DIY Contrast Bib Dress

I am so excited to be a part of 30 Days of Sundresses over at Melly Sews.  Go check out all of the fun dresses that have been designed this year!


I have been thinking about this challenge for months.  I sketched out a few ideas and really wanted to have a design that works for both a big girl and a little girl.  I finally came up with this design:
iCandy Contrast Bib Dress

This dress is mainly out of knit but with a front bodice – the bib- out of woven fabric.  This fun cotton contrast fabric is from Blend Fabrics– from their Natural Wonder collection, designed by Josephine Kimberling.  I love the geometric pattern and colors.  There are so many options you could do with this design.

The white knit is from Girl Charlee and the coral is a repurposed Target tee.

iCandy Contrast Bib Dress 3 iCandy Contrast Bib Dress 4

The design of the bodice is quite angular- the armhole is actually angles instead of the usual curve.  It is such a fun detail.

iCandy Contrast Bib Dress 7

The back bodice has a deep rounded v shape that makes it easy to put on.

iCandy Contrast Bib Dress 8 iCandy Contrast Bib Dress 6

The bodice is in a high-low shape, which in turn makes the skirt slightly hi-low.  It is just enough.

iCandy Contrast Bib Dress 5

Emily has a tank on because the dress is a bit big on her.  She usually wears a size 7 but this dress is an 8-9.  I think it still is cute with the tank too, so if your daughter wears a 7, this is what it would look like.

iCandy Contrast Bib Dress 1

All in all, I really like the way these dresses turned out!  Thought I would leave you with this cute sandy face 🙂

Oh- Don’t forget to enter this fun Giveaway as part of the series!



*Free Pattern: To download this pattern, you will need to click here and subscribe to receive our bi-weekly email updates. Once you enter your email, you will get a confirmation email to confirm your subscription.  Once you confirm, you will be sent another email containing the link to this pattern.   If you are already a subscriber, the link to the pattern will be included in our bi-weekly email updates, which will be sent out this week.  If you can’t wait that long, send me an email! 🙂

*Fabric: Small piece of woven fabric for front bodice, about 1 1/2 yards knit fabric for size 8/9, and about 3/4 yard for size 18-24 months.  You will use the same knit fabric for the bodice lining as on the main part of the dress.


  • Cut out your pattern pieces
  • Cut out your skirt pieces.

For size 8/9, cut 2 rectangles that are 24″ wide (direction of stretch) by 21″ long.

For size 18-24mo, cut 2 rectangles that are 19″ wide (direction of stretch) by 11 1/2″ long.



  • With right sides together (RST) stitch your side panels to your front and back bodice pieces.  Repeat with lining pieces.


  • Press your seams flat, with seam allowances pointing toward the side panels.  Repeat with lining sections.
  • Now you have full bodice pieces.  You are going to follow this tutorial for an All-In-One Facing.  She explains it perfectly.  Follow my instructions (tips/modifications specific to this design) below as you follow the tutorial.



  • When pinning as directed in the tutorial, make sure to match the seams where you sewed your side panels to your front/back bodice pieces.


  • For all of the stitches, since we are using knits, I used this stitch, with these lengths/widths


  • When stitching your lining to your bodice, make sure you stitch on the inside of the seam (just barely) where you attached your bodice to the side panels.

T6 T7

  • Once I stitched the bodice to the lining, I trimmed the seam to 3/16″ and then notched as shown.


  • Once you finish all of the steps in the All-In-One Facing tutorial, and press well, your bodice will be done.  You just have to sew up your skirt and attach the two.


  • With RST, stitch the sides of your skirt pieces.  You can then hem the bottom or wait till the end for that step.  This was a women’s tee, so the side seams and hem was already sewn.
  • On the top raw edge, sew 1 or 2 rows of basting stitches (straight stitch with the longest length. (5), leaving a long tail(s) at each end.  Mark the center of the skirt width on the front and back at the top.  Pull threads to gather.

T10 T11

  • With your skirt wrong side out, and your bodice right side out, slide your bodice into the skirt so the raw edges match up.  Pin skirt to bodice, matching side seams and centers.  Adjust gathers evenly and pin.  Stitch, with a stretch stitch or serger all around.  Remove basting stitches.
  • If you haven’t already, hem skirt.