Sew a Beautiful Summer Dress From Scratch - No Pattern Required!

by Its.rikke
8 Materials
3 Hours

A warm summer's day calls for a lovely summer dress, don't you think? If you have a hard time finding the perfect dress with the perfect fit, look no further! This summer dress tutorial is all you need to add a chic and flowy dress to your closet. The best part is, you don't need a pattern nor a zipper for this dress. As long as you're using stretchy fabric, you're good to go. Let's get this summer dress tutorial started!

Tools and materials:

  • Stretch Fabric
  • Elastic
  • Pins
  • Paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine
Sew a summer dress

Make the quarter circle skirt

Fold your fabric so that it's a triangle shape. From the corner, mark your waist radius and waist radius plus your desired skirt length—Mark this across the fabric in a cone shape angle.

Make a summer dress

If you don’t know how to measure your waist radius (not everyone knows how), go ahead and use this handy calculator. Click the quarter skirt option with a midi length ( or a length of your choice). My waist radius came out to 50 cm (just under 20 inches).

How to sew a summer dress

Cut the skirt and sew

Next, cut along the markings you made. You should have two long pieces. Sew them at the seams, right sides together.

How to make a summer dress

Make the top and bra cup

To make the pattern for the top, I took a piece of paper and traced the shape under my breast area, as shown. The height of the paper is approximately 7.5 inches.

Easy summer dress

Basic summer dress

For the bra cup, take a piece of paper and draw a line at a 45-degree angle on the curve's top side, as shown. It should be around 4.5 inches. Then connect the lines. Also, leave 1.2 inches on each side of the curve.

Upcycled summer dress

Cut out the pattern; this is how it should look.

summer dress tutorial

Cut out the front bodice part of the top (on the fold).

Cut 2 elastic pieces

Cut some elastic, which is a little smaller than the straight line of your bra cup. You should have two pieces.

Cut the bra cup pattern in half

Next, take your bra cup and cut it down the middle.

Measure the bra cup

Now, to cut out the bra cup pattern put the pieces you just cut back together and measure how long they were before you cut it. Measure it on the longest line. Multiply the measurement by 1.5; the final number will be your guide on how much you need to extend it.

Cut around the bra cup

Measure the extended measurement and cut around, as shown.

Sew the elastic

Sew the elastic along the long line of each bra cup. Fold the fabric over it (on edge) and secure the elastic with a zigzag stitch.

Sew a long stitch

With the longest stitch length setting on your sewing machine, sew a stitch around the bra cup's curved area. Next, gather the fabric, and pull the thread lightly.

Sew the bra cup to the bodice

Now, match the curved part of both the bra cup and the bodice and sew with a zigzag stitch.

Make the back bodice

For the back bodice, use the height of the front bodice pattern for reference, and the width should correspond to your back measurement.

Sew the front and back bodice pieces

Attach the back to the front bodice part by sewing the side seams.

Take in the side seams

This is totally optional, but you can take in the side seams. I had to as I wanted a tighter, fitting waist.

Sew the bodice to the skirt

Attach the bodice to the skirt

Pin the bodice to the skirt, right sides facing. Once it's all pinned in place, sew with a zigzag stitch all around. Also, while you're at it, go ahead and hem all the raw edges.

Make the straps

Make the straps

We're onto the last part. So exciting! It's time to make the straps. I cut a piece of fabric 16 inches long and wide enough to make two straps. After cutting out the square piece, I eyeballed each strap's desired width and cut it out accordingly.

Sew on the fold

When you have two of the same sized fabric pieces, simply fold in the raw edges and stitch on top.

Attach the straps

Lastly, sew the strap's edges to the front and back. I sewed mine right on the edge of my bra cup.

Stunning summer dress

Here is the finished dress. Isn't it lovely? It's flowy, whimsical, feminine, and fun! It's seriously the perfect summer dress. I am so happy with the result, and I urge you all sewing stars to try this fun project at home. You'll thank me later, I promise!

Suggested materials:
  • Stretch fabric
  • Elastic
  • Pins
See all materials

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Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • Trish Trish on Apr 22, 2021

    What a cute and easy dress!! I will be trying this ! Love your fabric choice and easy style!! Well done!!