How to Make a DIY Sexy Dress That's Perfect for a Valentine's Date

Jess Dang
by Jess Dang
11 Materials
2 Hours

You’ve got an old dress in a beautiful fabric and color but it’s kind of blah or unflattering. You want to make a DIY sexy dress that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day but you aren’t sure how to do it.

Let me show you how to make a Valentine’s dress that features a cowl or falling neckline that’s going to look spectacular on you! Here’s how to make a DIY Valentine’s Day outfit from an old dress!

Tools and materials:

  • Dress
  • Scissors
  • Razorblade or seam ripper
  • Pins
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Sewing machine
  • Invisible zipper foot
  • Needle and thread
  • Long zipper
  • Iron
  • Bobby pin
Trying on the dress before the DIY

1. Cut the top

First, try on the dress to assess what you’ll need to do.

Cutting across the top of the dress

Lay the dress down on a flat surface. Cut across the top just at the bottom of each armhole. 

Opening the side seams of the dress

Use a razor blade or seam ripper to undo the side seams halfway down to the waist.

Measuring and cutting strips for the straps

2. Make the straps

Fold the front piece down. Draw 4 lines across the back of the top, each measuring about 1¼ inches. Cut the 4 strips.

Folding and ironing the fabric strips

Fold each strip in half. Iron to flatten them for sewing.

Sew the straps right sides together along the long side using a straight stitch. Leave the short ends unsewn.

Use a bobby or hairpin to pull them right side out. Repeat this technique for all 4 straps.

Iron after sewing for a smooth professional finish. Set them aside for now.

Measuring the marking the dress neckline

3. Make the falling or cowl front neckline

On the front fold of the dress, mark down 8 inches. Pin this measurement in place. This helps to create the facing for the front.

Measuring the width of the top

Mark the width at the top at 16 inches.

How to make a Valentine's dress

From those points measure down 5½ inches.

Making a DIY sexy dress with a cowl neckline

Then measure inward from that point 1¾ inches to create the curve.

How to sew DIY Valentine's Day outfits

Match the top point to the outermost point on a slight curve.

Trimming the curve

Trim this curve leaving a ¼-inch seam allowance.

Pinning the straps to the dress

Insert two of the straps at the top on the inside on either side. Pin them in place. Sew on the curved line. Backstitch the strap.

Hiding the open seam

Hide the open seam by sewing down on the inside.

Pressing the neckline for a smooth finish

Press for a smooth finish.

Making the back of the dress

4. Make the back of the dress

From the top of the front on the wrong side, mark down 5½ inches.

Folding the fabric on the back of the dress

Then fold the back fabric up to that marking.

Marking the back of the dress with chalk

Pull the back down again and draw two lines. The first line is the 5½-inch measurement plus an additional ½-inch seam allowance. Cut the excess off and save it to use the facing for the back. 

Pinning the facing to the back

From the mark inside, mark down 4 inches inward from either end. Then, copy those marks on the back fabric.

Place the other two straps at the 4-inch inside mark and pin in place. Lay the cut piece of fabric as a facing to sandwich the straps in place.

Pressing the back of the dress

Sew on the guidelines. Like with the front piece, sew the facing down on the inside. Press the back for a smooth professional finish.

Taking in the dress at the side seams

5. Take in the dress (optional)

If your dress is larger than you like for your frame, use your measurements to take in the number of inches required. Leave at least a ½-inch seam allowance.

Mark the dress, pin it in place, cut off any excess, and sew up the side seams.

Inserting an invisible zipper into the dress

If needed, add a zipper on the left side. Pin and sew the zipper using an invisible zipper foot on the back first.

Then, close the zipper to attach to the front side of the dress on the other open seam.

Start pinning it at the top, and then as you continue pinning down the length of the dress, open the zipper to keep the line straight. Sew the other side of the zipper in place.

Finish the open seams on the dress with a straight stitch. Secure the zipper at the bottom. Hand-sew the top of the zipper down into the dress.

DIY sexy dress for Valentine's Day

DIY sexy dress tutorial

How cute is this Valentine’s Day outfit? I love this DIY sexy dress; it's perfect for a romantic dinner date.

Please let me know in the comments if you’ve made any of these changes to your old unflattering dress to make the perfect DIY Valentine’s Day outfit!

Suggested materials:
  • Dress
  • Scissors
  • Razorblade or seam ripper
See all materials

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