Make a Tank Dress

Make a Knit Tank Dress // Life is Made with Katie Miles //

How to Make a Cotton Knit Tank Dress for your Child

Rejoice!  It's summertime!  Now we can all stop thinking about whether our gigantic black coat is going to ruin, yet again, another cute outfit.  I would so much rather throw on a simple cotton dress and flip-flops than have to think about whether my scarf and hat match my boots.  And, lucky for me, I have a super cute real life doll to dress up in cotton dresses too.  Summer clothes are so easy to sew that even a novice can jam out a couple of dresses for yourself or mini-person in a couple of hours.  Here is a tutorial for making a SUPER EASY cotton tank dress.  Over the next couple of weeks I'll be making some increasingly more difficult summer garmets, so stay tuned if you want to learn some new tricks or just want to get inspiration for sewing a summer wardrobe.



  • 1 - 2 yards cotton knit (I used organic cotton knit from Alabama Chanin)
  • Heat n' Bond
Make a Knit Tank Dress // Life is Made with Katie Miles //

1.  Use your child's clothing to create a pattern for the tank part of the dress.  I used a t-shirt to trace the tank part of the dress from.  Add 1/2 inch to all sides of the tank and crop the tank at just above the belly button.  Then, for the skirt of the dress, measure your child from just above the belly button to just below the knees for the height of the skirt and triple measurement of te bottom of the tank for the length.  Then add 1 1/2 inches for seam allowance.  Cut the pieces out of the cotton knit.  

2.  (Optional) Iron a piece of Heat n' Bond to another color of cotton knit and trace a heart (or any other shape) onto the backing of the Heat n' Bond.  Cut it out.  Peel the backing off and place on the front of the tank.  Iron down, pressing hard for 1- 2 minutes.  Sew the edges down using a zig-zag stitch.  Or if you want to edges to fray a little, use a straight stitch.

3.  Hem the edges of the neckline and arm holes using a zig- zag stitch.

4.  Pin the two pieces of the tank together face to face and sew the shoulder seams together using a zig- zag stitch.

5.  Cut the skirt part of the tank (the rectangle) in half.  Set your machine to a straight stitch and set the stitch length to the longest stitch.  Sew a line about 1/2 inch from the top of the skirt on both panels.  Do not back stitch on either end of the straight stitch.

6.  Scrunch the fabric up by holding one string on each end and scrunching the fabric to the middle.   Then spread the fabric back out so it is scrunched evenly and it is the same width as the bottom of the tank.

7.  Pin the skirt panels to the tank panels face to face and sew them together using a straight stitch.  Don't forget to reset your machine back to a regular stitch length.

8.  Cut off the excess fabric and then sew the edge with a zig-zag stitch to prevent fraying.

9.  Hem the bottom of the skirt 1/2 or 3/4 inch using a zig-zag stitch.

10.  Place each side of the dress face to face and pin.  Then sew the edges using a zig-zag stitch.