Sewing Tutorial: How to DIY a Christmas Party Dress

Rubyvale Road
by Rubyvale Road
11 Materials
5 Hours

I was so excited to make this DIY Christmas dress! I wanted a green holiday dress, and I found a beautiful fabric for it. You can make this in an afternoon, and it suits all sizes and shapes.

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Large piece of paper
  • 1/2 inch (1 cm) wide elastic
  • Tape measure
  • Pins
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Chalk
  • Sewing machine
Taking measurements

1. Take your measurements

Measure yourself around the center of your bust and the widest part of your hips, and from the top of your bra cup down to your hips. 

Paper pattern

2. Make a paper pattern

See the video from 1:35 for how to make the pattern.

Green fabric

Cutting out the dress pieces

3. Cut out the dress pieces

Lay the straight edge of the pattern on the fold of your fabric. Pin into place and cut out the back.

Cut two front pieces.

Small ruffle measurements

4. Cut the small ruffle

The length of the small ruffle is the lower width multiplied by 1.5 and the width is 2.5 inches (6 cm).

If you can't get this from one piece of fabric, cut as many pieces as you need.

Big ruffle measurements

5. Cut out the big ruffle

Multiply the lower width by 1.5 to get the total length of this ruffle, which is 13 inches (33 cm) wide. Cut as many pieces as you need.

Change the width of this ruffle to adjust the length.

Cutting the straps and front ties

6. Cut the straps and front ties

Cut 4 straps, each 2 inches (5 cm) wide and 12 to 20 inches (30 - 50 cm) long.

Cut out 2 ties for the front, each 1.25 inches (3 cm) wide and 11 inches (28 cm) long.

Making the front ties and straps

7. Make the front ties and straps

Fold the 2 ties in half lengthways with right sides facing, pin and stitch them close to the edge and turn right side out. 

Make the 4 straps in the same way, stitching along the seam allowance. After sewing, trim off the excess seam allowance before turning them right side out.

Joining the dress pieces

8. Join the dress pieces

Stitch each front piece to the back along the side seams, right sides together.

Finish the seam edges with an overlock or zigzag stitch or make French seams. Press your seams as you go.

Tidying the front edges

9. Tidy the front edges

Sew a zigzag or overlock stitch down the raw edge of each front panel.

Sewing the center front seam

10. Sew the center front seam

Measure 5 - 6 inches (12 - 15 cm) down from the top edge for an opening. Stitch the rest of the seam down to the hem.

Press the seam flat and the raw edges of the opening to the inside and top stitch around the opening.

Making the elastic casing

11. Make the elastic casing

Fold the top edge over by 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) and 1.5 inches (3.5 cm) and pin.

Sew close to the lower folded edge. Top stitch along the upper edge, leaving space for the elastic.

Hemming the bottom edge

12. Hem the bottom edge

Fold up the bottom edge of the dress twice by 1/2 inch (1 cm) each time and sew.

13. Prepare the ruffles

If you cut several pieces for the ruffles, sew them together to get the length you need and join the ends.

Marked fabric

Mark 3/4 inch (2 cm) and 4 inches (10 cm) up from the hem around the bottom edge of the dress on the right side. 



Narrow hem both edges of the small ruffle. Leaving long ends, sew 2 rows of long straight stitches between them and pull on the ends to gather the ruffle.

Hem one edge of the big ruffle by folding it over twice 1/2 inch (1 cm) each time and sew all around.

Sew two rows of gathering stitches starting 3/4 inch (2 cm) from the hemmed edge. 

Attaching the ruffles

14. Attach the ruffles

Pin the small ruffle along the top chalked line, adjusting the gathers to fit, and stitch into place between the two rows of gathering stitches.

Attaching the ruffles

Sew on the big ruffle so the gathering stitches are centered over the lower chalk line.

15. Attach the ties

Attaching the ties

Cut the elastic to length. Feed it through the casing and pin the ends in place on each side.

Top stitch one end of each tie to the elastic. 

16. Attach the straps

Attaching the straps

Try the dress on and pin the straps into place on the front and back.

Sew to the top row of the elastic casing on the inside, without catching the elastic in your stitches.

Hemming the bottom edge

17. Hem the bottom edge

Try the dress on and check the length. Fold over the hem edge twice and sew.

Completed DIY Christmas dress

Completed DIY Christmas dress

DIY Christmas dress

Here is the finished green Christmas party dress!

What a cute, fun dress to wear on Christmas Day! It's loose and comfortable but still looks special. If it's cold where you are, wear a top or thin sweater underneath to make an adorable pinafore dress. 

If you enjoyed seeing how to sew a dress from scratch, please leave a comment below.

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Large piece of paper
See all materials

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