Learn to DIY a Stunning, Simple Summer Dress

Jessica Shaw
by Jessica Shaw
4 Materials
5 Hours

I love a great summer dress but I was struggling to find the perfect one in the store. I decided to get sewing and created the most amazing summer dress. This simple dress is so easy to make and can be dressed up or down for any summer occasion! If you are looking for your next summer wardrobe essential, the search is finally over! Follow this step-by-step tutorial and learn how to create a stunning summer dress to get you through the hot season! I am totally obsessed with how this dress turned out. What could be better than a spaghetti strap dress with pockets? Get started on making your own stunning summer dress!

Tools and Materials:

  • Pattern
  • Sewing machine
  • Tencel fabric
  • Scissors
DIY summer dress pattern
Make the pattern

I started by tracing my measurements for the pattern onto some pattern paper. I made sure to transfer all of the markings including the fold line and the darts. 

Cut out the pattern

I then cut out my pattern pieces and couldn’t wait to get started on this super cute and easy dress!

Choose fabric

For my fabric, I used 1.2 yards of 60-inch wide Tencel fabric. I chose this stunning shade of blue but feel free to choose any color or pattern you like! 

Cut out the fabric
Cut the fabric pieces

I lined up my patterns on the fabric making sure that the fold of the front of the dress was in line with the fold of the fabric. I then started cutting my fabric around the patterns.

Mark darts
Sew darts

Next, I used tailor’s chalk to mark the darts on the front of my dress. I love darts! They create a gorgeous fitted look on any piece. 

Pin the darts

I pinned my dart lines making sure the pins were running along my markings. Using a straight stitch I sewed my little darts right along the pinned lines. 

Hem the neckline
Hem the neckline

It’s amazing that the front of the dress was already almost done! I needed to hem the neckline so I folded it down by half an inch and pressed it. I then folded it down by one inch and pressed the fabric again. 


I hopped back on over to my sewing machine and topstitched the fold down. 

Mark the pockets
Add pockets

I was so excited for the next detail of this dress. I mean, who doesn’t love pockets? I made markings 7 inches down and did the same on the back piece of the dress.

Pin the pockets

I then laid my pockets down, wrong sides together, and pinned them in place. I did this because I would be using a french seam to keep the inside of the dress looking neat and professional. 

Sew the pockets on

I sewed the first seam at ¼ of an inch seam allowance. 

Trim the seam allowance

I pressed it and then moved on to the next crucial part of the French seam. Using my scissors I trimmed the seam allowance in half.

Add a seam

Next, I folded the pocket over, right sides together, and added one more seam. This time the seam was ⅜ of an inch. 

Pin the sides
Sew the front and back together

Finally, it was time to sew the front and back pieces together! I laid the pieces down, right sides together, and started pinning them in place. I sewed down the sides and around the pockets.

Trim the seam allowance in half

You know the drill! I took my scissors and once again, trimmed my seam allowance in half. 

Clip the pocket corners

I also clipped my pocket corners just at the seam allowance. This helped take away some of the bulk of the fabric which is exactly what I wanted for my cute little dress. I pressed the fabric and then folded the dress, right sides together, and sewed one last seam around the sides and pockets again at ⅜ of an inch. 

Fold the straps
Add straps

I had finally reached strap time! I folded one edge toward the middle and pressed it down. I then folded the other edge in and pressed it down as well. I then folded the ends of the strap over and pressed after the fold. 

Make a spaghetti strap

I folded the strap in half to create a spaghetti strap and of course, pressed the fold. To keep the strap flat and in place. I repeated the same folding and pressing process for the shorter straps that would be attached to the back of the dress. 

Make binding

I took my long strap and pinned it onto the top of my dress as a sort of binding that leads into the strap. I did an edge stitch along the binding and the rest of the strap, making sure to close it at the end. Binding is such a small detail but it can add so much to a dress! 

Simple summer dress DIY
Sew the back closed

It’s almost finished! I couldn’t wait to see the end result! I folded my dress, wrong sides together, and pinned the two back pieces together at the center back. Then it was back to doing a french seam with, you guessed it, ¼ of an inch for seam allowance. I trimmed the seam allowance in half, pressed it, folded it right sides together, and made the last seam at ⅜ of an inch.

Make a hem at the bottom
Hem the bottom of the dress

I folded the bottom of the dress twice, creating a rolled hem, and sewed it down.

Add short straps
Attach the short straps

For the final step, I stitched my short straps and closed them off at the bottom. I then attached them to the back of the dress on the wrong side of the fabric by sewing little Xs. I did an X because it keeps the straps secure and strong. 

Easy summer dress DIY

DIY summer dress ideas

This summer dress is so light and fun! What color fabric would you use to make it? Let me know in the comments below! 

Suggested materials:
  • Pattern   (https://bit.ly/2WMzMFt)
  • Sewing machine
  • Tencel fabric
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