Merrick's Art | DIY Scalloped Hem Shift Dress Sewing Tutorial
Merrick's Art | DIY Scalloped Hem Shift Dress Sewing Tutorial
Merrick's Art | DIY Scalloped Hem Shift Dress Sewing Tutorial
Merrick's Art | DIY Scalloped Hem Shift Dress Sewing Tutorial
Merrick's Art | DIY Scalloped Hem Shift Dress Sewing Tutorial
Merrick's Art | DIY Scalloped Hem Shift Dress Sewing Tutorial

DETAILS: dress made by me (tutorial below, or purchase similar here) | floral heels | similar bag | sunglasses | gold watch | bracelets here and here

*photos by sara walk

A few weeks ago I traveled to Dallas for the rewardStyle conference. RewardStyle is an affiliate network that I work with for my blog, and every year they invite some of their publishers to a conference, and each night of the conference they threw a big party. Of course I wanted to sew a few new things to take with me, and about a week before I left, I ran across this scalloped hem dress from Urban Outfitters.  I loved it, but the hemline was too short for me. I made a quick trip to Jo-Ann’s, and dug up the perfect cotton-poly blend in a pale pink. There was only a yard and a half left on the bolt, so I snagged it all and ran! The fabric is lightweight, but not see-through, and is incredibly soft, although not stretchy. Pretty much the perfect find.

The dress is super simple, and since I made the neckline big enough to fit over my head, I didn’t even have to add a zipper, and since it’s boxy I didn’t add darts (but if you’re more busty, I’d recommend adding darts!) The scallops were definitely the most time consuming part, but since the sleeves are small and the dress isn’t full at all, it didn’t take too long and it was really pretty easy!

This is such a perfect summer dress for church, weddings, or could even be dressed down with a ponytail, a chambray tied around your waist, and some sandals for summer BBQ’s.

Click the READ MORE below to find the full tutorial!

Merrick's Art | DIY Scalloped Hem Shift Dress Sewing Tutorial

Step 1. Using a shift dress or boxy top you already own as a pattern, cut two DRESS pieces, two SLEEVE pieces, two NECKLINE pieces, and two other strips of fabric you’ll use for the SCALLOP LINING (these need to be 3-4 inches wide).

Step 2. With right sides together, sew the DRESS pieces together at the shoulder seams. Zigzag or serge your seam allowances.

Step 3. Take your dress pieces and cut scallops along the hemline. I used a cup as a guide, and used tailors chalk to mark along the curve of the cup.

Do the same along the hem of each sleeve piece (not pictured in the tutorial).

Step 4. Take your SCALLOP LINING pieces and pin them along the hem of your dress and sleeves with right sides together. Sew the lining to the dress, following the curve of each scallop.

Step 5. Once all your lining pieces have been sewn to the SLEEVES and two DRESS pieces, use scissors to trim along the curves of the scallops. Clip all the way up to the seam at the point in between each scallop to avoid puckering.

Step 6. Now it’s time to attach the sleeves. Line up the top of the sleeve with the bodice shoulder seam (as shown) with right sides together. Pin in place.

Step 7. Continue pinning the sleeve to the bodice, and then sew along the arm hole with a straight stitch. Repeat for the second sleeve.

Step 8.  With right sides together, sew the sides of the bodice up with a straight stitch.

Step 9. Take your two NECKLINE LINING pieces and sew them together with right sides together. 
Step 10. Place the LINING over the dress neckline with right sides together, and sew around the entire neckline to attach it. Then flip the lining inside the dress, press it flat, and you’re done!
*To keep my dress very clean and smooth, I opted not to top stitch any of the scallops or the neckline. I just pressed them carefully and it worked great. But you can top stitch your scallops if you’d like! 
Happy Friday, and happy sewing!
Merrick's Art | DIY Scalloped Hem Shift Dress Sewing Tutorial


  1. Natali says:

    I love scalloped tops and dresses! You are looking gorgeous in this outfit, so simple but very sophisticated and feminine!

  2. Tori Hall says:

    This is gorgeous. Thank you for posting to ‘how to’! Adding it to the list of things I seriously need to make.

  3. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    This dress is so pretty! The scalloped edges are gorgeous!


  4. Kirsten Schwalke says:

    Thank you for this wonderful tutorial!!! I love scallops and I think your dress, especially the color, is far more beautiful than your inspiration dress:o)
    xoxo Kirsten

  5. ayse says:

    Cok guzel. Tebrikler. Kolay gelsin . 🙂 🙂

  6. Elsa K says:

    This is so pretty! I actually like the dress you made better than the one from urban outfitters.

  7. Lisa G. says:

    You are really a sewing whiz – you seem to get an idea, and whip it up in a flash! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Adeline says:

    I love how easy it is to sew the dress, I’m going to have to try out the scallops.

  9. Carrie says:

    I’m really interested in trying this but am a very novice sewer. What keeps the scallops from fraying? Can you post close-ups of the scallop and neckline liner (because I’m having a hard time understanding that part)? Both you and the dress are lovely!

    • Jo says:

      The scallops are lined. See above, there’s 2 strips of lining for the scallops only. U sew them right sides together (as noted at #4) then turn out the right way to reveal a perfect edge. The unfinished seams aren’t exposed.

  10. Abbie Demmitt says:

    Any suggestions of where to find a similar fabric? Checked my local JoAnns and came up empty. I love this color and fit. I’ve been searching online and no luck yet. As soon as I find something I’m going to get started right away!

  11. Kendra Romney says:

    Hi, i love this dress so much and want to make something similar foR a wedding this summer. I have somE fabric that Is the perfect color, but it has Pretty much no STRETCH. Do you think this pattern would Still work if i Just add a zipper in the back?

  12. Judi says:

    Thank you as usual for sharing your ideas with us. I wonder how you’re all doing and how you’re doing so well. I read the article and realized that I wanted something similar for her husband, and make it your own as you your dress
    Have a nice day!

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