Hot! Vintage Toddler Dresses

At the Vintage Fashion Expo a couple weekends ago I found a vendor selling the most adorable vintage girl dresses. Most of them were never worn and still had their original tags. They weren't traditional deadstock — they all sat in the closet of the same owner. Apparently, she just shopped *a lot* for her daughter. I picked up six of them for $50, a price that I think was great for their condition.

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The above two dresses are my favorites. The yellow dress is the perfect party dress while the plad one is just, well, perfect.

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The shirtwaist dress was from the Expo. The two dresses on the right are dresses from our existing collection and were found at an antique store in Monterey, CA and Alameda Antique Fair.

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The dresses on the left and right are from the Expo. The middle dress was purchased at an antique store in Monterey, California for $28. It is a Shirley Temple dress from the 1930s.

Interested in making your own little girl/toddler dresses? Here are a view patterns from Etsy that were my favorite.

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Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. This is so sweet. I’ve been making my ten month old some outfits from Citronille patterns but for some reason it never occurred to me to look at actual vintage patterns.

  2. The yellow dress is adorable – and she wears it so well! I love the scalloped edge and the puffed sleeves : )

  3. The pink and green shirtwaist is my favorite. So pretty, but not so fussy that she can’t still play hard in it, if she wants to.

  4. beautiful dresses – you are exceedingly lucky that your daughter likes to wear dresses. Most of the little girls I know are tom-boys.

  5. Oh my goodness your daughter is just the most darling little girl ever! She’s so cute! Makes me wish I’d kept going to have a daughter to dress in beautiful frocks x

  6. Oh… just so sweet. What a darling little soul. All the dresses look wonderful and she looks pleased as punch.

  7. How very cute! What great finds, there is something so special about having/loving something that has history. She is sure to grow up with great style …..just like her mum!

  8. I am just DYING inside!!! I have three children and am 8 months pregnant with my fourth, but they are all BOYS! lol. No precious vintage toddler dresses in my future. :(

  9. Your daughter looks lovely in those dresses! She’s such a great model :)

  10. OMG, so cute! Pen looks so much like my daughter, while at the same time looking JUST LIKE YOU! Love the way you styled her. Have you shared Dick and Jane with her? My kids love it and those dresses are just like Jane and Baby Sally’s.

  11. I love the plaid dress! She looks like Betsy McCall in it :)

  12. Mena- these dresses are so cute, but the model makes them even better!!! Pen surely loves the camera, just like her mother. Adorable!!! Maybe if I ever have a daughter she can get some hand-me downs!! ;)

  13. This is just too much cuteness to take so early in the morning! :)

  14. I can’t breathe, they’re just too cute on Penelope!

  15. Great finds!!! I just love vintage children’s wear, and have taken to snatching up any darling patterns I find at the thrift store lately. The details are always what get me! :)
    ♥ Casey

  16. Oh, be still my vintage-loving heart!! Smocked dresses??!! Love, love them and would love to find some for my own daughter. What a great deal on those dresses. Your little miss looks adorable!

  17. So flippin’ cute! I love them all but especially the plaid one. Adorable!

  18. I think you were saying something about vintage dresses, but I got distracted by that adorable little Pen. So sweet. :)

  19. just adorable!
    You’ve got to make some mother daughter outfits for Easter!

  20. Just gorgeous. It never occurred to me to use vintage patterns for children’s clothes, but i have a daughter about Pen’s age, and i think i love the idea of vintage toddler fashions.

  21. I absolutely adore these! Pen is so cute with her modeling poses!!

  22. These are lovely I picked up a dress at the Rose Bowl a couple of years a go for my preschooler, but she has now out grown it. I should go looking again.

  23. judy roberson

    Mena, I just love all the dresses.Your daughter is adorable. These little dresses brought back memories of my daughter..Who is now 37 and a high school history teacher. I made her dresses and she loved dresses ,she wore them everyday.[In fact, I learned to making dresses for her].
    I hated when she outgrew the little dresses..but I now have 4 grandaughters and sew for all of them.. what fun.