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How to Sew a Dress Full Guide of 2023

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Working out how to sew a dress can look a lot like magic.

For a beginner, it’s that crazy magic that you have to sell your soul to get. How on earth do you get a square piece of fabric into a beautiful whole that you can rock with some great heels or flats?

How do you get it in anything but unflattering drape?

If you’ve tried tailoring in the past and had a hard time, we understand your pain.

That’s why we split the process into a simple step-by-step process that takes the hassle out of sewing a dress – and gives you exciting new wardrobe options!

Bonus: you can keep your soul.

Let’s get started right away.

How to sew a dress

how to sew a dress

Photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash

Where to sew dresses Patterns

Making an ultra-scratch unpatterned dress should for the wizards — or, um, professionals.

Luckily there are thousands of patterns that are easy to find in sewing or craft stores, so browse the collection and find your favourite!

Here are a few of our favorite dress sewing pattern sites:

See more: Where to find sewing patterns online.

Note: if you have a pattern that is too complex, it can cloud the experience of making a dress.

Make sure all your measurements are perfect for your pattern, that way you cut nothing in the wrong place. There is always someone at your local craft store who can help you choose these details.

Best fabrics for making a dress

Any fabric can make a dress, but try to choose an easy option in the beginning.

You can’t go wrong with cotton, but also look for fabrics with good texture.

Silk and heavy fabrics are difficult to work with, but thinner materials require two layers, so find a middle ground.

Once you have that done If you decide, you will need about two to three yards of fabric depending on the size and length of the dress.

Tips to remember:

  • For a quick start, use an oversized T-shirt as the base for your dress. These are easy to find at thrift stores or you can use them yourself.
  • Get creative with your fabric choice by using a sheet or curtain for your dress. You can find tons of these at any thrift store.

Wash you’re fabric

Make sure to wash the fabric to remove any folds, spots or wrinkles. Use an iron to smooth out extra creases.

Sewing a dress step by step

Take your own measurements

If you are using a dress pattern, follow the guidelines you already have.

If you are extra skilled and don’t want to use a professional pattern, then find a dress that fits you and use it as a template for the measurements.

Fold the dress in half lengthwise.

Fold your fabric lengthwise and place the folded dress on top.

You can change what you’In you want this step: make the skirt shorter or longer, the neck open or closed – whatever you want!

sewing a dress

Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash

Put your pattern on and check it again

The nice thing about professional patterns is that they by number, but don’t run ahead of yourself!

Explain the pattern, lay out the fabric and double check the measurements to make sure it is correct.

Here’s a good video on how to best prepare your dress sewing patterns:

Cut Your Fabric in the Chosen Pattern

Lay the fabric flat.

Draw the pattern you have on the fabric.

Care fold your fabric as you cut it out!

Add an extra half inch to allow room for seams. If you want sleeves on your dress, cut the fabric as if it were a tank top.

Sew the Dress

Follow the pattern directions in how makes you most comfortable and confident.

The I should sew sides of the dress first. Make sure the fabric is inside out.

Use an iron to smooth out any wrinkles here; a flat surface is the only way to get a wonderful dress.

A top stitch is good to use here. Follow all directions of your pattern.

Don’t forget the neckline

This is often the hardest part, but make don’t worry!

Fold over 0.25 inch of the fabric around the neckline you want. Use a straight stitch to sew everything in place. This stitch also prevents the dress from fraying.

Here you can adjust the neckline by measuring the distance from your waist to the desired area on your bust and adjust the fabric accordingly.

Hem the bottom of the dress

If you see the bottom of your dress not hemmed, will fray. Fold 0.25 inch of the fabric at the bottom of the dress and use a straight stitch to make the hem look as clean as possible.

It is best to use pins holding the hem in place as you work.

dress sewing patterns

Photo by Pete Bellis
on Unsplash

Add the finishing touch

Here’s your chance to finish with some overlays, ruffles, embellishments or beads. Think of it as decorating. You can also add a zipper to the back of your dress to make it fit you better. Buttons down the front of a dress make everything look casual.

Now you’re done! Try it on and get ready to brag.

Read more: How to make your own clothes.

Now you know how to sew a dress – any questions?

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.