I picked up this fabric from Girl Charlee a few months ago, thinking I would use part of it for my Parisian top, but I changed my mind after ordering it so this fabric suddenly had no purpose. Then, in a twist of fate, my friend posted a handmade green dress on instagram, I pinned this dress from Sincerely Jules, and my Golden Tote showed up in the mail a few days later with an amazing flared tunic that was just begging to be copied and made into a dress. The combination of all three was a match made in heaven and the perfect summer swing dress was born.
I'm planning to make myself a few more of these and live in them during the summer! But this style of dress would also be perfect layered with a scarf, boots, tights, and a jacket during the fall and winter!
A full tutorial is at the end of this post!
photos by jylare smith
made by me dress
lulu*s sandals c/o
lulu*s bag c/o
- 2 yards of soft stretchy knit fabric (more or less depending on your desired length) -- mine was this cotton spandex knit fabric from Girl Charlee
- matching all-purpose thread
Step 1 // First let's cut out all our pieces. You'll need a BACK, FRONT, 2 SLEEVES and 2 NECKLINE lining pieces. Use a tank top or tank dress that you own, fold it in half, and then lay it flat on your fabric with the fold of the fabric matching up with the fold of your tank. Cut around it (adding a 1/2" seam allowance), and then adding your desired length and a flared width (mine was 20" across at the armpits, and 42" at the hem for both FRONT and BACK pieces). Do the same for the FRONT piece, making the neckline lower on this one. Use a fitted 3/4 sleeve from a shirt that you own and use it as a guide to cut out the 2 SLEEVES, then use your FRONT and BACK pieces as guide to cut the correct widths of NECKLINE pieces.
[tip: I always use parchment paper to cut out real pattern pieces (using my own clothing to create these pattern pieces), and then pin the pattern pieces onto the fabric and then cut. It eliminates a lot of error, and also allows me to fold the pattern pieces in half and make sure they are symmetrical or straight before I cut into my fabric!]
Step 2 // With right sides together, pin the FRONT and BACK pieces together at the shoulders and sew together.
Step 3 // With right sides together, pin the top of the SLEEVE and the top of the shoulder together, as shown. Continue down the rest of the arm hole, pinning the sleeve in place.
Step 4 // Sew the sleeve to the arm hole with a 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other sleeve.
Step 5 // With right sides together, sew from the elbow to the knee with a 1/2" seam allowance. Make sure your seams match up at the armpit!
Step 6 // With right sides together, sew your NECKLINE pieces together to make a circle. Make sure this circle is slightly smaller than your dress neckline so it has to be stretched to fit around -- trim if necessary before sewing the two NECKLINE pieces together.
Then, with right sides together, pin the NECKLINE circle the neckline of the dress, matching them up the shoulder seams and then stretching evenly so it fits around the neckline. Sew with a 1/2" seam allowance around the entire neckline, stretching slightly as you sew so the pieces lay flat. Trim the seam allowance and then tuck the lining inside the dress and press flat.
Step 7 // Using a wide stitch, top stitch around the neckline to tack the lining in place. Then hem the sleeves and the dress to your desired length. [tip: for a more professional look, blind hem stitch the bottom hem of the dress. This is a super easy video that shows you how to do it].
Press all your seams flat and you're done! Happy weekend sewing!