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WelcomeYou probably came after seeing the butterfly tunic on Pinterest and I’m so glad you’re interested in making your own. The great part is that its easier than you think and I’ll walk you through it.

Make a beautiful butterfly top with this tutorial. Perfect for a costume or for every day.

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Through this post I’ll show you

  • How to prepare the butterfly
  • Tips for choosing a tunic (and the pattern I used)
  • How to fit it to your model

Sometimes your creations take on a life of their own–that was absolutely the case with the butterfly top.

When I was asked to take a Square by Design square (available only at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores) and turn it into something fun, I thought about how I could make it really special.

The butterfly was meant to flit and fly. I couldn’t really see it coming to life as a pillow or wall hanging, but if I were to put it on a little girl, that butterfly could soar. And it really does.

Make a beautiful butterfly top with this tutorial. Perfect for a costume or for every day.

Sewn to a simple, elegant muslin tunic, the butterfly shines. It’s eye-catching and beautiful, especially since you don’t really expect it from the front. But turn around, and the butterfly top stops people in their tracks.

Click Next for Tips for Choosing a Tunic

Next

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46 Comments on Make a Butterfly Top or Dress

  1. Kristie
    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 10:13 AM (11 months ago)

    This is Gorgeous! I have 2 girls who would love this. I’ll have to pick up the fabric. I really love what you did with it!

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, July 6, 2015 at 10:00 PM (11 months ago)

      Thanks, Kristie–I hope you get a chance to make one for your girls–they’d love it!

      Reply
  2. Jen
    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 5:15 PM (11 months ago)

    This is so brilliant! Love it!

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:59 PM (11 months ago)

      Thank you so much, Jen!

      Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:59 PM (11 months ago)

      Thank you! I’m so glad I let the ideas mull and bounced them off my mama because it turned out way better than I could have imagined.

      Reply
  3. Catherine
    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 9:44 PM (11 months ago)

    This is absolutely gorgeous! My daughter would love wearing it, too—I can just see her flying around the playground in it.
    Catherine recently posted…For the love of Mexican musicMy Profile

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:58 PM (11 months ago)

      Thank you, Catherine! She wore it in public the other day, and she just danced the whole time. It was also fun to hear people comment on it since it’s so unique.

      Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:55 PM (11 months ago)

      Thanks Stephanie!

      Reply
  4. Daniela
    Monday, June 29, 2015 at 8:56 AM (11 months ago)

    Stunning! Beautiful work. Thank you for sharing your idea :)

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:55 PM (11 months ago)

      Thank you Daniela!

      Reply
  5. Sara
    Monday, June 29, 2015 at 11:16 AM (11 months ago)

    Wow! I would never have thought to do that, but it looks gorgeous. I can imagine that she must feel beautiful in it too. Nice work!
    Sara recently posted…Mini Southport DressMy Profile

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:55 PM (11 months ago)

      Thank you Sara. She really does feel beautiful in it, and I think that might be my favorite part–that she feels transformed.

      Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:53 PM (11 months ago)

      Thank you, Vicky.I can’t believe how much I love it.

      Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:50 PM (11 months ago)

      Thank you Jessi–it’s really been fun for her to wear.

      Reply
  6. Olu
    Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 4:45 PM (11 months ago)

    Sew clever!

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:50 PM (11 months ago)

      Thanks, Olu!

      Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:48 PM (11 months ago)

      Thank you Elisa!

      Reply
  7. Trayne1837
    Monday, July 6, 2015 at 8:44 PM (11 months ago)

    Ok, this is beautiful, but where can you find the butterfly piece again… Please explain more
    Thank you .

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Monday, July 6, 2015 at 9:47 PM (11 months ago)

      Thank you! The butterfly comes from a Square by Design panel you can find in the Home Decor fabric section at Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts. Hope that helps!

      Reply
    • Lisa
      Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 10:17 AM (11 months ago)

      I would too–if only the butterfly came in bigger sizes!

      Reply
  8. Leah
    Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 11:20 AM (11 months ago)

    OH MY GOSH!!!! My daughter would love this!! Good thing her birthday is coming up soon… totally going to make it for her! Is it machine washable? How does the butterfly hold up in the wash?
    And can you explain a little bit more about the darts? I’ve been sewing for a long time but never done darts and I’m very intimidated. What do you mean by “sew a wedge”? Thank you!!!

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 10:15 AM (11 months ago)

      Hi Leah! Thanks for your comments–I hope I can answer all your questions. I have put the butterfly through the wash once and it looks pretty good, but it would be better hand washed (which is what I’ll do going forward). So for the darts, look at the part you pinch and you’ll see that it is bigger toward the neck and then tapers down the closer you get to the shoulder like a wedge. When sewing, take the part you pinched on the outside and turn it to the inside–you’ll see that the stitching will create a wedge shape. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  9. Kim
    Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 5:31 PM (11 months ago)

    Wow! I just love this! You did such a great job making it fit so well.
    Kim recently posted…Clutch {with Free Pattern}My Profile

    Reply
  10. Kim W
    Monday, August 10, 2015 at 2:49 PM (10 months ago)

    How clever! What a gorgeous top! I would ♡ to try this. It’s going on my “to do” list;)

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Sunday, August 23, 2015 at 10:20 PM (9 months ago)

      Thank you so much, Kim! Please share if you do!

      Reply
  11. Beth
    Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 10:28 AM (10 months ago)

    Do you have a tutorial for her felt hair clips? They are sooooo cute!!

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Sunday, August 23, 2015 at 10:19 PM (9 months ago)

      Hi Beth, I don’t right now, but I should make one–they’re not hard to create! Thanks for the suggestion.

      Reply
  12. Jessica
    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 9:10 AM (9 months ago)

    This is so beautiful! I am working on one right now. I’m using the same tunic pattern, but my daughter requested it in black. I am wondering if you pre-washed the butterfly. I’m afraid it might ruin it, but every clothing item is better if I can put it in the washer!! Thanks for sharing this amazing tutorial!

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 10:38 AM (9 months ago)

      Hi Jessica! I’m so glad you’re making one! If you plan to wash your finished item, I’d definitely wash the butterfly as well. I’ve been washing mine and although the butterfly is starting to show wear, if you used a delicate cycle it would be better. Just a thought.

      Reply
      • Jessica
        Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 10:47 AM (9 months ago)

        Lisa, thank you for your quick and helpful response!

        Reply
  13. elizabeth c.
    Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 10:34 AM (8 months ago)

    Stunning! My daughter would LOVE this…now to hunt down the butterfly (I’ve never seen this at my Joann’s). I love her hair clippies too! Can you point me in the right direction? Did you make them?

    Reply
  14. Kelley
    Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 11:13 AM (8 months ago)

    Wow! I am not a girlie girl and have, for now, resisted doing too much girlie with my baby girl, but this would be worth it. It is cute without screaming princess, and sweet and sophisticated. I love it. Nice work!
    Kelley recently posted…I Did It Again – Flat Book Shelf #2My Profile

    Reply
  15. Prabodha
    Monday, October 12, 2015 at 6:50 AM (8 months ago)

    Wow wow n wow again me n my daughter are both flutterby fans! I live in Sri Lanka and the fabric panel is so over my budget. I’m trying to recreate the butterfly using fabric paint. We’ve got this really beautiful black and blue one visiting us regularly. Hope my dress will be at least half as pretty as yours. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Lisa
      Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 7:54 AM (7 months ago)

      Aww, thank you for such a sweet compliment. I hope yours turns out beautifully! The black and blue sounds gorgeous.

      Reply

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