Here is a dress tutorial that mixes wovens with knits.  The first one I made looked like this:

You can see that you can use different contrasting wovens in making this dress.  Hope this gives you a good idea on how to make one, and let me know if you have any questions (stacy at  There were a few parts I forgot to photograph, so hopefully it isn’t too confusing.

Gather your supplies:
*About 1.25 yds of a woven fabric
*1/2 yard of a knit
*1.5″ elastic
*1 pkg purchased double fold bias binding (I used narrow), or fabric enough to make bias tape to surround the hem of the skirt *button
*decorative elastic for button loop
*basic bodice pattern (can use a rtw tank top to trace one if you don’t have one on hand)

Step 1:  Cutting

– Cut out your bodice out of the knit fabric.  My daughter likes the waist to land lower on her tummy, so I make it long enough for that general area.

– Cut out your skirt, with the circumfrence as wide as possible.  As knits have different stretchiness levels, determine how far you can get the top to stretch to fit the woven skirt.  Make that the total circumfrence of the skirt’s waist.  You want it to stretch out as much as possible so it isn’t too hard to get on.  Remember, wovens don’t stretch.  If you just match it to the waist of the knit shirt, the little one won’t be able to get it on, and it would be really uncomfortable to wear if they were able to squeeze into it.  I used a circumfrence of 34″.

Next, you need to determine how long you want the skirt.  I made it as long as I could, which was 17.5 inches.  If you want it longer, you will have to make sure you buy extra wide fabric.  Most wovens come in 45″ wide and this was the limit for the length.  I take my long ruler and go out from the center and mark the length.  The I cut along those marks to get the circle skirt.

Here is how I cut mine: 

– Cut out the waist band.  This should match the circumfrence of the circle skirt.  Mine was 17.5″ on the fold x 5.5″ high.

– Cut several pieces on the bias that are long enough to go around the armholes (2 at 2″ x 12″), around the neck (1 at 2″ x 20″) and for the placket (1 at 2″ x 10″).  These measurements can vary depending on your pattern and amount of stretch on the bias.

Step 2: Sewing

– Sew up the side seams on the skirt (if you have them…you can also cut the skirt out in a continous circle).  Hem the skirt with the bias tape.

– Sew up the shoulder seams of the shirt.

– Sew up the side of the waist piece.  Iron it with it doubled up.

– Find the middle of the back of the top.  Cut down about 4 inches.

Take your placket piece, doubled up (iron it nice and flat), and sew it right side (placket) to wrong side (top).  Get the stitching as close to the bottom of the cut on the knit as possible.  If you sew into the fabric too much at the bottom of the cut, there will be a lot of puckering.

 Iron the seam towards the placket, fold it over so it is even with the stitching line (trim seam if necessary), and iron again nice and flat.  Stitch as close the edge as you can.

Press with it creased at the bottom of the placket with the inside facing out and the knit pressed along the seamline to the side, as shown:

– Iron the neck binding doubled up with the ends turned in.  Sew the neck binding onto the neckline, right side to wrong side (bodice).  When you are pinning it, make sure to stretch the bias so it is not too loose on the neckline.  At the edges, sew over the placket on their respective folds (you will notice I forgot to do that).  I do this first on the sewing machine and then serge the edges.  Iron it flat and then topstitch.

– You will have an opening at the edges.  On one side sew on your button.  On the other side, slip the elastic into the hole and sew it in.  Make sure it has the right amount to be able to go over the button without to much extra give.  (Please ignore my freaky looking hands and lack of any type of manicure)

– Sew the armhole bindings the same as the neck facing.  Then sew up the side seams.  Alternatively, you can sew up the side seams and then sew the binding in the round for a cleaner look.  I do it this way because it is easier, and I can be a bit lazy sometimes. 🙂

– Check the waist of your child with the elastic.  Sew the ends together at a comfortable amount with a wide zig zag stitch.  My piece is 18″ cut length, with 1/2″ overlap for the stitching.  Place the elastic in the doubled up waist piece.

– Layer the skirt, waistpiece with the elastic in the middle, and the knit shirt with right sides together.  This is a bit of a pain, since the elastic makes it a bit tricky.  Pin, pin, pin!  I sew this first on the sewing machine and then I finish the  edges on the serger.  You can finish with a zigzag on a sewing machine if you don’t have a serger.  Press it and then topstitch.

– Lastly, tuck the elastic close to the seam line and sew a line along the top of the waistpiece.  You are trying to enclose the elastic in a tight channel, so it won’t move and flip around.  This will also give a little “paperbag” waist.  You can adjust how much you want it have that effect by how tall you cut the fabric.

You are finished!  With the dress!

If you want the little yoyo flower, cut out a few circles.  One smaller than the other.  Stitch close to the edges with a loose stitch and the gather it all up into the center.  Tie it off well and then press it flat.

Sew a pretty button over the two yoyo’s.

Take a piece of felt, and cut out two circles, one smaller than the other.  Hot glue the larger one to the back.  Place some glue in the middle and put the opened hair pin on it.  Then, put glue on the other piece of felt and wiggle it onto the top of the opened hairpin.   I usually close the hairpin, too, so the shape molds into the glue.  Do this quickly, so the glue doesn’t harden on you.

Voila!  Cute flower that you can put on the dress or in the hair or on a headband.

All finished with a cute summer dress!