruffles) and the same thing happened – i would appreciate any help

    • stitchscientist says:

      It downloads fine for me. Which server are you using? The docs come as pdf from google docs. I have firefox which works well.

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  16. Any idea of how much bigger to make this for a 6-12 month old?

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  25. I have been looking for some projects to make with my fabric hoard…and I am so glad that I found your site! So cool of you to provide the patterns. Thanks!!

  26. What an adorable dress! I added to my Free pattern list today! http://www.seemesew.com

  27. shaileja says:

    I jst Love it..its easy and cute too.

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  41. Tina Maulson says:

    I am a novice at dressmaking. I cannot find the measurements for the bodice. Can anyone help?

    • Allison says:

      Do you mean the measurements for the lower skirt portion? That is 10"x40"and lining should be 12" x40". The bodice is available to download and trace out. It ends up being about 9" wide and 5" from top of shoulder to bottom of bodice including seam allowance.

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    I have been sewing since I was 12 and now I am 65. I love this dress pattern and am making it for our great granddaughter that has not been born yet. It is easy peasy, thank you!

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