Fourth of July Bandana Dress {with matching Bandana Shirt for me!}

Fourth of July Bandana Dress & Bandana Shirt | A toddler dress and adult shirt both made of bandanas and perfect for The Fourth of July
First, I just need to say, I’m getting better at sewing!!

Next, have you noticed all the tutorials out there about shirring?  (FYI fellow newbie sewers, it’s pronounced SURE-ing, not SHEAR-ing.  There, now maybe you can save yourself from sounding like the newbie you actually you are . . . I had to learn the hard way.)  One of the first ones I came across was this cute dress from Christie at A Lemon Squeezy Home.  Be sure to go there for the tutorial, as I am not nearly good enough to do a sewing tutorial.  Yet.  Shirring things makes it really simple to create something cute.  Like this Fourth of July dress for little Quinn.

For those of you who know me and are wondering, yes, she is holding on to the trunk of Elliot’s tree.  It makes me both extremely happy and overwhelmingly sad.

So, thinking about what Christie did, I shirred the top (I did six rows) of each bandana.  After that I held it up on Quinn, pinned it to see how much we needed around the top, and drew a line with washable marker down the side at a slant to make it A-line.  (Wait.  You mean to tell me that’s not what all the professional seamstresses do??)  I sewed down the line, sewing an extra dozen times over the elastic threading.  Then I cut off the excess, folded the dress down the middle, and drew a matching line on the other side.  Repeat.

One of the tips that helped the best was to measure the circumference of your kiddo’s chest, add half that amount, and that is how much material you need.  So, Quinn is about 19 inches around so I needed 30 inches of material for the top shirring.  The bandanas are 22 inches wide, so I didn’t trim it down until after the shirring since I wanted it to go out a bit at the bottom.  Did that make sense?

I realize pictures would be helpful.  (Honestly, I didn’t think this would turn out well, so I didn’t bother.) Seriously, go see Christie.  In the meantime, how about this picture??

Awww, cute baby!

For the straps I used a blue bandana, making sure to cut from the fun patterned areas.  I cut two 8 inch by 2 1/2 inch strips.  I folded them over, sewed (1/4 inch seam allowance), turned them inside out and ironed them flat so the seam landed on the back.  Then I pinned them into place with the dress on Quinn making sure not to stick her!

And then I just hemmed the bottom.  I might need to take it up a little bit more.  You can’t even see her feet!

I bought fancy pinking shears with a coupon from Jo Anne’s since I don’t have a serger.

{PS If you are reading this after 400 years of sewing experience and seeing a million and one terminology mistakes, please correct me.  Yes, Melissa, that means you.  How else am I going to learn??}

Naturally, I felt like it was necessary to make myself a matching shirt.  Naturally.

Pictures of my torso on the internet.  Sigh.

So, for mine I started by just sewing the two bandanas together.

Then I folded over the top, and sewed a pocket for the elastic, leaving about an inch on one of the side seams to thread in the elastic.  Oh!  The elastic was from a Goodwill find that I bought for the material only and not the elastic.  Score!

Then I did a few rows of shirring at the bottom.

It was still a little bit boxy, so I took it in on the top half about 1/2 an inch on both sides.

Finally, I added some shirring under the bust-line.

Now are you ready for mother-daughter cuteness??  Can you handle it??

How much do you want to bet this is the same look I will get when I have her pose for a picture with me at 14?

Much Better.

Happy Fourth of July Everyone!


  1. says

    Ok, the dress is adorable, like super adorable. Then, to scroll further down and see you made yourself a top as well. Are you kidding me? You have some real talent. Job well done, really well down. I love the humor you interjected into your post, it made me feel like I really want to know you and why it’s so funny that your daughter is holding onto a tree trunk…so, it seemed only fitting I follow you :). And, I am your 20th follower!!!

  2. says

    The bandana dress and shirt are soooo cute!! Great work! We are so thrilled to have you link up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. We hope to see you again next week! -The Sisters

  3. says

    I love this. Still not sure what all the shirring is about, but I’ll figure it out. Oh and I hate you. OK well, not TOTALLY hate you, hate you, just kind of annoyed that you only needed TWO bandannas for you shirt. I’ll need like four. Maybe the shirt can wait. Or maybe I’ll work off my big self and only need three by the time July gets here. Either way, I am totally making these dresses for my grand daughters.


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