This easy shift dress pattern is a great beginner sewing project. If you’re looking for a good summer project, try this sewing tutorial.
This shift dress pattern is an easy summer sewing project
A few years ago, I found this gorgeous dalmation print fabric at the LA fabric district. It sat in my stash for years until I finally made it into this gorgeous shift dress. This shift dress pattern is actually super simple — if you’re looking for a good summer sewing project, this is a good one.
You can see my other beginner sewing projects RIGHT HERE.
Here are the materials you’ll need:
- 1 or 1 1/4 yard 60″ wide fabric (if your fabric is 45″ wide, you’ll need probably 2 yards)
- matching thread
What kind of fabric should you use?
This fabric was a scrap that I found in a bin at the LA fabric district, so I don’t know the exact blend. But I think it’s a polyester. It’s a woven fabric, but has a bit of a stretch to it.
For this dress, you could use:
- a thick knit (like ponte knit or scuba knit)
These aren’t the only options, but hopefully it helps you realize that you can make this pattern with a lot of materials.
If your local fabric stores are closed, I recommend fabric.com for good, affordable fabric options.
How to make the pattern for this dress
First, you’ll need some pattern pieces. I don’t provide printable patterns, but I teach you how to make your own pattern in THIS VIDEO.
In step one of the pattern image below, you’ll see the pattern pieces being cut. Here’s how to do it.
Take your fabric and fold both sides in toward the middle so they (almost) touch, as shown. Now both outside edges should be folded edges. First, cut the FRONT of the dress. Use an existing shift dress or a tank top and a pencil skirt as a pattern, folding them in half and laying them on the folded edge. Cut around them, adding a 1/2″ seam allowance. Repeat for the BACK of the dress, making the neckline a few inches higher. Next, cut out 2 SLEEVES, and a NECKLINE LINING front and back (cut the scoop of the lining exactly as you did the necklines on the FRONT and BACK, but making them 2″ shorter in width so they have to be stretched when attached to the dress).
So you’ll now have the following pattern pieces:
- Dress front
- Dress back
- Sleeves (2)
- Neckline lining front
- Neckline lining back
Here are step by step instructions to make the rest of the dress
The following steps are in reference to the pattern illustration above
It’s time to tackle the sleeves
Now it’s time for the neckline
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