Cecilia Dress- Free Pattern and tutorial

cecilia dress pattern and tutorial

The Cecilia tee has been a staple in our house since last summer, though we’ve been making long sleeve versions this winter. Thankfully we’re in the thaw and it’s time to plan a summer wardrobe. What better fit than a Cecilia dress! This is designed to follow the style of a RTW that she has worn thin.

cecilia dress pattern and tutorial

The dress comes together really quickly and I see a bunch of these in our future. You can find the full tutorial below.

cecilia dress pattern and tutorial

Ready to get started?

You’ll Need:

Free Cecilia Puff Tee pattern 

Pocket Pattern

– Optional Long Sleeve

-Knit fabric with a 30% stretch

-sewing essentials, thread, scissors, sewing machine,

Gathered Dress Tutorial and Pattern:

1. You’re going to alter your front and back pattern pieces. The Cecilia is longer and we want it to hit the waist for the dress. Measure from the top of the shoulder to the length listed below. Draw a horizontal line across the bodice at the new length. Adjust both your front and back piece to the new length.

12M– 8.5″   2T– 9.5″   3T-10″   4T-10.5″   5– 11″   6– 11.5″   7– 12″   8– 12.5″


2. Cut your pieces. You will need an adjusted front, an adjusted back, two sleeves, 2 cuff bands, a neckband (from Cecilia pattern), two skirt rectangles cut using the chart below, two inside pockets and two outside pockets.


3. Tutorial: Dress with pockets pattern

Start with your pockets. You’ll have two inside and two outside pockets. One left and one right of each. (in other words the pieces are mirrored)

4. Tutorial: Dress with pockets pattern

Using the inside pocket pattern trim the curve from the upper right and left of your front skirt rectangle.

Tutorial: Dress with pockets pattern

5. Tutorial: Dress with pockets pattern

Match your inside pocket curve to the curve you’ve cut from your skirt. You will sew the inside pocket and skirt RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER at 1/4″.

6. Flip the pocket over to the back side of your skirt and press the pocket to the back. Stitch along the edge of the pocket curve. I’m using contrasting thread to be seen easily.

Tutorial: Dress with pockets pattern

From the wrong side of skirt it will look like above. In this image you are looking at the wrong side of the skirt and the right side of the pocket.

Tutorial: Dress with pockets pattern

From the front! You may have to carefully roll your inside pocket back so you can’t see it from the front.

7. Tutorial: Dress with pockets pattern

Match the curved edges of the inside and outside pocket right sides together, sew at 1/4″. DON’T sew the pocket to the skirt.


Tutorial: Dress with pockets pattern

Baste the outside pocket to the skirt.
Tutorial: Dress with pockets pattern

From the front it will look like this.

9. Repeat with the other side of the skirt. You should now have two complete pockets on the front of the skirt.


Tutorial: Dress with pockets pattern

Pin your back skirt to your front skirt at both side seams right sides together. Sew at 3/8″

11. Put the skirt aside for a moment. Assemble your top portion by following the sewing instructions from the Cecilia pattern exactly. Just don’t hem it!

12. We’re going to gather your skirt. I found it easier to gather by laying in a line of gathering stitches on the front skirt and then the back skirt leaving a break at both side seams. A personal preference, I didn’t gather the visible portion of the outside pocket. In other words I stopped the gathering stitch on my front skirt before the yellow. I gather my skirt tightly and ease it out to match in the next step. For a full tutorial on the best way to accomplish an even gather visit here.


Tutorial: Dress with pockets patternJoin your top and skirt. With your skirt inside out and your shirt right side out insert your shirt into your skirt. The skirt and shirt will be right sides together. Meet the raw edges of the waists. Match and pin your side seams. Then ease the skirt gather out evenly to match your top. Sew at 3/8″. Flip right side out and remove and visible basting stitches.

14. Hem your dress at 1″

15. Wear it and Share it! Tag us on Instagram @onceuponasewingmachine @ousmdesigns #ceciliateedress

Share it in our Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/onceuponasewingmachine

cecilia dress pattern and tutorial

Happy Sewing,



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