How to Make a Linen Shirt Dress with Tie Sleeves

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Photography by Gabi Wells

Button Up Shirt Dress | merricksart.com

Outfit Details:

DIY Shirt Dress  – Similar herehere, and here,  Studded Cross Sandals (brown almost out of stock, similar here), Straw Hat (back in stock!), Straw Bag

Today I’m super excited to share a fun DIY with you! I’ve been wanting to make a shirt dress pattern for years now, but the button down front always intimidated me.

But when I found this gorgeous grey and white striped linen fabric at fabric.com, it was just screaming to be a summer shirt dress. So I obliged and made this pretty linen midi shirt dress.

There are tons of other gorgeous linens in this line – I want all of them! This blue stripe is amazing, and this chambray one is so pretty. 


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I wanted something feminine, simple, and pretty, so I did a classic v-neckline, a tie waist, and then added the sleeve tie details for a little feminine touch. I debated between white and wood buttons for a while, and after sending a group text to a few friends, the vote for wood was unanimous. I think it was the perfect choice to make the dress feel a little more finished and look more high end.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 ½ to 3 yards fabric (I used this one from fabric.com)
10-12 buttons (mine has 11)
embroidery floss (to attach the buttons)
buttonhole foot for your sewing machine


button front midi dress with bow sleeves

First, cut your pattern pieces. I don’t provide printable patterns, so use this video tutorial to learn to make your own pattern pieces. You’ll need a DRESS BACK and two DRESS FRONT pieces. You’ll also need two SLEEVE pieces, NECKLINE LINING, and TIES for the waist and sleeves. The illustration is not to scale. Your ties need to be about 4″ wide each, and as long as you’d like them. My waist tie was about 4 1/2 ft. long, and my arm ties were about 2 feet long.

Step 1. Take your two NECKLINE LINING pieces and line them up at the shoulders with right sides of the fabric together. Sew them together with a straight stitch.

Step 2. Now take your DRESS FRONT pieces and DRESS BACK piece and pin them at the shoulders with right sides of the fabric together. Sew them together with a straight stitch.

Step 3. With right sides of the fabric together, attach the NECKLINE LINING to the neckline of the dress with a straight stitch.

Step 4. Time to attach the sleeves. Take one sleeve piece and line up the top of it with the middle of the arm hole, as shown. Pin it together.

Step 5. Now take the rest of the sleeve and pin it down the arm hole on either side. Then sew together with a straight stitch. Repeat for the second sleeve on the other side.

Step 6. With right sides of the dress together, sew up the sides and sleeves, as shown.

Step 7. Take the front of the dress and fold over each side two times to make a nice, thick panel for the buttons and button holes. If your fabric is more delicate, you can add a strip of interfacing to add some stability — just fold it inside and sew in place. Sew along the inside edge to secure the panel in place, as shown.

Step 8. To create your ties (both arm ties and waist ties), fold the fabric in half on each side, and then in half again. Sew with a straight stitch to secure, as shown, tucking the raw short ends inside.

Step 9. Cut the holes in the top of your sleeves, fold in as carefully as you can, and hem in place with a straight stitch.

Step 10. Take your sleeve ties and, with right sides together, sew around the end of the sleeve with a straight stitch. Fold down and press into place.

Step 11. Top stitch your neckline to secure the neckline lining, and hem to your desired length.

Use the instructions on your machine to insert button holes, then sew your buttons on with embroidery floss, and you’re done. Tie the waist tie around your waist and you have a perfect summer dress!


  1. Liv says:

    Can’t believe you made this. You are so talented!



  2. Natali says:

    This is such a great maxi and I love linen fabric! You’re looking gorgeous as always. 🙂


  3. Judi says:

    This is a great option to make a summer dress. After your post, I also lit up with ideas to find myself a linen dress. I even found a great shop reference https://magiclinen.com/linen-clothing-for-women/linen-dresses
    What do you think about this, for me, the price is affordable and it looks very stylish

  4. Sarah says:

    this is a great tuTorial- do you think this Could be modiFied to Make a wInter shirt dress out of plaid?

  5. […] this long buttoned dress with to the help of pictorial explanations of the Merrick’s Art […]

  6. Nadine Horn says:

    Hi! i just came across your awesome linen dress but the video isn’t available anymore – could you please hook a girl up where to find video tutorial please?
    Thanks so much

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