Tot Tuesday: Make Your Own Frugal Bandana Dress

Bandana Dress
3 Bandanas=Perfect Dress!

Tot Tuesday is a weekly feature where I highlight a special kids activity, frugal recipe for kids, kids tutorial, etc.

Many of you know that I am the section editor for the What to Buy section on the popular site Momtastic. I link to my articles on Momtastic all the time, but I’m not sure how many of you have really ventured throughout the site. There are some really great articles on Momtastic, and some great DIY and tutorials as well.

Last week, I noticed this adorable St. Patty’s Bandana dress and I knew I definitely wanted to try out a dress in this style.

The dress called for a technique known as “shirring”, which I’ve never been successful with in the past.

I was at Hobby Lobby earlier though and some $.99 bandanas were calling my name in the checkout line!

So I brought them home and washed them and tried to tackle this dress during naptime!

The Supplies
Hand wind the bobbin!
Lines to gauge where to sew. When shirring it can be hard to go in a straight line while holding the fabric taut.
My straps...the measurements made them a bit too long for Lizzie, so I just made it into a halter.
Right about this point, my sewing machine decided it hated me.

It was about this point that my sewing machine decided that it no longer wanted to cooperate with me any longer. The next, oh 18 rows, were NOT fun…but I got the job done (anyone want to buy me a new sewing machine though?)!

Isn't she gorgeous! Such an easy, frugal way to make a fun dress!


As you can tell, Lizzie can make anything look good! I’m still pretty proud of this dress. Although, I might want a new machine before I ever try shirring again!

See the complete instructions on Momtastic: DIY: St Patty’s Bandana Dress

Do you have any tips or tricks to help with shirring? Do you think you’ll try this dress? I bet with a more capable machine, I could easily make one of these for every occasion!

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Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google +

12 thoughts on “Tot Tuesday: Make Your Own Frugal Bandana Dress”

  1. THAT is adorable! Great job! I’m gonna share with my sister and see if I can get her to make me one LOL I do NOT sew lol

  2. I made this for my 3 year old tonight and loved it! She informed me last night she wanted me to make a blue dress and I thought of this tute. She picked out her bandanas and watched every step of the way! As far as shirring goes, I gave it a go after many failed attempts! I’ve been scouring online how to’s and everyone kept saying it was so easy, but not for me! I finally discovered my problem was the design of my machine. I use a Brother with a drop in bobbin. I found some how to’s by searching “shirring with a brother” and found a fix it method that made it work for me. I had to adjust the bobbin tension manually. I wish I saved the links, I’d share if I did, but perhaps this is also why you are having problems? Thanks for the great tutorial, my daughter loves her dress.

    1. I’m so glad she loves it!!! That’s awesome. My machine isn’t a brother, but I didn’t think to google my actual machine name and problems with shirring. Will definitely do that now!

  3. This is really cute! I bet you could put buttons on the dress & add button holes to the straps to make it more versatile.

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