Project Dolman Dress DIY

By Miranda Anderson

Skill Level: Beginner  

Dolman_Dress_DIY.jpg
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I’m a sucker for a simple dress. Some of my very favorites end up being the most basic design style, and I appreciate being able to work through a project in an hour or two. You can see the silhouette is really simple…and the whole thing came together in four seams and three hems. Let me show you how to make one for yourself! Download printable instructions.

Materials:

  • 2-3 yards of 54" wide fabric, lightweight works best
  • Coordinating thread
  • Butcher paper or poster board for creating your pattern

Tools:

  • Baby Lock Sewing Machine
  • Baby Lock Serger

Steps:

  1. To create your simple pattern, you can use a couple of pieces of poster board taped together or a roll of butcher paper. I used chalk and traced directly onto my fabric.

  2. Trace body.

    1. Lay down with the center line of your body on the edge of the paper and the top of your neck at the upper edge.

    2. Put your arm out at a 45 degree angle towards the other edge of the paper. Have a friend or family member trace around your body outline.

  3. Mark cutting lines.

    1. Using the body outline as a basic guide, create a second line about 1″ from the shoulder line and wrist, curving inward toward the hip for the dolman sleeve.

    2. Stay 2-3″ away from the side and hip line. Finish by creating a straight hemline 1″ below where you’d like the dress to hit, leaving space for a 1/2″ hem.

  4. Create the neckline flap by drawing a straight line up, about 2" from the traced neckline.

  5. Take a look at your pattern and adjust if anything looks super wonky. If anything, err on the side of creating a pattern a little bit larger than you might need, because you can always cut it

  6. Cut your pattern out and trace or pin it to your fabric, on the fold. Cut two. If you're creating an asymmetrical hemline, you can cut the curve after the side seams are sewn.

  7. Serge around the edges of the neckline of each pattern piece so that when it's sewn, the edges are all finished. If you don't have a serger, you can use a zig-zag stitch, or fray stop

  8. Stitch and fit.

    1. Fold the neck flap down on either side, towards the wrong side of the fabric, then with right sides together stitch along the shoulder lines.

    2. Stitch from the wrist around the inside towards the hem as well. At this point try on your dress and see how it fits.

    3. It is supposed to be boxy and draped. If you need to take it in somewhere, stitch along a new line, then if it works cut off the excess fabric.

    4. When you’re ready, finish the seams with a serger or zig-sag stitch.

  9. Tack the edges of the boatneck with a couple of stitches to keep the flaps in place.

  10. Turn the wrist hems inside 1/4" then 1/2" and stitch in place.

  11. Optional: If you want an asymmetrical hemline, line up the side seams of the fabric and cut a gentle curve from the back to the front of the hem. Adjust as necessary to your liking.

  12. Turn the hem under 1/4" then 1/2" and stitch in place.

  13. Turn the dress right side out, iron and enjoy!

    When you pair it with your favorite shoes and necklace, you'll never want to take your new dolman dress off!

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Or, If You'd like to improve your skills,

we have great classes to help you take your sewing to the next level.

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