Double-knot the bandana to tie it firmly on your dog.

How to Make a Bandana Dress for a Toddler

by Shelley Frost

Bandana dresses are growing in popularity for toddlers. The distinct style and simple construction of the dresses means anyone with basic sewing skills can create one. These dresses need only a few supplies to create, making them affordable. When the dress gets too short for her to wear by itself, pair it with shorts or leggings as a fun top. These typically warm-weather dresses work in the winter by placing them over a long-sleeved shirt and leggings, making them a versatile piece of clothing for toddlers.

Place two bandanas one on top of the other. The right sides of the bandanas should be together for the sewing portion.

Measure the width of the ribbon you selected for the straps of the dress. Add 6 inches to that measurement to leave room for both the ribbon and the armholes. For example, if your ribbon is 1 inch wide, your total is 7 inches. Use that number and measure down from the top of the bandana to that point. In this example, you would measure down 7 inches from the top. Place a straight pin at that point. This marks where to stop sewing. Repeat on the other side of the bandanas.

Place straight pins along both sides of the dress, starting at the point marked and going down to the bottom of the bandanas.

Use a sewing machine to stitch together the two bandanas. Begin at the bottom and sew up to the last straight pin that you originally placed. In the previous example, it was 7 inches from the top. Once you reach the stopping point, back-stitch with the machine. Repeat this process on the other side of the dress.

Measure down from the top of the dress the width of the ribbon. Using the previous example, that was 1 inch. Fold the top of the closest bandana that width. Use an iron to press down the bandana to make a crease. Pin the fold down, making sure to only go through the top bandana. Turn the dress over and repeat the process with the other bandana.

Sew across the top of the bandana along the bottom of the crease to create the casing for the ribbon. Sew only one bandana at a time so both the front and the back have individual casings and aren't sewn together.

Cut two pieces of ribbon, each about 40 inches long. Use an anti-fray spray at the ends to prevent the ribbon from unraveling.

Turn the bandana dress right side out now that all of the sewing is complete. Thread each piece of ribbon through one of the casings you created. A safety pin attached to the end of it makes the task easier. Tie the ribbons together to make the straps for the dress.

Items you will need

  • Two bandanas
  • Sewing machine
  • Ribbon
  • Straight pins
  • Anti-fray spray

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images