I Created a Gorgeous Fall Tent Dress Out of a Regular Sheet!

Madison McQuary
by Madison McQuary
8 Materials
2 Hours

I love a good tent dress! They’re super cute and also very flattering. I recently saw one in a store and loved it, but didn’t want to spend the money on buying it. So I went home, found a sheet in a perfect-for-fall color, and set out to create my own tent dress. I love how it came out. To see exactly how I made the dress, check out this tutorial.

Tools and materials:

  • Sheet
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Loop turner
  • Iron
  • Serger, pinking shears, or overlocker (optional)
Tent dress
Measure your chest

For this project, the only measurement needed is the chest. So I grabbed my measuring tape and wrapped it around my chest, right above my bust and below my arms. I pulled the measuring tape just until both sides met, being careful not to pull too tight. I also made sure to take a breath in as I measured so that my chest was expanded, giving me a more accurate measurement. I then added 2” to either side to make sure it was wide enough to fit over my head and shoulders.

Tent dress pattern
Cut up your sheet

The best part about using a sheet is that the sides are already finished, so I didn’t need to worry about hemming. I cut off the top and bottom hems, using the sides as the bottom of my dress. I then held the sheet up to my body and eyeballed the length I wanted to cut it to. If you’re trying this yourself, another option for cutting it to size is measure yourself from your chest to the length you want, then to cut that measurement out of the sheet. After I cut the sheet to the size I wanted, I cut the fold so that I had a front piece and a back piece to the dress.

Fall tent dress
Make the band

Next, I made the band that wraps around the top of the dress where the fabric is gathered. I grabbed the top hem of the sheet that I had already cut off and cut it to my chest measurement, plus two inches per side, then sewed the ends together. Then I folded it in half and cut it down the middle. I cut it 1” so that when I opened it up it was 2”. Then I ironed up every side ½”, making a casing for the top of the dress that I would later connect the straps to. 

DIY tent dress
Create the band and straps

I then used the extra fabric I had to create the straps, which I made 1” wide. I folded each one in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sewed the edges at ¼” seam allowance. Then I turned them right side out by using a loop turner and ironed them flat. 

How to make a tent dress
Connect the pieces

It was now time to connect my pieces by placing together the front and back pieces and sewing down the side seam. I then went over to my serger and finished the seams. If you don’t have a serger, you can also finish your edges with pinking shears, an overlocker, or a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine, or not at all if you prefer.  

Easy tent dress
Gather the fabric

To gather the fabric at the top, I did one basting stitch, then pulled, creating tight ruffles. I then took that casing that I created before and pinned it over all of the gathers, spreading out the gathers so that they’d fit into the circle of the casing. Once it was pinned into place, I sewed it down. 

Make your own tent dress
Add the straps

The last thing I needed to do to finish my dress was to add the straps. So I pinned them in place, making them about 14”, and tried the dress on. I adjusted the necessary length for the straps, then sewed them on. I went ahead and sewed them on the outside of the dress, using a matching thread so that you can barely see the stitch. 

Homemade tent dress

Copycat tent dress

Make a tent dress

There you have it! I love how this dress came out. It’s so comfortable and, as you can see, can be worn in so many different styles. You can also add pockets to this dress; I started to, but didn’t like how they looked so I ripped them out. If you do want pockets, though, be sure to watch the video for an explanation on how to make them. So which of these is your favorite style? Let me know in the comments! 

Suggested materials:
  • Sheet
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
See all materials

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2 of 4 comments
  • Madison McQuary Madison McQuary on Nov 24, 2020

    Thanks for the love! I used a Twin sheet that was a polyester cotton blend :)

  • Ethel Kirkpatrick Ethel Kirkpatrick on Jan 11, 2021

    Will definitely try this out for the summer. It looks great and goes with so many other things. Thank you for sharing this nice and easy pattern. Just what I was looking for!