… just another LOVE-ly Sundress (FREE pattern)

Here where I live, it looks like the summer is coming (also if the wind is blowing and the temperatures aren’t that high), so: what’s better than a LOVE-ly Sundress? Obviously…

… another LOVE-ly Sundress (FREE pattern)!


This week I’ve been so lucky of being invited to guest post into an Italian expat mom blog: I’m at Silvia’s MammaBook!
The Challenge was interesting: I had to choose a project from my buddy Lisa @ Cucicucicoo for a recycled project for kids (check all the other entries, they’re amazing!)

Being a Refashionista inside, I suddenly decided I had to find my favorite Lisa’s refashion project but it was hard… too hard to choose only one! Well, I narrowed my choice to two of her projects I was lurking from some time… this was the perfect occasion!

Lisa’s tutorials:

Not-so-white t-shirts

How-to freezer paper stencil on T-shirts

I decided to merge them into a LOVE-ly Sundress… just because a girl never have too many sundresses (and this year we’re finally able to go to the seaside for two whole weeks me and her… so we need plenty of dresses!)
Would you like to sew a LOVE-ly Sundress you too? I hope so! I’ve also created a FREE pattern (affiliate link) for you to download <3


– a white T-shirt (the bigger, the better!)

fabric paint (water based or acrylic)

– a brush

freezer paper or butcher’s paper (for european readers!)*

– jersey’s scraps in shade with fabric paint

1/4″ flat elastic (long as chest girth – 60 cm for me)

– scissors, sewing machine, iron… your usual sewing stuff!

– LOVE-ly Sundress size 5 PDF Sewing FREE Pattern (1 cm seam allowances included – affiliate link)

Interested in a different pattern? Check these:


Grab your t-shirt and cut it horizontally right below the sleeves seam (armpit height); put aside your Sundress Skirt (lower strip)

Cut from the upper part of the t-shirt the other pattern pieces:

  • two fronts, on fold,
  • two backs, on fold,
  • 4 straps
  • 1 heart shape

Tip: save 20 cm or more of your sleeve’s hem, it will be useful when finishing under armpit edges.

Cut from the jersey’s colored scraps 4 other straps and two heart shapes

Let’s go decorating!

Following Lisa’s directions, cut shapes into your freezer paper (or butcher paper, for European readers, I’ve tested it and it works great, exactly as the freezer paper that Lisa kindly sent to me for this project).

Iron the paper into the skirt and the back piece, positioning it as you like! I chose not to overdo because I liked the idea of hearts going up like air bubbles in the sea, just sweeter!

The back of the top part is just a little bit busier, but I simply loved to add something colorful there!

Tip: Pin some oven paper under the t-shirt, just to be sure the paint isn’t staining your iron board (or anything else).

Let the paint dry and eventually iron it (use a pressing cloth!) – read your paint’s directions!

For the heart decoration. just put three fabrics hearts one on top of each other (the white one on top of all) and pin it in place. Sew concentrically from the outside to the heart of the heart, keeping lines evenly distributed.

Slip a scissor’s tip under the three heart layers (but do not cut the bottom layer!) and cut carefully turning around the fabric, until you reach the heart of the heart!

Better results come after washing, so jersey’s edges can become a little more fluffy!

Let’s assemble the top:

Add straps to fronts and backs, right sides together. You can choose where to sew white and/or colored straps: there’s no rule!

If you have curling edges like me (with t-shirt fabrics is common!) just use some spray starch and give a nice hot press… it’s like magic!

Now lay one back pieces with right side up and align over it the other one, right sides together. Pin all around and sew.

Trim seam allowances all around, especially on top of each strap, to cut out undesired bulk.

Turn inside out and give a good press all around (remember to use a pressing cloth!); optional: topstitch all around!

Repeat with the front pieces.

Now, the skirt:

I mark my skirts in quarters (choosing the best side for the front), so I can later match the front middle mark with the top front middle (just fold in half the top piece!) and so the back.

To help with gathering, I used a flat 5mm elastic, long as my daughter’s chest girth and quarterly marked as I did for the skirt. I started at the center back of the skirt and, pulling it while sewing, I’ve attached it to the upper edge of the skirt. The only thing to figure out is to evenly distribute the exceeding skirt length in the elastic: just stop every now and then and check each quarter to match on elastic and skirt.

Let’s add a top to the bottom:

Match middle front on skirt and top, right sides together, and put a perpendicular pin.

Put one other pin on each end of the top piece, without pulling the skirt, add some more pins halfway.

Repeat for the back.

At armpit level you’ll have a portion of skirt un-hemmed: just lay a piece of sleeve’s hem on top of it, matching raw edges and pin.

