Watermelon sundress pattern and tutorial- 30 days of sundresses

DIY watermelon sundress - Free pattern and tutorial by Sew country chickSundresses2015-700pxToday I’m excited to be participating in the Thirty Days Of Sundresses series hosted by my friend Melissa from Melly Sews! This is the third year that I’ve participated, and today I’m sharing a super easy to sew  little sundress dyed to look like a watermelon.

This will be my last post for a bit, since I’m taking a hiatus from my blog, probably for the month of June… I’d like to spend less time on the internet and concentrate on really being present for my day to day life. I’ve been blogging five years now, and while I still really enjoy sewing and sharing tutorials and the things I’m working on, I’m not sure if I’m getting the same satisfaction from it that I used to. So I’m taking a small break to see how it feels.


DIY watermelon sundress - Free pattern and tutorial by Sew country chickThis dress can be sewn from less than a yard of plain white 56 inch cotton. It’s simply machine hemmed on the top and bottom, and it has French seams on the sides.  I used a wide zig zag stitch to encase 1/8 inch wide elastic into a few lines at the top to create the shirred chest. I prefer this method to the other shirring method of using elastic thread that’s loaded into the bobbin.  I find that technique to be not so reliable, and I’ve broken the elastic thread while gathering it in the past.

The straps are simply some ready made bias trim. Easy and perfect for beginners if I do say so myself!DIY watermelon sundress - Free pattern and tutorial by Sew country chick

If you don’t want to dive into any dying, this dress can be made in less than an hour. I’m providing measurements for girls sizes 3 to 8 in my tutorial.

Materials needed for sewing  an elastic shirred sundress.

1 to 1 1/4 yard white cotton

white thread

1 yard bias trim for straps.

About 5 yards of 1/8 inch elastic. I buy mine by the roll here.

Materials for the watermelon dyed part of dress

pink and green clothes dye

a black SharpieDIY watermelon sundress - Free pattern and tutorial by Sew country chick

Cut out two pieces of white cotton in these dimensions for sizes 3 to 8

size 3/4  27 inches wide by 23 inches tall

size 5/6  28 inches wide by 25 inches tall

size 7/8  29 inches wide by 27 inches tall

step11. Sew French seams on the side seams.

2. Fold over top and bottom 1/4 inch ans iron. Fold over 1/2 inch and iron again. Machine stitch around the two hems.step23.Use a fabric marker or washable marker to draw 6 lines about 1/2 inch apart at the top of the dress.step34.Use the wide zig zag stitch to encase the elastic into the stitch, taking care not to get the elastic caught in the needle.step45. To get the best fit on the child, I’d recommend trying the dress on and then pulling the elastic through the casings until it feels comfortable. My dress form has the same measurements as my little girl , so that makes things easy for me. No squirming! Once I get a good fit, I tie it into a knot. Then I sew the elastic up and down down and backstitch it into place along the side seam to make sure it won’t come out..step5Dying the dress is fun!

I made two bowls of dye and dipped each side into it, leaving a little bit of white in the middle for the rind.step7Then I used my black Sharpie to draw a few layers of seeds.step6For the halter straps, I cut two pieces of black bias tape and sewed them shut. Then is stitched them to the front of the dress.DIY watermelon sundress - Free pattern and tutorial by Sew country chickA fun little summer dress done!

Now go skedaddle and make sure to stop by Melly Sews to sign up for her amazing giveaway! If you are at all interested in creating your own patterns she has some perfect prizes in store for you!

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  1. judy says

    So, so cute.. both dress and Gigi.
    Love the dying of the fabric.. such a cute idea.. Happy sewing.

  2. says

    I’m sooo in love with is dress!!! Awesome idea how you did the elastic to prevent shirring! 😉 I would love it if you would submit this post to our blog! We feature great tutorials and link back to you to read the full post!! Have a great weekend!