Badass Toddler Dress


What do you get when you combine leather, an exposed zipper, and some floral print? A badass toddler dress, that’s what. Welcome to the first installment of my summer baby collection!

A few months ago my sister-in-law gave me a bunch of fabric and told me to have at it.  She didn’t ask me to make anything for her daughter, but of course I did. This dress is the Modern Baby Doll Top by Shwin&Shwin. It comes in one size, size 5, but it looked pretty small to me, maybe more like a 3-4, so I made it for my 2 1/2 year-old niece. Hopefully Emilie will be able to wear it by the end of the summer!


I didn’t come up with the exposed zipper and leather shoulder patches; they were the details of the pattern that sold me on making it. I wasn’t literally sold, because the pattern was free, but you know what I mean… Fortunately, I had everything in my stash to make those details a reality. My mom picked up the yellow metal zipper in a giant box of zippers at an auction years ago. The faux leather is leftover from a Christmas present that I made with my mom. Apparently I need to thank my mom for this dress! I debated whether to leave the faux leather seams raw or to turn them under. In the end I left them raw, as I didn’t want to add a lot of bulk to little tiny shoulders, and knew that the leather wouldn’t fray over time. The only detail on the dress that I didn’t choose to use was the high-lo hem. I opted for a more traditional straight hem. The dress is already pretty trendy (hello leather and exposed zipper) and I didn’t want to push it too far.


Due to the faux leather on the shoulders, this dress can’t go in the dryer. I managed to melt a tiny corner using the iron, so it would definitely melt in the dryer. Now, I don’t have a 2-year old in my house, but I can imagine that makes this not the most practical dress ever. There are some things you only think about after-the-fact when you’re not actually a parent… Live and learn, right?

Pattern: Modern Baby Doll Top by Shwin&Shwin
Fabric: Quilting cotton
Cost: Gifted fabric + faux leather from stash + zipper from stash + free pattern = free!
Time: 4 hours

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