No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.


Girl's Shirt Dress

With this sweet adaptation of the classic button-down, a little girl can channel the guy she adores -- Dad. The dress, which fits most children ages 4 to 8, has a drawstring neckline and sleeves.




  • Clear tape
  • Men's medium or large button-down shirt
  • Disappearing-ink pen
  • Sewing machine and sewing supplies
  • Iron 2 yards of 1-inch single-fold bias tape 1/4 yard fabric (for ties)
  • Loop turner 1 yard of 1/8-inch elastic
  • Pattern Pieces Template


  1. Step 1


    Cut shirt using print pattern pieces; tape together, and cut out. Lay shirt flat, and trace pattern with disappearing-ink pen, following the higher neckline. Cut out; you will have a front and back piece. Trim the front neckline as shown on pattern. Trim the dress length if desired.

  2. Step 2

    Sew dress pieces together: pin front and back pieces together, right sides facing, and sew along shoulders, under arms, and down sides, with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Notch under the arms. Press seams open with iron. Finish seams with pinking shears or a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying. If you shortened the length, finish the edge with a double hem: Fold the unfinished edge over 1/4 inch. Press, then fold over 1/4 inch, and press again; pin, and edge-stitch.

  3. Step 3

    Finish neckline. Turn dress right side out: fold a 16-inch length of bias tape over neckline; pin, turning under 1/2 inch at each end. Stitch tape 1/8 inch from the edge. To make a tie, cut a 22-inch piece of bias tape. Fold in half, right sides facing, so long edges meet, and stitch with a 1/8-inch seam allowance; use the loop turner to turn it right side out. Cut a slit in bias tape to the left of the button placket; attach a safety pin to the tie, and thread all the way through neckline, starting at the slit you just made.

  4. Step 4


    Finish sleeves: fold an 11-inch length of bias tape around each sleeve opening, turning under 1/2 inch at each end, and pin. Stitch 1/8 inch from the edge, leaving an opening where the tape meets at the base of the sleeve opening. To cinch the sleeves, attach a safety pin to an 11-inch length of elastic and thread through the tape; cinch slightly. Trim elastic so the ends overlap 1/2 inch, and stitch. Hand-sew opening shut.



Reviews (7)

  • Tracy F 31 Jan, 2014

    What's the purpose of the notches cut into the sleeves? It's never addressed in your directions.

  • WendyJEdwards 13 Mar, 2015

    The notches under the arm would be so the seam can be opened flat. This would only happen if fabric was stretchy.

  • bpattinson4 16 Aug, 2013

    I would love to be able to download the pattern too but when I try to download the same thing happens...I just end up on another page and no pdf file comes

  • bpattinson4 16 Aug, 2013

    I love this little dress but also cannot access the pdf file for the pattern from the link.

  • kirstensteiger 9 Jul, 2013

    H1lp! How do I access the pattern pdf? Has it been taken down? Both links only take me to the Marth Stewart Homepage.

  • jewelkeller 11 Jun, 2013

    I love this pattern. I made this dress for my two year old and it fits great, I just needed to raise the hem a few inches.
    I was confused at first that the template would have me cut through the breast pocket and the arm seams but that is indeed what is supposed to happen.
    I also used double-fold 1/2 inch wide bias tape instead of single fold 1 inch and it worked fine. I will be making several more of these!

  • TheFoodMa 3 Jun, 2013

    I'm not much of a seamstress, but this pattern was quite easy. However, it was too tight under my 4.5 year old's arms. I would make it again, but allow for much more room in the armpit/chest region. It's easier to take it in than let it out.