Peasant Dresses are one of the easiest sewing patterns for beginner sewers as there are no zippers, buttons, inset sleeves or anything tricky. If you can straight stitch then you can make a peasant dress! Today I will show you a video tutorial on how to sew a peasant dress using my Anna dress pattern.
What is a Peasant Dress?
Peasant dresses traditionally had a lot of embroidery and handcrafted elements but today this term is generally applied to dresses with a simple elastic casing neck and a raglan style sleeve.
The Anna dress pattern is a perfect example of this and is a popular choice for beginner sewers and those of you looking for a quick and easy dress you can make in under an hour.
About the Anna Dress
The Anna peasant dress pattern comes with 6 options so you can mix and match features. There are short and long sleeves to choose from and you can make it with or without the border. The video below will show you how to make the short flutter sleeve version with a simple hem.
Purchasing The Pattern
Before you start, purchase the pattern from my shop (Anna dress pattern) or from the link below. You will see there is a choice of baby sizes or girls sizes so make sure you choose the appropriate size grouping. The size chart is below in the next section.
This is a PDF sewing pattern and not a paper pattern. You will receive a download link upon successful checkout so there is no waiting around. If you haven’t purchased one of my patterns before or a digital pattern then please have a read through my FAQS. As always, please let me know if you have any questions about ordering.
This is a loose fitting dress so you can’t go too wrong with sizing. The hem is straight across at the bottom so it is easy to lengthen or shorten if you have a short or tall child.
You will need 1/4 inch (6mm) elastic for the neck.
Usually, braided elastic is used for neck and sleeve casings as it is soft and comfortable to wear and easily molds to the curved shape of your neck. Because it is soft and super stretchy, you may need to cut the elastic lengths a little shorter but this is easy to do before the final step where you sew the gap in the casing closed.
This dress looks great in quilting cotton and if you are a beginner, this is one of the easiest fabrics to sew. You can choose all one fabric, or make the sleeves in a contrast color. The great thing about quilting cotton is that most designers produce collections with lots of complimentary designs. Quilting cotton comes in 44 inch (112cm) widths which is perfect.
Please note that this pattern is for woven fabrics only. If you had your heart set on using a knit fabric, it will still work except the final fit of the dress will be a little looser.
- Basic sewing tools – scissors, pins, ruler
- Sewing machine needles – use a universal needle to sew cotton fabric. (Read: types of sewing needles)
- Safety pin for threading the elastic.
- Seam ripper. Hopefully, you won’t need to use this too much but remember even experienced sewers need to unpick sometimes. (Read: how to use a seam ripper)
Before you Start
Prewash your fabric to ensure there is no shrinkage and that the colors won’t run. This is particularly important if you are using dark and light contrasting fabrics as you don’t want any bleeding of the colors.
Further Reading: How to prewash fabric
How to Sew a Peasant Dress: The Video Sew Along
Now you are all organized it is time to get sewing and learn how to sew a peasant dress!
Here is a video showing you how to make the basic peasant dress. The PDF pattern has additional instructions on how to add a border to the bottom but this will give you all the confidence you need to get started.
Once you have finished your dress, it is decoration time! You can add fabric yo-yos, ric-rac, lace or even pom-pom trim. If you are making the baby sizes, just make sure that your trims are particularly well sewn on and are safe for the age of your child.
More Peasant Dress Patterns
Now that you know how to make a simple peasant dress it is time to get a little fancier. Here are some adaptations of the peasant dress pattern.