How to Make a Cute DIY Bodycon Dress With Shirring & Puffed Sleeves

Regine Morales
by Regine Morales
8 Materials
3 Hours

Bodycon dresses are gorgeous; they show off every beautiful curve on your body and fit so well. Today, I’ll be sewing a DIY bodycon dress and showing you how to make a bodycon dress from scratch! It’s really a fun, easy process and perfect for beginners, too! Ready? Let’s start!

Tools and materials:

  • Lightweight fabric
  • 6mm elastic (0.2 inches)
  • Elastic thread
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
Measurements needed for the bodycon dress

1. Take your measurements

First, take your measurements. Here are mine for reference. 

Making a DIY bodycon dress pattern

2. Make a DIY bodycon dress pattern

Fold your fabric in half, wrong sides facing. Measure the width, which is your hip multiplied by 1.5. The length is from your upper chest to mid-thigh. Measure only half of the total measurement, since the fabric is folded. 

Measuring and marking the fabric

From the corner of the fold, make a 10cm (3.93 inches) mark and from the upper edge, go down 5cm (1.96 inches) and make another mark. 

Connecting the marks together

Connect the marks and cut. Repeat on the other side, too.

Cutting out the DIY bodycon dress pattern

3. Cut the fabric

Then, cut the whole piece accordingly. Also, cut it along the fold to make two pieces. 

Hemming the edges

4. Hem the edges

Fold the upper and lower edge by ½ cm (0.19 inches). Pin and sew with a straight stitch. 

Making marks for the bodice shirring

5. Do the shirring

Place the fabric with the right sides facing outward, and make a mark at every half inch. This will guide you for the shirring part. 

Sewing straight stitches with elastic thread

Wind your elastic thread to your bobbin, and sew straight stitch lines right across the fabric. 

Backstitching at the beginning and end

Remember to backstitch the beginning and the end of every line. Stretch the fabric when sewing. 

Pinning the side seams of the dress

6. Assemble the DIY bodycon dress

With the pieces right sides facing and pin together at the side seams.

Sewing from the armhole to the dress bottom

Then, sew from the armhole to the bottom of the dress. 

Marking and measuring sleeves for the dress

7. Make the sleeves

Measure, on the fold, 30cm (11.81 inches) in length and 65cm (25.59 inches) wide. 

Cutting the fabric on the fold

Then, cut the fabric piece along the fold so that you have two pieces. 

Cutting the fabric at the corner

From the upper edge, measure 12cm (4.72 inches) across and 5cm (1.96 inches) down. Connect the dots and cut accordingly. 

How to make a bodycon dress

Zigzag stitch the upper edge. 

Pinning the fabric over elastic

Fold the fabric over the 1cm (0.39 inches) wide elastic, and pin across. Then sew to secure. This will be for the tunnel. 

Inserting the elastic into the tunnel

Now, insert the elastic using a loop turner. My elastic measured 33cm (12.99 inches) long; this is the measurement from your upper chest to your upper back. 

Sewing the elastic into the sleeves

Sew the sides to secure the elastic. Then, double fold the bottom edge and sew with a straight stitch. 

Measuring two strips of fabric

8. Make two strips

Measure a 2cm (0.78 inches) long and 65cm (25.59 inches) wide strip (similar to the width of your sleeves), and cut two pieces. 

Zigzag stitches prevent the fabric from fray

To protect the fabric from fraying, sew a zigzag stitch along both raw edges. 

Pinning the strip to the fabric

Now, place the strip 3cm (1.18 inches) from the lower edge, and pin. 

How to cut and sew a bodycon dress

Sew the upper and lower edge of the strip to secure it in place. This will be a tunnel to insert another elastic piece. 

Inserting elastic into the fabric

9. Insert the elastic

Feed the 1cm (0.39 inches) wide elastic through the tunnel. The length is your arm’s circumference. Sew the sides to secure the elastic. 

Sewing the sleeves

10. Sew the sleeves

Now, fold the sleeves right sides facing and sew the bottom half side edges. 

Attaching the sleeves to the dress

11. Sew the sleeves to the dress

Pin the pieces and sew with a straight stitch. 

Finishing with a zigzag stitch

Then, finish it off with a zigzag stitch. 

DIY bodycon dress

DIY bodycon dress tutorial

Here it is, your DIY bodycon dress! It’s so versatile and super trendy! I love the shirring effect, and the puffy sleeves give it a sophisticated look. I hope you found this tutorial helpful and that you now know how to cut and sew a bodycon dress! 

Suggested materials:
  • Lightweight fabric
  • 6mm elastic (0.2inches)
  • Elastic thread
See all materials

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