How to Make a Cute, Short DIY Tiered Dress With Long Sleeves

Jess Dang
by Jess Dang
8 Materials
3 Hours

In this sewing tutorial, I will show you how to make a DIY tiered dress. The dress has long sleeves, a tie at the front, and a beautiful tiered bottom. Follow along as I take you through the process step by step.

Tools and materials:

  • 3 meters of fabric (3.28 yards)
  • Paper
  • Pen 
  • Ruler
  • Sewing machine
  • Elastic 
  • Pin
  • Knitting needle
How to draft a tiered dress sewing pattern

1. Make the pattern

First, you need to make the pattern. Follow the video from 0:50 to see how to draft the pattern according to your own body measurements. You'll end up with a front pattern, back pattern, and sleeve pattern.

Cutting out the pattern pieces

2. Cut the fabric

Cut out two pieces of the front pattern, one piece of the back pattern, and two pieces of the sleeve pattern.

Connect the two front pieces in the middle. Then mark 13cm [5 inches] from the top and sew the fabric below that mark together.

Sewing the neckline

3. Sew the neckline

Fold the fabric at the top of the front inside two times and sew.

Pinning the shoulder and side seams

4. Sew the shoulders and sides

Pin the front and back pieces together at the shoulders and the sides and sew.

Sewing the sleeves

5. Sew the sleeves

Fold the sleeve pieces in half with the good sides touching, pin the long open side, then sew it.

Hemming the sleeves

6. Hem the sleeves

From the end of the sleeve, mark a line at 3cm [1 inch]. Fold the end in by half a centimeter [0.2inches] and fold it again until it reaches just before the marked line. Proceed to hem it.

Remember to keep a small hole open as you will later thread elastic through.

Inserting elastic at the cuffs

7. Insert elastic

Cut some elastic that is 1cm [0.4 inches] by 20cm [8 inches] (the width of the wrist + 3-4 cm or 1.2-1.6 inches). Thread the elastic opening, using a needle to help you. Sew the elastic closed as well as the fabric.

Gathering the armhole

8. Gather the sleeves

At the top of the sleeve, sew a basting stitch, then pull the thread to gather the fabric. 

Attaching the sleeves to the dress

9. Attach the sleeves

Pin the sleeves to the top and sew.

Gathering the neckline

10. Gather the neckline

At the front of the neck, sew a basting stitch and gather the fabric.

Attaching the neck tie

11. Attach the neck tie

Cut a long strip of fabric 8cm [3 inches] by 80cm [31 inches]. Pin the middle of the line to the front of one of the sides of the neck. Pin all the way around and then sew.

Sewing the neck tie

12. Sew the neck tie

Fold the outside part of the fabric together to create a tie and then sew it. When done, push a knitting needle through the strip to help you turn the fabric right side out.

How to make tiered dress with a neck tie

For the front of the neck, fold the fabric inside by 1cm [0.4 inches], then fold it again over the first seam and sew.

DIY tiered dress pattern

13. Create the skirt tiers

To create the two tiers for the bottom part of the dress, cut two long fabric rectangles.

The first is 25cm [10 inches] by 150cm [59 inches] (1.5 x the width of the top part). The second is 30cm [12 inches] by 225cm [89 inches] (1.5 x the width of the first tier).

Sew the width sides together to create a circle of fabric.

Hemming the second tier

14. Hem the second tier

Take the second tier and fold the fabric in twice on one of the long sides to hem it.

Gathering the fabric

15. Gather the fabric

Along the other long side, sew a basting stitch, then gather the fabric. 

Connecting the first and second tiers

16. Connect the pieces

Pin the two pieces together, starting at either end and then across the whole length. Then sew.

Gathering the fabric

17. Gather the fabric

At the top of the first tier, sew a basting stitch, then gather the fabric. 

Sewing the skirt to the top

18. Sew the skirt to the top

Connect the top and the bottom part to form the dress. First, pin (starting at either side) and then sew. Turn the dress right side out, and you’re done!

DIY tiered dress

DIY tiered dress tutorial

Here is the finished DIY tiered dress and I think it’s so cute. I love the mini-length, the necktie and the two gathered tiers.

Although this sewing project takes some time, it is so worth it! I know I’m going to get a lot of use out of this dress.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Suggested materials:
  • 3 meters of fabric (3.28 yards)
  • Paper
  • Pen
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