Easy 8-step Batwing Dress Sewing Dress Tutorial

Creations by Shey
by Creations by Shey
8 Materials
4 Hours

I made this stunning batwing dress and it's the perfect design if you want to learn how to sew a dress without a pattern.

I marked my measurements directly on to the fabric and cut it out. With this type of fabric, you don't even need to finish the neckline and lower edge if you don't want to.

Tools and materials:

  • 2.25 yards (2 meters) Scuba or other stretch fabric, 60 inches wide
  • Stretch skirt to use as pattern
  • Tape measure
  • Marker
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Safety pin
  • Sewing machine
Cutting top of dress

1. Cut top of dress

Fold your fabric in half lengthways and in half widthways.

Mark your shoulder to waist measurement plus 3 inches (8 cm) from the folded edge.

Measure 4 inches (10 cm) for the neck width and 1.5 inches (4 cm) for the neck depth and join the two marks with a curved line.

From the waist point, mark 1/4 of your waist measurement plus 4 inches (10 cm) as the width of the top.

Cutting top of dress

Measure around your forearm just above the wrist and mark half of this measurement.

Draw a 5 inch (12.5 cm) line from this point and join the end to the width mark with a curved line to make the batwing shape.

Cut out the top.

Cutting the skirt

2. Cut the skirt

Open up the fabric and refold it in half and half again.

Fold your stretch skirt in half and place it on the fold of the fabric.

Cutting the skirt

Mark your desired length of the skirt from the waist and cut across the fabric at that point.

Cut around the side of the skirt, adding a 1 inch (2.5 cm) seam allowance.

Cutting the belt

3. Cut the belt

From the remainder of the fabric, cut a strip 1.5 inches (4 cm) wide and about 55 inches (140 cm) long.

If necessary, cut two strips and join them together later.

Making pleats

4. Make pleats

I originally made 2 pleats at the side of the skirt and later decided to add a third. 

Choose which side of the skirt you want the pleats, pinch the fabric together at the edge of one of the skirt pieces and pin the pleats in place. 


5. Sewing

Turn up and stitch a hem at the end of each sleeve. Then fold the top in half widthways and sew the side seams.


Stitch the pleats in place on the skirt front. Pin the skirt side seams, right sides together and match them at the waist.

Sew the side seams, taking a 1/2 inch (1 cm) seam allowance.

Gathering top

6. Gather top

Run one or two rows of long, straight, gathering stitches around the lower edge of the top, leaving long ends.

Pull the ends to adjust the gathers to fit the top of the skirt. 

Tuck the top inside the skirt, right sides together, and pin in place around the waist, aligning the side seams.

Sew together using a zigzag stitch. I double-stitched mine.

Leveling the hem

7. Level the hem

Cut off the excess material at the bottom of the skirt at the back, curving it to meet the other side.

The fabric I used doesn't fray or shed at all, so I chose not to hem the skirt or around the neckline. 

Making the belt

8. Make the belt

Sew the strips together if necessary. 

As the belt is so long and narrow, I used a special technique to make it.

Cut a narrow piece of fabric about 10 inches (25 cm) long and attach a safety pin to one end.

Fold the belt in half lengthways, right sides together, and stitch the unpinned end of the strip inside it at one end to secure it. 

Making the belt

Sew the rest of the belt along the long edge, enclosing the strip without catching it in the stitches. Leave the other short end of the belt open. 

Work the safety pin along the length of the belt to the open end then pull slowly on the strip, to turn the belt right side out.

Cut off the strip and stitch the other end of the belt closed.

Batwing dress

Batwing dress

Batwing dress 

I'm absolutely delighted with how this batwing sleeve dress turned out. It's a stylish and flattering design for all body shapes. You could make it up in a stretch satin fabric for a special occasion.

I do hope you give it a try and if you do, please let me know in the comments below. I also welcome your suggestions for future designs you'd like to see.

Suggested materials:
  • 2.25 yards (2 meters) Scuba or other stretch fabric, 60 inches wide
  • Stretch skirt to use as pattern
  • Tape measure
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