Easy Midi Dress Sewing Pattern Tutorial

10 Materials
4 Hours

I made this easy-to-sew free bustier midi dress sewing pattern for you in six sizes.

It has a button front, tie straps and pockets. It's a great project if you're new to sewing and want to learn how to sew a dress with a princess seam.

Tools and materials:

  • Free PDF pattern 
  • Lightweight fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • 9 or 10 buttons
  • Paper for pattern
  • Pins
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Buttonhole attachment (optional)
  • Sewing machine
Cutting out fabric

1. Cut out fabric

Print out the pattern and cut out the pieces in your size, adding a half inch (1 cm) seam allowance.

Cut the bodice from both the main fabric and the lining, and the skirt from the main fabric only.

Pocket pattern

Cut out four pocket pieces from the lining fabric.

Make the back of the skirt your full hip measurement wide and cut two fronts each half your hip measurement wide.

The length is your choice. I used 32.5 inches (82 cm) for my skirt.

Making straps

2. Make straps

Fold each strap in half with the right side facing and stitch the long and one short edge. Clip the corner, turn the strap right side out and press.

Sewing bodice

3. Sew bodice

Following the markings on the pattern, pin the three left bodice pieces together and join them to the center back. Repeat for the right side.

Sew all the seams and press them flat.

Assemble the bodice lining in the same way.

Sewing bodice

Fold the bodice in half lengthways to find the center back.

Mark 2.75 inches (7 cm) either side of the center back with a notch.

Open the bodice out flat with the right side towards you.

Sewing bodice

Pin two of the straps at the notches, with the raw edges extending slightly above the top of the bodice.

Pin the other two straps to the top of the curved bodice seams.

Sewing bodice

Place the lining over the bodice with the right sides together.

Matching the lining to the bodice at the seams, pin and sew them together along the top and side edges.

Snip the curves and turn the bodice right side out.

Press the bodice flat and optionally understitch the top seam to the lining.

Sew the edges of the bodice and lining together.

Adding pockets

4. Add pockets

Measure 2.75 inches (7 cm) from the top edge of the skirt and pin and sew the straight edge of the pocket to the right side of the skirt panel.

Repeat for all the side edges.

Adding pockets

Pin the right sides of the skirt and pockets together at the side seams, pinning around the pocket bag.

Sew along your pin line.

Making button placket

5. Make the button placket

Fold in and press 0.5 inches (1 cm) and 0.8 inches (2 cm) along the center front edges of the skirt.

Making button placket

Cut a notch at the inner fold line.

Gathering the skirt

6. Gather the skirt

Sew two lines of parallel basting stitches along the top edge of the skirt between the notches.

Sew the first line 0.5 inches (1 cm) from the raw edge and the second line 0.75 inches (2 cm) away. Leave long ends and don't backstitch.

Pull on the long ends to gather the fabric.

Alternatively, set your machine to the highest tension and the longest stitch length and sew one row of stitches, which will gather as you sew.

Gather the skirt to fit the lower edge of the bodice.

Attaching skirt

7. Attach the skirt

With the right sides together, pin the lower edge of the bodice at the center front to the notch on the button placket.

Attaching skirt

Fold the placket back over the bodice to enclose the corner, and pin. Repeat on the other side.

Pin the skirt to the bottom edge of the bodice, distributing the gathers evenly and matching the side seams, and sew in place.

Snip the center front corners and press the seam towards the skirt.

Sewing the hem

8. Sew the hem

Finish the raw edge at the hem.

Fold the button placket to the right side at the hem edge, and sew it in place. Turn the corner to the right side and sew the hem along the lower edge.

Buttons and buttonholes

9. Buttons and buttonholes

Sew down the inner edge of the button and buttonhole plackets.

Arrange 4 buttons evenly down the bodice and 5 or more buttons on the skirt.

Sew the buttons in place by hand or machine and make the buttonholes to match.

Bustier midi dress

Midi dress sewing pattern

I hope you download the pattern and give this dress a go.

It's a great project to learn new sewing techniques and advance your skill set. I’d love to know how you get on so please leave a comment.

Next, check out my post on How to DIY a Cute Cowl Neck Mini Dress.

Suggested materials:
  • Free PDF pattern
  • Lightweight fabric
  • Lining fabric
See all materials

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