How to Sew a Tank Top Dress - Comfy Sleeveless Maxi Dress Tutorial

9 Materials
4 Hours

This elegant sleeveless maxi dress is perfect for all occasions. It’s not only beautiful, but it is also so comfortable as well. Here’s how to sew a tank top dress that you will feel amazing in!

Tools and materials:

  • Ira pattern
  • 2 yards knit fabric
  • Glasshead pins
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • 4-way serger
  • Iron
  • Clapper
Type of fabric needed for a DIY tank dress

The type of fabric you use for this DIY tank dress is important. It’s best to get a knit fabric with two-way stretch with elastane. Fabrics like ribbed knits, brushed poly, or French terry are perfect for this dress.

There’s much more information in the instructional e-book that comes with the Ira pattern, including fabric cutting instructions and layout guide.

Tank top dress sewing pattern

1. Assemble the pattern pieces

You should have the front and back pieces as well as the front and back lining patterns. In the ebook you’ll see exactly how to cut out your patterns. Lay on the fabric and cut out the fabric.

Sewing the side seams of the DIY tank dress

2. Start with the top

Start with the shoulder seams. Place the front and back pieces right sides together. Pin and sew the seams in the dress.

Pin and sew the seams in the lining.

Pressing the shoulder seams

Press the shoulder seams of the dress and the lining’s seam allowance facing in opposite directions. This way the shoulder seams won’t be bulky.

How to sew a tank dress

3. Sew the neckline

Pin the lining to the dress at the neckline, matching the shoulder seams and the centers of the back and front neckline. Sew the neckline. 

Understitching the lining of the dress

Fold the seam allowance towards the lining and understitch the lining about an ⅛ of an inch from the edge.

Understitching will prevent the lining from rolling towards the outside. 

Cooling the neckline after pressing

Press the neckline. Cool it down with the clapper before you move the dress so all the waviness will be gone.

Finishing the armhole with the burrito method

4. Sew the armhole

Use the burrito method for the armhole. If you need a video reference, here is a more detailed tutorial on how to finish an armhole with the burrito method.

Roll the armhole of one side of the dress to the opposite shoulder. Open up that opposite shoulder and pin over the rolled shoulder. The rolled shoulder will be inside the opposite one.

Rolling the armhole into a burrito shape

How to do the burrito method
Finishing armholes with the burrito method

Pinning the armhole over the rolled burrito

Pin the whole armhole over the rolled burrito.

Sewing the armholes

Sew using a 4-thread serger or use a narrow zigzag stitch.

Finished armhole

Turn it out.

Pressing and cooling the armhole

Press and cool the armhole to get rid of any waviness that may appear after sewing.

Repeat these steps for the second armhole.

Pinning the front and back pieces together

5. Sew up the sides

Place the front and back of the dress right sides together. Pin the side seams of the lining and the dress, ending at the slit marks.

Sewing and serging the side seams

Sew the side seams up to the slit opening. Serge the lining hem.

Attaching the lining to the dress

6. Attach the lining to the dress

Fold the lining at the armhole seam, matching the side seams of the dress. Pin in place.

Sew the side seams together, stopping 1 inch away from the lining hem. 

Serging the slit edges on the DIY tank dress

7. Finish the slits

Serge the slit edges. Serge the hem edges.

Marking the slit in the DIY tank dress

Mark the corner of the slit 3 inches above the opening and 1 inch right below it.

How to sew slits in a dress

How to make a simple tank dress

Sew this area.

Pressing the sides seams

Press the side seams. Use the clapper to cool it down. Fold the serged edge of the slit in towards the wrong side about ⅓ of an inch. 

Finishing slits for the DIY easy tank dress

Pin in place. Then press it. Use the clapper to cool it down so the slit will be straight. 

Topstitch the slit opening ⅕ of an inch from the edge. Make sharp corners at the top of the slit.

Press the sewn slit and then use the clapper.

Hemming the DIY tank dress

8. Make the hem

Fold ½ inch or more of the serged hem. Pin in place and then press. Topstitch the hem. 

Final press for the DIY tank dress

9. Finishing touches

Give the entire piece a finishing press. Cool it down to give a professional finish. 

How to sew a tank top dress

How to sew a tank top dress tutorial

I hope you use the Ira tank top dress sewing pattern to make your DIY tank dress. This dress is so flattering and comfortable you’ll want to wear it all the time. Let me know in the comments if you’ve made it.

Suggested materials:
  • Ira pattern
  • 2 yards knit fabric
  • Glasshead pins
See all materials

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