Challenge Dress #3 – "The Matilda Tutu Dress"

Oh my gosh, I just want to squeeze those cheeks!!  This is my baby girl, Matilda Jane, and she is just the sweetest little thing ever.  Matilda is 7 months right now and even as I look at this picture I feel like my heart might explode.  When I was pregnant with Matilda, I wondered if it would be possible to love another child as much as I love her sister (Savannah).  And oh boy is it possible – I love this little lady to death!  Matilda Jane is a little ray of sunshine every single day!

I am constantly sewing things for my daughter Savannah because I figure Matilda will wear it eventually, but for the “challenge” I decided Matilda need her very own dress and a special one at that!  I used the Sienna Dress Pattern for her little dress, but made a few adjustments for my sweet baby girl.

Challenge Dress #3 – “The Matilda Tutu Dress”
For “The Matilda Tutu Dress” I used two different recycled t-shirts.  I thought this t-shirt was perfect for my little Matilda because she truly is such a good baby and “sweet” is a very good word to describe her.

I shortened the 6-12 month Sienna Dress Pattern and added a tutu with some bright pink tulle (purchased from Hobby Lobby).  I used a gathering stitch (meaning I set my regular sewing machine to the longest stitch possible, did not back-stitch, thus I was able to gather the tulle to make the tutu).
I also made a pair of matching ruffle bottom bloomers to go with the tutu dress.  I just LOVE ruffle bottoms on little baby girls – it’s SO cute.  I used the green t-shirt to create these ruffles.  I simply cut two long strips (about 2.5 times longer than the width of the bloomers) and used a gathering stitch to make the ruffles.  I then stitched them down the center to the back of the bloomers.  Again, you don’t need to worry about finishing the edges of knit because it doesn’t fray!!
I made the sleeves a 3/4 length and added some rick-rack to add a little whimsy.
After you have run your gathering stitch through the top of the tulle, pin the tulle to the dress and sew with a regular straight stitch (1/2 seam allowance).  I just love how the tutu flares out while she’s sitting (she’s just barely starting to sit up).
And here’s my little Matilda Jane sitting in a bumbo seat trying to model her little dress.  Oh she is just such a sweetheart!  I love you from here to the moon and back again!!
Cottage Mama’s Note:
  • All pictures of the challenge dresses were taken by Megan Abelard Photography.  More of her work can be seen on her website:
  • The Sienna Dress Pattern is an incredibly well-written and easy to follow sewing pattern.  I highly recommend it for even the most beginner sewer or anyone who is interested in starting to sew with knits.  Click here to find out more information.

Like this post? Want even more?
Sign up below and receive all my tutorials, recipes and updates directly in your email inbox.


  1. Darling! Matilda Jane is precious!

  2. Love it! Would love for you to drop by my blog linking party today and link to this and more…..
    hope to see you
    all the best!

  3. Stopping by from Creative Jewish Mom. That is so cute especially the ruffle bottoms. I hope to try to make some tutus in April-the no sew type.

    making toys from recycled items to save my sanity and the planet

  4. Ummm, I can’t tell you how much I love this (or how much it makes me wish I had a daughter). In the meantime, I’ll keep sewing for my nieces, because ideas this good MUST be tried out!
    We have a Friday Fun Find party (on Fridays, obviously) and I’d LOVE it if you’d link up…
    Again, seriously fabulous!

  5. Oh, those adorable ruffled panties!!
    Looking forward to seeing you at Creative Jewish Mom next week.

  6. So cute! And a cute little outfit as well!

  7. ADORABLE!!!! Your daghter is so precious and I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for visting my page earlier, you are going to be one of my favorites to visit!