Using a three-step stitch or any other elastic  stitch  you have on your sewing machine (or, better, a serger), attach the tops to the skirt and the underarm strips for edging.

Topstitch with an elastic stitch the strips to secure them to the inside of the skirt.

Knot the straps and wear your model: you’re done!

What do you think about this one? Don’t you love those tiny hearts flying to the sky, like little balloons? Or air bubbles in the water?

I hope so!




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About the Author:

Hi there! I love sewing, creating my own patterns and refashioning pre-loved clothes... If you love the same things, why not be friends? See you on Pinterest http://Pinterest.com/MammaNene


  1. Jenya May 29, 2014 at 07:23 - Reply

    What a lovely dress! So unique!

    • Mamma Nene May 29, 2014 at 13:46 - Reply

      Thank you so much Jenya for liking my sundress!
      I was worried it could end too busy but, now that it’s complete, I truly love it (and so does my daughter)… if only the weather could allow us wearing it!

  2. Noreen June 1, 2014 at 00:02 - Reply

    I’m a mum of 3 girls who all love dresses! This sundress is on my ‘ to make’ list. Thank you for sharing!

  3. cdahlgren2013 June 2, 2014 at 05:01 - Reply

    Where do I find the Craftsy link for this pattern?

  4. Diane Cullum June 2, 2014 at 05:33 - Reply

    Absolutely love this one!

    • Mamma Nene June 2, 2014 at 10:55 - Reply

      thanks Diane!
      I hade a lot of fun planning and creating this one, just outside my comfort zone 😉

  5. cucicucicoo June 2, 2014 at 10:29 - Reply

    Ahhh! Now I can see this post properly! Like I tried to comment here a few days ago, I just love what you did with the techniques you learned about on my blog! It’s so amazing to see how versatile they are and what an incredibly creative mind like yours can do with them! And I just love the dress! Those contrasting straps are awesome! 🙂 Lisa

    • Mamma Nene June 2, 2014 at 11:01 - Reply

      Thanks Lisa!
      I’ve managed to fix this CSS for comments, you see? Scary but totally doable… just ask uncle Google 😉
      By the way: thanks for liking this dress, I wouldn’t have tried these techniques if it wasn’t for MammaBook Challenge, so a double thank you for inviting me and for having them on your blog, ready for me to try: two great tutes, indeed!
      Now, I only have to try the right moment to try your Alabama Chanin one…

      • cucicucicoo June 2, 2014 at 11:24 - Reply

        Thank goodness for Uncle Google!! I guess we need another blog challenge to get our butts in gear to do things that have been on our to-do list forever!

        • Mamma Nene June 5, 2014 at 15:22 - Reply

          Oh, Lisa… you’re true! I’m having a lot of troubles finding the time for anything! It looks like I’m burned, sometimes I sit and look outside the window and the time simply fly away! I have to many things to do and I’m not that good at managing time 🙁
          Maybe I only need some seaside time!

  6. Juanita June 3, 2014 at 01:03 - Reply

    How adorable! So simple, yet so gorgeous! Your imagination and designing abilities are fantastic!

    • Mamma Nene June 5, 2014 at 15:19 - Reply

      Thanks Juanita <3
      I had a lot of fun planning and realizing it!

  7. Annika June 5, 2014 at 09:40 - Reply

    I just came over from Pienkel (and am also one of the pattern workshop students). I never realised that you’re from Italy! I love to find bloggers from Italy. I’m German and simply love bella italia (more about this in this post: http://naeh-connection.blogspot.de/2014/05/sewing-along-with-project-sewn-and_22.html). I haven’t found many Italian blogs so far and I’m happy about each and every new one! And with all those free patterns you definitely have a new follower 😉

    • Mamma Nene June 5, 2014 at 13:06 - Reply

      Thanks Annika! Happy to see you here 🙂
      Yes! I live in Italy, between the North Alps, far from the sea, sadly!
      I’m just back from your lovely blog, I’m so happy I’ve found you… you’re true, there are not enough italian sewing bloggers 🙂

  8. Pam @Threading My Way September 20, 2014 at 13:36 - Reply

    Interesting that butcher’s paper works the same as freezer paper. It’s hard to find freezer paper over here. The little hearts are just adorable.

    • Mamma Nene September 20, 2014 at 16:14 - Reply

      Thanks Pam! I had some freezer paper from Lisa @ Cucicucicoo.com and I can say that you can have exactly the same results. I can’t source freezer paper me neither and I really wanted to try this technique: easy-peasy. The hardest part was cutting all those tiny hearts…. Really boring 😀 I did it watching a Craftsy class LOL

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