Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Shift Dress Tutorial

With the summer heat kicking into high gear, I have been dying to create this simple, basic, t-shirt meets shift dress look.  It is the perfect piece to add variety to my summer wardrobe This dress has been on my mental "to do" list for quite some time, and I must say, it's everything I've imagined it would be.

  • Basic tee.  I used my favorite tee ever.  (I own at least 7 of these tops and rotate them regularly)
  • 1 1/2 yards of knit fabric.  (My favorite place to get knits online is here.  Most everything in this jersey knit section should work great this dress.  However, I would stay away from the tissue, burnout, and slub knits, as they are too see-through to be worn as a dress.  One other word of advice; if you see a fabric you like, jump on it as soon as you can, because fabric does tend to sell out quickly.)
  • Pattern/tracing paper (optional but recommended)
  • Matching thread
  • Double needle (optional)

 * I always create the patterns for my garments first rather than cutting right into the fabric.  It makes it really easy to make more of the same garment in the future because I know I will get the right fit.

 * You cut your neckband shorter than your measurement because it will keep your neckband from stretching and folding open while you wear it.  It is cut with the stretch running width-wise, so you will need to pull the neckband as you pin and sew.

 This will give you a nice pointed V.  I also clipped into the selvage a bit so that it would iron flat.
 * I stitched the ends together (R sides together) right before I attached the neckband.

Serge or straight stitch using a stretch stitch to attach the neckband.

* I folded the sleeves and dress bottom under about 3/4" and stitched it with a double needle.

I've made 5 of these so far.  I can't help myself!  They are comfy, easy to pull on, and super versatile.  I can't wait to show you how I style the others!


  1. Great tutorial! Doesn't look too hard and the result is SO cute!

    Blessings & peace!

  2. I love this!! It is so easy and I can't wait to make one for myself. :) You are an amazing seamstress. I just get a ton of inspiration from you. So glad to hear your boys are doing better. Crossing my fingers they stay that way! Thanks again for this post. :)

  3. I love so many things about this tutorial! 1. you shared where and what type of knit to buy, 2. the neckline part - I always try to fold it over and hem it and it looks terrible and 3. your use of pattern paper (I need to buy some)

  4. you are so cute and talented! love this fun dress you make! so cozy and cute!

  5. I love this! I think this would make an amazing maxi dress too! I pinned it and will totally be making my own, thanks for the tutorial!

    P.S. We are now following you on Pinterest, FB, twitter and GFC!

  6. Great little dress! I wear one of those tees just about every day too, and this is a great idea for an easy summer dress!

  7. Such a cute dress! I love the stripes. :)

  8. Thanks for sharing!! I seriously have a bunch of knit sitting in my stash waiting for me to sew it up into a dress...but i couldn't figure out what to do with the neckline. Can't wait to try this idea out!

  9. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who raids the Target section of those T's! I have 5 of them and I have to remind myself to wear other shirts sometimes, but they are so great for busy moms! Your dress is fantastic and I can't wait to try it out! (I have made 3 of your skirts from your tutorials.) You are amazing!

  10. These are killer! Such a simple project, too. You've inspired me!

  11. What a super simple, but effective, dress to make - thanks for the easy how-to instructions :)

  12. This looks so comfy.
    I featured it here:

  13. I love this!! I need one for every day of the week probably. And you look great, as always. I featured this idea in my 10 Fabulous Summer DIYs list today on my blog! You can come check it out and grab a button if you want!

  14. So simple, but so lovely! Great tutorial.

  15. If you add a dart to the front side seam you can eliminate that gathering above the bust. It's an easy addition that yields a more flattering result to those of us with slightly more to accommodate in the front.

  16. I love your tutorials! Learning how to design patterns is just as much fun as getting ideas. I am excited to try making a dress for more toddler using the same method (right now she asks to wear my T-shirts and polos with a sash belt instead of her own cute clothes.) She's just developing her own style I guess.

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