Elegant and Modest Puff Sleeve Dress DIY

Creations by Shey
by Creations by Shey
6 Materials
2 Hours

Today, I will be taking you step-by-step through the process of creating an easy puff sleeve dress. This dress is a great beginner project, and the lengths of the hem and sleeves can be altered to your liking. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Loose shirt (to trace)
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
DIY puff sleeve dress


Begin by folding your fabric in half, and then in half again. Use a loose-fitting top as your pattern. Fold the top in half lengthwise and pin it to the fabric on the fold. Do not include the sleeve as part of your pattern. Once everything is pinned down properly, cut around the neck and side of the top, leaving a 1-inch seam allowance. 

Easy puff sleeve dress

Measure and cut

 Measure how long you want your dress to be, and add 1 inch for the hem. Then cut the fabric at that point. 

Sew a puff sleeve dress

Continue cutting along the side of the dress, all the way to the bottom. 

Make a puff sleeve dress

Cut the neckline

On the front bodice piece, extend the neckline by 3 inches. 

How to make a puff sleeve dress


Pin the front and back bodice pieces at the shoulders, right sides together. 

How to sew a puff sleeve dress

Create sleeves

Fold your fabric in half, and then fold one side into a triangle. 

puff sleeve dress tutorial

Measure 16 inches from the bottom of the fold. 

Mark your fabric at this measurement, and make a straight cut.

Measure the 16 inches again from the cut edge of the fabric, and mark it with pins or a fabric marker. Then cut along the marks. 

Open the fabric, and cut the pattern piece in two at the folded edge to create two sleeves. 

Fold one of the sleeve pieces in half, and cut a curved line as shown in the picture, starting on the non-folded edge. Use the first sleeve as a template to cut a symmetrical curve on the second sleeve. 


Notch the corner of the sleeve to mark the center. 


Sew the shoulder seams together. 


Run a basting stitch along the curved edges of the sleeves, and then pull the thread to gather the edges of the sleeve. 

Pin and sew

Lay the dress so the front and back bodices are both right sides facing up, and the shoulder seams are in the center. Pin the sleeves in place, making sure to match the notch the center of the sleeve with the shoulder seam. Then sew it down. 


For the cuffs, measure your arm just below your elbow.

Cut and fold

Cut two 5-inch wide rectangles with a length equal to your arm measurement. Fold each rectangle in half lengthwise. 


Create gathers at the bottom of the sleeves. The length of the gathered edge should be equal to the length of your cuff. 

Pin and sew

Pin the cuff to the bottom edge of the sleeve, and sew it down. 

Pin the sleeves and the sides of the dress together, right sides facing each other, and sew everything down. 

Cut and pin

Cut a 1-inch wide strip of fabric, and pin it all along the neckline of the dress, right sides together.


Stitch the strip in place, close to the edge of the neckline. 

Fold and sew

Fold the strip along the neckline inwards, and topstitch it down. 


To finish, fold the hem of the dress twice to hide the raw edge and sew it down. 

And here’s the final look! As you can see, I made a belt to go with it.

I love how elegant and stylish this dress turned out. I’m so happy with this result. I hope you found this puff sleeve dress tutorial helpful. If you sew a puff sleeve dress of your own, what kind of fabric will you use?

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Loose shirt
  • Scissors
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 10 comments
  • Savahna Egbert Savahna Egbert on Apr 07, 2022

    I can’t wait to try this! This will be the first thing I ever sew. I am beginning to sew because I rarely find clothes that are both modest and elegant while also being fashionable. This is easy to follow and it is exactly my style! I am going to use a 70’s-inspired pink swirly cotton print to create mine. Thank you so much for sharing your skills!

  • Leslie Leslie on May 06, 2022

    Beautiful fabric.♥️ The style of the dress is not mine but you did a very nice job on it. :)