DIY FRIDAY: PLEATED PALM LEAF PRINT BEACH DRESS (SEWING TUTORIAL)

Details: beach dress, made by me | similar beach hat | asos glasses (under $30!) | target blanket | old navy beach bag (old) | rhea sandals, c/o
*photos by jana laurene
Although we’ve had a little cold snap the last few days, we’re pretty much fully into summer weather here in SoCal, which means most of our days from here on out (especially when school gets out in a few weeks) will be spent at the pool and the beach. So of course I’ve been prepping for all these beach days with a few new things, like a new swim dress, and new sandals.
I learned about Rhea sandals recently and was intrigued by their no slip grip soles. I’m always sliding around in my rubber flip flops along the beach walk or in the bathrooms at the beach, and of course all around at the pool, so I was excited to try out this cool new no-slip technology (they have a cool video here showing how it works!). Plus, I learned that slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of injury, and every 8 seconds someone is victim of slip and fall, causing 2 million hospital visits and 20,000 fatalities over a year just within the U.S. Yikes!
When these pretty little mint and blush sandals showed up in the mail, I was inspired by them to make a swimsuit coverup. I’ve been hanging on to this palm print fabric for a few weeks and had no idea what to make with it, but as soon as I saw these sandals the idea was sparked. Plus, it’s a super easy dress to make, so snag yourself a pair of Rhea’s pretty sandals, make yourself a coverup, and you’re ready for summer!
click READ MORE below to see the sewing tutorial!

Materials:
1 yard lightweight woven fabric (mine is a lightweight polyester, but chiffon, lightweight rayon, or even a lightweight linen blend would work well).
1 package of bias tape
1 matching thread
Merrick's Art Pleated Beach Dress Tutorial
1. Cut your pieces. Use a tank top or sleeveless dress as a pattern, but make the neckline about two times as wide to allow room for the pleating. Cut two, one for the front of the dress, and one for the back. Make sure to cut the neckline of the front a little lower.
2. Mark the center point of your neckline, and then fold your pleats in toward the center so they’re symmetrical and evenly spaced across the neckline. I did six pleats in the front and four slightly larger ones in the back.
3. Once your pleats are pinned in place, sew over them with a basting stitch to hold them in place.
4. Sew up the shoulder seams of your dress.
5. Cut enough bias tape to fit around the entire arm hole. Pin to the arm hole with right sides together, then attach with a straight seam. Repeat for the second sleeve.
6. Now it’s time for the neckline. Cut a piece of bias tape that is big enough to fit around the entire neckline, then sew it together to form a loop. Pin to the neckline, with right sides together, then sew around the entire neckline with a straight stitch. Use a seam ripper to pull out your basting seam if it’s visible.
7. Tuck all the bias tape inside, press and pin in place, and then sew around the arm holes and neck hole to secure the bias tape in place.
8. Now sew up the side seams with right sides together.
9. Hem to your desired length, and you’re done!
A huge thanks to Rhea Footwear for partnering for this post!