DIY a Stunning, Easy Summer Dress

Sewphilia Studio
by Sewphilia Studio
10 Materials
2 Hours

I absolutely love wearing dresses in the summer! I had a gorgeous piece of chiffon fabric which I decided to transform into a stunner of a balloon sleeved dress. This dress was so easy to make and I love that I can dress it up or down so that it works for all summer occasions. If you want to learn how to make this beautiful dress then my tutorial is what you need! Follow my simple steps and get started on DIYing this amazing dress to add to your summer wardrobe essentials!

Cute summer dress

Tools and materials:

  • Chiffon
  • Lining
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Elastic band 
  • Needle and thread
  • Pins
  • Zipper
  • Pattern pieces
  • Sewing machine 
Cut the pattern pieces
Draft a pattern

To get started with this gorgeous dress I had to first draft my pattern. Once I had all the pattern pieces I needed, I decided to change the neckline to a lower V so I made some changes to the shoulders and front bodice pieces.

Prepare the pattern

I also needed to prepare my pattern so that I could create amazing balloon sleeves for this dress. I drew two lines on both sides of the centerline. I cut through the pattern using the lines as a guide but I made sure not to cut through all the way. The small amount of paper left at the top allowed me to spread it apart. 

Cut the fabric
Cut the fabric

I folded my fabric in half and placed the pattern pieces on top. I made sure to leave a 1-inch seam allowance when I was cutting. I used the same pattern pieces to cut out the bodice lining for the dress. 

Casual summer dress

I spread my sleeve pattern about 2.5 inches apart and then traced around leaving a 1-inch seam allowance. 

Pin the shoulder seams
Sew the bodice

Once I had all my fabric cut out, I placed my front and back bodice pieces together and joined them at the shoulders leaving a 0.5-inch seam allowance.

Sew darts

Before I could repeat this for the bodice lining I made sure to map out and sew darts. 

Match up the seams

I then placed the two bodice pieces, right sides together, and matched up the center seams and shoulder seams. I pinned all along the neckline and then sewed along my pinned line with a straight stitch. I then pressed the fabric and topstitched around the edges to get the perfect finish for my bodice. 

DIY summer dress
Attach the sleeves

To attach the sleeves, which is my favorite element of this dress, I matched the centerline of the sleeve to the shoulder seam and pinned it in place. I then pinned around the rest of the sleeve making sure it fit perfectly in the armhole. I hopped back over to my sewing machine and sewed along the armhole with a straight stitch. 

Cover the raw edge

I wanted to make sure my dress would look and feel professional! To cover up the raw edge at the sleeve I used the lining. I held the seam of the sleeve and the seam of the lining together and then, while holding, turned the fabric inside out. I then pinned the seams together. I matched the raw edge of the fabric with the lining and pinned that as well. Once I had pinned both sides I sewed using a straight stitch. 

Join the front and back bodice
Join the front and back bodice

It was finally time to join the back and front bodice pieces. I separated the main fabric from the lining. I then matched the front and back main fabric at the armhole seam and then pinned down the length of the side and sewed it down. I then joined the lining fabric at the side and sewed it as well. 

Add elastic
Finish the sleeves

To give the balloon sleeves the perfect finish, I sewed an elastic at the edge stretching it as I sewed with a zig-zag stitch.

Easy summer dress
Attach a waistband

To attach a waistband onto the main bodice, I placed both pieces, right sides together, and sewed them down with a straight stitch. 

Sew the skirt
Sew the skirt

To prepare the skirt, I sewed a running stitch so that it could be gathered. 

Pin to the waistband

Once I had gathered the skirt, I attached it to the other end of the waistband and sewed it with a straight stitch. I then hemmed the bottom of the skirt. This can be done with a zig-zag stitch or you can fold twice and sew with a straight stitch. 

Attach zipper
Attach the zipper

Lastly, I needed to attach the zipper. I couldn’t believe I was so close to the end. I pinned it 1-inch away from the edge of the center back and then sewed it in place with a zipper foot. 

How to sew a summer dress

I am so in love with this dress! What is your favorite detail in this piece? Let me know in the comments below!  


Suggested materials:
  • Chiffon
  • Lining
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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