Heavenly Princess

encouraging femininity

Nissa dress ePattern Instructions


Print out the first page of your pattern and make sure that the little box is exactly one inch square.  If it’s not, your computer is trying to re-size the pattern.  Make sure it’s set to print at 100%.  Once you’re sure it’s printing at the correct size, print out the other pages.

Cut off the bottom and left sides of all the sheets along the line so they look like this:

Now it should be easy to tape them together  like this:

Circle the size you want to make, then cut out the bodice and strap pieces (make sure they stay taped together).

*Please note* The pattern I used for this example is not the final pattern, so there may be slight changes in the markings–don’t freak out 😉



  • 1/4″ seam allowance, unless otherwise noted
  • press all seams open

First of all, you will cut out the skirt.  Open up your fabric so that it is one layer, then fold it in half along the crosswise grain, right sides together (you should have selvages along two edges and cut edges opposite the fold).

Using measurement A for your size (found on Sizechart, above), measure out from one of the corners formed by a selvage edge and the fold, marking with pins to create a quarter-circle shape (see photo).  Place the measuring tape as shown in the photo, along the selvage edge, along the folded edge and a few places in between, marking each time.  You should now have a marked line in the shape of a quarter circle.

Now do the same thing with measurement B (found on Size chart, above), again referring to the photo below, and always measuring from the corner.

When you’re sure that your fabric is marked like mine, cut out the middle section, (which will become your skirt).

Now use the pattern we prepared earlier to cut out your fabric.  You should end up with something like what is shown in the next photo.  I used the green fabric (same as the skirt) to make the lining for both the bodice and the straps, and the yellow fabric for the “outside” bodice.  (You can also make the straps using only the fashion fabric, or only the lining fabric.  You can also use the fashion fabric for the lining.)

Pin the straps to the bodice right sides together at the shoulders and sew the seam (remember, the seam allowance is 1/4″).  Repeat for the lining.

Pin the lining to the bodice around all the edges (as shown) right sides together, matching center front and shoulder seams.

Sew only the top edge (in other words, do not sew the center back or the lower edge/waistline).

Because most of the seams are curved, we will need to notch them so that they lie flat when we turn it right-side-out.  You can do this two ways.  With pinking shears (shown on the left) or using regular scissors to notch every couple inches (shown on the right and around the neckline).  You also need to cut off the corners on the straps.  Be sure not to snip your stitching!

Now turn the whole thing right-side-out.  It’s going to look a bit messy at first…

…but look what a simple pressing will do!

This part seems a little tricky at first, but it’s really very easy!  First open up the fabric at the center back…

…then put them right sides together matching the seams and putting lining to lining, bodice to bodice.

(Here’s what it should look like)

Once you sew it and press it again, it looks very neat!  Give yourself a pat on the back– you’re done with the bodice!

Assuming you folded your fabric wrong-sides-together when you cut out the skirt, you should now be able to just leave your fabric folded and sew the selvage edge (which will be your skirt center back seam).

Here’s how it’ll look:

Pin the skirt to the bodice, matching center back seams.  The right side of the skirt fabric should touch the right side of the bodice (not the lining). If you have extra skirt fabric, because the waist stretched, take up the extra fullnes with a pleat in the back.  Sew this seam with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Hem the skirt using your favorite method.

*IF you are making the halter top version, skip this step*

Make buttonholes as marked on the pattern.  Cross the straps and pull them through the buttonholes.  Tie an overhand knot on the ends so that they don’t pull through (you can adjust the position of the knot so that the straps end up being longer or shorter, based on how you want it to fit)

<<It’s a bit hard to see, but this is what the straps look like when they are tied (I’ll try to replace this with a better photo soon)

Below is a picture of the finished dress, minus the elastic (including an appliqué included in the pattern–instructions coming soon!)

Being sure not to catch the seam allowance underneath, topstitch 3/8″ away from the seam all the way around the bodice.

On the inside (lining) use a seam-ripper to cut two small slits on either side of the seam just through the lining fabric.

Wrap 1/4″ wide elastic around the waist of the child to determine a comfortable length (don’t forget to include seam allowance!)  If you don’t have access to the child, use the waist measurement. *note*. If you want this dress to be worn as a jumper, cut the elastic 2-3 inches larger than the waist measurement. If you do not, the shirt will ride up underneath.  

Thread the elastic through the spring on a safety pin and insert into the bodice going in through one slit and out through the other…

…like this.  Make sure that the elastic has not twisted, then sew it up.  You’re done!


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