How to Make a Simple & Versatile DIY Slip Dress From Scratch

Jess Dang
by Jess Dang
9 Materials
3 Hours

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make a DIY slip dress with side slits. Sewing a slip dress is not a complicated project, and even beginners can achieve this.

Besides that, you can wear this gorgeous dress during all seasons, with a bit of layering where needed. Let’s get the show on the road!

Tools and materials:

  • 1.8m linen fabric (2 yards)
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Matching thread
  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Chalk
  • Pencil or marker
  • Measuring tape
Measuring the length of the slip dress on paper

Measuring the length of the slip dress

1. Make the front DIY slip dress pattern

Measure from just above your bust to over your knee for the length of the dress. Mine was 110cm (43.30”). 

Marking the width of the chest

Measuring the width of the chest

At one end of the horizontal line, draw a 13cm (5.11”) vertical line on either side. This is the width of your chest, in between your shoulders + 2cm (0.78”). My measurement was 26cm (10.23”). 

Marking the bust area

Measuring the bust area

From one point of the vertical line, measure 18cm (17.08”) and mark accordingly. This is the area from above to over your bust. Also, add 1cm (0.39”) for seam allowance. 

DIY slip dress pattern

Measuring the DIY slip dress pattern

Then, draw a 22cm (8.66”) line on either side (from the cutting point of the 18cm [7.08”] lines). The measurement should be half of your bust size + 3cm (1.18”) for seam allowance. 

How to make a slip dress pattern

Connect the first straight line to the second, as shown. 

How to make a slip dress pattern from scratch

Measuring from the bust to the hips

Next, measure from just above your bust to the middle of your backside. Mine measured 50cm (19.68"), and I drew this from the first straight line. 

Drawing the slip dress sewing pattern

Draw these lines on either side. 

Marking the slip dress sewing pattern

Measuring the hip area

From that cutting point, draw another straight line measuring half of your hip size + 6cm (2.36”) from that cutting point. Mine was 52cm (20.47”) (26cm on each side).

Tip: If you want a loose fit, you can make this part bigger. 

Measuring the slip dress sewing pattern

Then, connect the marks from the second straight line to the third line. 

DIY slip dress sewing pattern

Draw a straight line at the end of the horizontal line. This measurement is based on half of your hip size + 20cm (7.87”). I measured 33cm (12.99”) from the cutting point, so I had 66cm (25.96”) total. 

Step-by-step slip dress sewing pattern

Then, connect the points from the third line to the bottom. 

Curving the armholes

Curve the top sidelines as this will be for the armholes. 

Cutting out the paper pattern

2. Cut the pattern

Fold the pattern in the middle, following the main horizontal line, and cut around. 

Front pattern piece

That’s how to make a DIY slip dress pattern for the front. We’re done! 

Back pattern piece

3. Make the back pattern

For the back pattern, simply fold in the second straight line. 

Measuring the face

Marking the facing pattern

How to measure the facing pattern

4. Make the facing pattern

From the second straight line, measure 12cm (4.72") on each side and draw a line across. This part will be for the inside front pattern (the facing). 

Back inside facing pattern

The part between the second and third lines will be the inside pattern for the back piece (back facing). 

How to make a pocket pattern

5. Make the pockets

Cut a rectangle measuring 30cm x 20cm (11.81x7.87”). 

Drawing the curve of the pocket

DIY pocket pattern

Mark the middle and draw a curve from the middle downward. 

Cutting out the fabric pattern pieces

6. Cut the fabric

Cut out the patterns in your linen fabric. Remember, you’ll need four pieces for the pockets. 

How to sew the pockets

7. Sew the pockets

In order to know where to place the pockets, simply mark where the second part of your front pattern is located; the pockets should be placed there. 

Pinning the pockets to the slip dress

Pin the pockets, right sides facing, and sew. 

Pinning the pockets to the back of the slip dress

Do the same for the back part of the dress. 

Pinning the front to the back pattern

Lay the back piece onto the front, right sides facing. Then, pin the sides and pockets. 

Marking slits in the DIY slip dress

However, I want to have slits on my dress, so mark around 35cm (13.78") from the end of the dress and pin up until that point. 

Sewing the pinned sides of the dress

Now, sew the pinned sides. Be sure to pivot by the pockets. 

Sewing the pockets into the slip dress

Mark 14cm (5.51”) from the top of the pocket and sew downward. This is the open area of the pocket. 

Hemming the DIY slip dress and slits

8. Hem

Hem the slit areas by folding the fabric twice. Also, do the same for the bottom of the DIY slip dress. 

Sewing the facing

9. Sew the inside parts

Connect the inside part of the front and back, on the sides. 

Pinning the facing inside the dress

Put this piece inside the dress and pin in place, but don't sew yet. 

Measuring straps for the DIY slip dress

10. Make the straps

Cut two rectangles measuring 40cm (15.74”) long and 6cm (2.36”) wide. I got this measurement by measuring my shoulders (add 2cm [0.78”] seam allowance). 

Pinning the straps ready to sew

Fold each strip in half and sew along the edge. Sew and turn right sides out. Then give it a good press. 

Pinning the straps to the dress

Place each strap 10cm (3.93”) from the edge of the back part. 

Attaching the straps to the dress

Place the strap inside, between the dress and the facing. 

Sewing the top of the slip dress

Sew all layers together. 

Understitching around the edge of the facing

Then understitch around the facing’s edge. 

DIY slip dress

DIY slip dress tutorial

Here’s the final result! Now know how to make a simple slip dress that fits beautifully according to your measurements. I love how versatile this DIY slip dress is; any sewing enthusiast can give it a go.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Suggested materials:
  • 1.8m linen fabric (2 yards)
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
See all materials

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Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • Karen Karen on Mar 28, 2022

    You are a wonderful teacher! I am half way through making my pattern and you have made it so easy! I love the pattern of your dress in your tutorial! I can’t wait to make a bunch of slip dresses for the summer! I can’t wait to see what else you are willing to teach us! Thank you so much!