You’re Going to Love This Easy DIY Bell Sleeve Dress

7 materials
2 Hours

Make a bell sleeve dress from scratch! This super simple tutorial will give you all the steps to achieve this lovely, flowy, and delightful dress. This off-the-shoulder bell sleeve dress is one of my favorite looks for the summer, giving you options to dress it up or down. You don’t need many materials, either. This tutorial is also amazing because you don't need to go out and buy a pattern. You will measure yourself and cut the pattern accordingly, so the dress will fit you like a glove. Let's get this tutorial started.

Tools and materials:

  • 2.5 yards of checkered fabric
  • 1 meter elastic
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
Off-shoulder bell sleeve dress

Measure yourself

Measure your chest and add 20 inches. Next, measure how long you want the dress to be.

Off-the-shoulder bell sleeve dress

Use these measurements and fold your fabric so you cut out 2 pieces.

Sew a bell sleeve dress

Measure your armhole and create a curve on the fabric, as shown. Repeat the same on either side, cut it out, and pin it in place.

Easy bell sleeve dress

Now, take your sleeve measurements, including the length.

How to sew a bell sleeve dress

Cut the sleeve with the fabric on fold using your measurements. Cut the armhole exactly as the dress’.

Make a bell sleeve dress

Make the bell sleeve

Here’s the best part! Take another piece of fabric, fold it in half and draw a half-circle on the edge. Measure 10 inches from the first circle and create a second, larger circle. Make sure the whole circumference is 10 inches from the first, smaller half-circle.

How to make a bell sleeve dress

Draw a tail 4 inches from the end of the second circle and cut out the pattern.

Bell sleeve shift dress

Cut the smaller half-circle, and then use the piece as a pattern to make another piece by cutting around it. Repeat the above steps to make the second bell sleeve. Pin the pieces together and repeat these steps for the other sleeve.

Attach the bell sleeve

Now it’s time to attach your bell sleeve to your actual sleeve. Make sure the sleeve’s opening matches the bell sleeve’s top half circle. If it doesn’t cut the edges until it fits.

Sew around the sleeve

Turn your bell sleeve inside out and sew the sleeve all around, leaving the tail and bottom part loose. For those parts, simply fold and hem the edges.

Lovely bell sleeve

This is what it should look like.

Attach bell sleeve to dress

Sew your sleeve and attach the sleeve to the bell sleeve, right sides together. Make sure the tail is on the opposite side of the armhole. Pin and sew all around. Now you should have your completed sleeve.

Sew the side seams

Sew your dress

Sew your dress, starting with the side seams and bottom hems.

Attach both bell sleeves

Attach the sleeves to the dress

Assemble the sleeves first, and then pin in place, making sure everything is correct and in line. Sew your sleeves on your dress, with the right sides facing each other.

Measure the elastic

Add your elastic

Measure your elastic around the width of your chest area, just under the shoulders.

Make a channel

Create a tunnel for the elastic by folding the top part of your dress. Pin in and place and sew all around using a straight stitch. Don’t forget to leave a small gap so that you can feed through the elastic.

Feed through the elastic

Insert the elastic using a safety pin, sew the elastic, and stitch your ga closed.

Stylish bell sleeve dress

How snazzy does this look? I love the elegance and sophistication this outfit has. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much as I enjoyed showing you how to make this off-shoulder bell sleeve dress.

Suggested materials:

  • Checkered fabric
  • Elastic
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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