Child Art Dress

Child Art Dress from Nearly Crafty

This child art dress project has been a long time coming. I came up with the idea in the fall and have been slowly getting it together over a few months. It isn’t a hard project or one that should have taken so long, but I kept putting it off. I think the reason for my procrastination was that it was a special project for Sis and I so wanted it to turn out perfectly that I put off starting for fear of failure.

That is a lifelong weakness I have. I’m type A. I’m a perfectionist. I’m the oldest child. I love planners. Lists are my jam. You get what kind of person I am. Failing is not something I deal with well. It is hard for me to take the time to enjoy the process of something because my head is always in the end result.

Over the last couple of years I have started working towards failing more. Sounds weird, right? But, I figure the only way to get over my fear of failure is to fail. I have a 100 Rejections sticker chart on the side of my refrigerator (thank you Tiffany Han!) that I’m trying to fill in a year. Every rejection letter or collaboration denial I get earns me a shiny gold star. I have taken numerous classes – flying trapeze, weaving, screen printing, etc. – and failed at several. I just signed up for swim lessons and only time will tell how that goes, but failure is a strong possibility.

The thing is that I’ve lived through every failure. I am learning to deal with it as gracefully as I am able. I am also learning that there is no better example I can provide for Sis and Bubba than to do what scares me and spend my days trying new things.

Enough jibber jabber. On to the craft.


  • Child art fabric – How do you get this material? Scan a picture your kid draws. Upload it to your computer. Using Spoonflower, design your own fabric using that child art. I bought 2 yards of Cotton Poplin with Sis’s print on it. Child Art Dress from Nearly Crafty
  • Lining fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pattern
  • Pen
  • Needles
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron

How To

Follow this pattern to create the dress. (Read ahead for my changes before you run off and make the dress.)

1. The only difference between the pattern and my dress is that I added a lining fabric to the skirt. The print on the fabric I made was largely white and I wanted to give the dress a bit more weight and wipe out any see through spots. Since I was using regular fabric and not a pillowcase as is in the pattern, this step was simple.

2. Cut out a square of lining fabric the same size as your outer skirt fabric.

3. Place the lining fabric on top of the outer fabric, wrong sides together.

4. Fold up the bottom edge of your fabric and create a hem. Treat the two piece of fabric just like they are one. I folded mine hem up 2 inches because I want to be able to let it out as Sis grows.

5. Iron the edge of the hem so you have a nice crisp crease.

6. Stitch your hem.

7. Fold the skirt in half vertically so that the outer fabric is in and the lining fabric is out.

8. Stitch up the vertical seam of skirt. This should leave you with a super fancy tube.

9. Continue with the pattern as written.

Child Art Dress from Nearly Crafty

Near Misses

  • I tried to make this dress without the printed pattern, using a dress of Sis’s as my template. Disaster. I made the bodice pieces and they were tiny. I mean, Sis has a big old melon like everyone else in our family, but this bodice would have barely fit over the head of a Barbie doll. When I finally broke down and printed out the pattern (you know, a step that took all of 3 seconds) I found that the bodice I made was barely the size the 2T dress required. Not the best of fits for an almost 6 year old. Live, learn, and print the pattern.
  • Don’t skip ironing. It is a totally annoying part of sewing, but it will save you pain and heartache in the end.
  •  I can’t lie. I didn’t do that whole fishing line step of the dress pattern. I don’t have time to switch out thread and all that. I just pinned skirt to the bodice, making sure that my back seam was dead center in the rear, and stitched it around. I kinda folded the skirt fabric in to make a pleat whenever the fabric seemed to need one.
  • This is what Sis really acts like. She also told me, in a fit of rage, that she is never wearing this dress and that she wants to throw it away. Ah…kids. Child Art Dress from Nearly Crafty

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