Suz from sewpony created this sweet Perennial Tunic for you! It’s a free dress pattern for sizes six months to six years, and she takes you step-by-step through construction in the tutorial below. Suz is giving away this dress today on sewpony, so head over for a chance to win. Learn more about Suz and her designs in her introduction, and let us know in the comments below if you make a Perennial Tunic!

Hi, my name is Suz and I am very happy to be here at Sew,Mama,Sew! I blog at sewpony. I live in Melbourne, Australia and I love sewing clothes for my three daughters, Isabella (almost 5 years), Juliette (3 years) and Emily (15 months). Today I am sharing a free pattern and tutorial for a dress I designed. It is called The Perennial Tunic. You can download the pattern here. I also have an exciting, related giveaway on my blog.

Similar to my first design, The Perennial Dress, this dress also features a flutter sleeve, but instead of the shirred front the tunic features a pleated neckline with coordinating, pleated pockets. The back features a simple button and loop closure.

The sleeves and pockets are trimmed with mini pom-poms (which I am loving at the moment!). This embellishment can be substituted with lace edging or ric-rac.

All the fabric requirements and measurements are included in the pattern file. The gorgeous fabric for this dress was kindly donated to me by Sew,Mama,Sew! It is a Liberty Lifestyle print called Cranston Pastel; it was lovely to work with and I love the light, feminine feel of it.

The Perennial Tunic translates well as a summer or winter dress. I also made up another version in light denim with contrasting sleeves and pockets. The denim is my own, and again the contrast fabric was from Sew,Mama,Sew! It is 1000 Cranes in indigo by Rashida Coleman Hale for Cloud9 Fabrics. This time I used ric-rac to edge the sleeves and pockets.

I have a bit of an obsession for making dresses for my daughters, and they really do have a lot! So I have also decided to give the Liberty Lifestyle tunic away! I made it up in the 98 cm size (Juliette is a little less than this). As you can see it fits Juliette with some room to grow; she just turned three. So I would recommend it for ages 3-4 years. To find out how to win this dress, visit my blog!

And now here is the tutorial…

Please note: This is a free and hand-drawn pattern. It has only been tested by me.

Fabric Requirements:

1. Pre wash your fabric (to prevent unwanted shrinkage after having made the garment).

2. Print out the pattern pieces at 100% and tape together as indicated on layout chart.

3. Use the sizing chart to work out the size you need.

4. I use baking paper to lay on top of my patterns and trace through the size I need with greylead, then cut around each required piece.

5. Transfer your patterns pieces onto your fabric and pin or chalk around outline; ensure you follow the instructions on the pattern file for adding seam allowances. Transfer all markings onto your fabric pieces.

6. Cut out your pieces. They will look something like this:

Neck pleat
Start with the neck pleat. You will be folding into the centre line. Pin each fold as shown.

You will have two rectangular pieces (20 x 15 cm rectangles – the shorter edge following the grain line) and two pocket lining pieces to construct your pocket.

Your finished pocket will look like this:

If you are using pom pom trim or ric-rac, now is a good time to prepare your edging to prevent fraying. I cut the length of the top edge of a pocket and applied ample fray stopper to each edge. (Available at major craft stores; it is called “fray stoppa” in Australia– I detest intentional bad spelling!) You will need to allow time for this to dry. If you do not do this, you will be disappointed with fraying edging within the first wear. You could also cut your trim a centimetre or so beyond each edge of pocket, and fold to inside of pocket and sew it into the seam attaching pocket to dress.

Shoulder Seams


I sewed a row of top stitching around the neckline 2mm in from edge to hold facing flat (not pictured).


Attaching Sleeves

Attaching Pockets
Your fray stopper should be dry by now and your pom pom trim ready to attach to pockets. Use same technique to attach trim as done with sleeve edging (i.e. using zipper foot).

Centre Back Seam
Nearly finished!

Hem + Button
Overlock hem and turn under 2-2.5 cm (press or iron to hold before sewing– I like to press as it’s quicker!).

Attach button at back, give a final press and you are finished!

Hooray! I hope you like the dress and if you make it, let me know on my blog as I would love to see it. Also, feel free to ask me any questions about the pattern or tutorial.

Thank you very much to Sew,Mama,Sew! for having me here for my first guest post and for giving me the lovely fabrics!