Sincerest Form of Flattery . . or my mini Boden Knock-off!

Hey! This was originally posted over at Craftiness is not Optional. I'm reposting it here in case anyone missed it and to add the link to my tutorials list. Hoping to have some new posts up soon. Hello and welcome to my new (and old!) readers.

When Jess of Craftiness is not Optional asked if I wanted to join in her Sincerest Form of Flattery series, I knew I had to try my hand at the sweet little miniBoden dress below {left}. It looked simple enough and I loved the details of the dress, particularly the pockets! I was a bit nervous about it since I was doing this all from a small photo but I'm happy with the dress I ended up with {right}. Best part. . .I saved $39 making the dress myself!

miniBoden dress $40 / my knock-off version $1

I dug through my fabric stash and found a set of 2 vintage pillowcases I thrifted a few months ago for 30 cents each. The dress I made is a size 2T and I had a good bit of fabric left over. While I originally planned to use elastic in the neck and waist casings, I decided to use elastic thread instead. I love the way shirring looks and I think it's quicker than trying to pull elastic through a casing. You can use any peasant dress pattern or tutorial to make this dress {you'll find a great tutorial here}. I'll show you below how to create the easy pockets and have also included a link where you can download the pattern pieces and pocket template I created to make my dress.

Here are a few photos of my kiddo in her miniBoden knock off:

elastic thread or 1/4 inch elastic
fabric marking pen
hem gauge
Step 1
First you'll need to determine the width/length of your skirt panels and cut them. You'll want your skirt panels {front and back} to be as wide as your dress bodice. Mine measured 16.25" wide and about 13" long. If you're using your own peasant dress pattern/tutorial, decide where you want the waist line of your dress to be and cut your pattern in two, so you have separate pieces for the bodice and skirt. Keep in mind you'll want to add a seam allowance where you cut. I used a 1/4" seam allowance for my dress.

Step 2
Take one of the skirt panels and fold it in half width-wise, with the open edges to the right. You'll want to place the pocket template in the upper right hand corner like the photo below. Trace the curve with your fabric marking pen. Make sure to keep both layers of fabric even and cut along the curve. This will be your front skirt panel. Set aside for now.

Step 3
Cut 4 rectangles of fabric to create your pockets. I cut rectangles sized 5.5" wide by 6.5" tall. Take 2 of the rectangles and place them wrong sides touching. Place the pocket template on top as in photo below, trace the curve with your pen, and cut along the curve.

Step 4
Take your front skirt panel and place right side up. Grab the two curved pocket pieces and place them right side down on your skirt panel. Match the curves of the pocket pieces with the curves of the skirt panel and pin in place. Sew along the curves using a 1/4" seam allowance. Clip the curves, flip them to the wrong side of the skirt, and press in place. Top stitch along the edges of the curves.

Step 5
Place your skirt panel right side down. Take the other two rectangles you cut {without curves} and place them right side down on top of your pockets. You'll want to make sure they line up with the top and sides of your skirt panel and the bottom of your pockets. Pin the rectangles to the pockets along the inner and bottom edges. The pins should not go through the skirt, just the pocket pieces. Next, sew along the edges you pinned and finish those seams with a serger or zig zag stitch. You can also baste the tops and outer edges of the pockets to the skirt to keep them in place.

Step 6
At this point, sew your skirt pieces to your bodice pieces. You can then sew the sleeves onto your bodice pieces and then sew up the sides of your dress. Finish all raw seams as you go along. Hem the sleeves - I folded the fabric 1/4" and then another 1/4". Hem the skirt. As I mentioned, I originally planned to do an elastic casing at the neck so my pattern piece reflects that. I folded the neck casing down 1/4" and then again 3/4". I stitched close to the edge of the casing. If you want to use elastic, sew another line of stitching about 1/2" from the edge of the casing, creating a channel for the elastic. This will give the neckline a bit of a ruffled edge. If you want to use elastic thread like I did, sew 3 evenly spaced lines of shirring along the neck line instead. I also did 3 lines of shirring at the waist, above the seam. I left my threads long and used a hand sewing needle to pull the top threads to the wrong side of the dress. I then tied all the loose threads together in small knots and trimmed them. 

Thanks so much for having me and I hope you enjoy making your own dress! I plan to make a few more. . . maybe one using a solid fabric for the bodice and a print for the skirt. Sounds cute, right?! 


  1. What a beautiful dress. I am so jealous of all you blogging ladies who can also SEW! I am in the process of trying to learn. You make it look so easy.

  2. Thank you, Jamie! Awesome that you are learning. It just takes lots of practice! Make sure to pick projects you are really excited about, that way you'll be more likely to finish them even if they get a little frustrating :)

  3. I love this! Can you give finished measurements or what you consider a 2T to be? I'm trying to size it down but that's hard because 2T can mean a lot of things!

  4. The approximate finished measurements of the dress I made are: 21" length and 14" width wise at the waist (stretched). If you have a peasant dress pattern or an actual dress in the size you need, just use it as a guide line for resizing the pattern. I actually created the pattern by using a few of my daughter's tops/dresses which were all sized 2T. She's about 36" tall and weighs about 28 lbs. Since the dress is shirred at the neckline and waist, you really don't need exact measurements other than the length you want the dress. My daughter will prob be able to wear the dress I made (later as a top) for a few years :)

    Hope that helps!

  5. Thanks so much! It worked out really well-the neck ended up being a bit too open and big but it looks gorgeous. Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. You're welcome! You can try adding a few more rows of shirring around the neckline to pull it in a bit!

  7. Hi There - I love this little dress and have started making it for my daughter. I am new to sewing - your pillow case dresses got me started and now I am addicted. THANK YOU! Question - I am at the point where I need to attach the skirt to the bodice and I'm not quite sure how to do it so I can include elastic in there too. Can you give me any little tips? Many thanks!

  8. @ The H Family

    Hi! I actually used elastic thread and shirred the waist vs using actual elastic. So, I sewed the skirt to the bodice, finished the seam, pressed it up towards the top of the dress, top-stitched it, and then did a few rows of shirring.

    I think it would be pretty easy to create a casing for elastic though if you want to do that. I would just sew the bodice and skirt together using a wider seam allowance (wide enough to accommodate the elastic you want to use, finish the seam, press it upwards, and top-stitch close to the edge of the seam, leaving an opening to thread the elastic through. Hope that makes sense. I don't think my coffee has kicked in yet :)

  9. That is perfect! I will do that. I knew it wouldn't be that hard, I just didn't know how to tackle it. Thank you so much for getting back with me so quickly! I'm so excited to finish this little dress and see it on my little girl!

  10. Adorable! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures