Dressmaking For Beginners | How To Sew A Dress

Dressmaking For Beginners | How To Sew A Dress

February 20, 2020

Are you new to sewing? Do you daydream about making a beautiful dress from scratch? A dress makes for a wonderful beginner sewing project if you choose a simple style and easy-to-work-with material like a knit fabric.

If you’re excited about crafting your very own dress, you’ve come to the right place. To celebrate the release of our very first sewing pattern, the seriously cute Brunch Dress (we’re really proud of it!), we’ve created a dressmaking guide just for you, complete with instructions on how to cut and sew a dress and 6 easy dressmaking tutorials. We’ll show you how to make a dress step by step in six different styles.

How To Sew A Simple Dress For Beginners

Basic Tools For Sewing A Dress

  • A sewing machine
  • Fabric Measuring tape
  • Ruler Pencil
  • Needle and thread
  • Serger (optional)
  • Sewing pins or clips
  • Pattern weights
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • A sewing pattern

3 Basic Tips For Dressmaking

Tip #1: Break Dressmaking Into Manageable Steps

Dresses are easiest to make using a dress pattern. Following a sew-along video or sewing pattern instructions make it much easier to visualise the steps you need to complete and feel less intimidated by them. Take it slow, step by step, to make it easier on yourself. Once you finish one step, you’re ready to move on to the next.

Tip #2: Fabric Choice Is Important

Dresses can be made with almost any type of fabric, but we recommend starting with cotton or knit fabric first for ease of sewing. Look for pretty fabrics online that fit your desired colour, pattern and texture. Choose a fabric with a thick enough weight that it won’t require two layers or a slip.

In general, you’ll need approximately twice the length of the dress (described in the pattern), plus a quarter metre of fabric, to make a simple A-line dress. Every dress pattern now has fabric requirements so it will tell you exactly how much fabric you will need for each size.

Tip #3: Wash Your Dress Fabric Before You Start

Always wash your fabric before sewing. This will remove any wrinkles or stains, and preshrink the fabric so you don’t end up with surprise shrinkage after you’ve sewn the dress to your dimensions. After washing and drying, smooth out the fabric with an iron, and your fabric is ready to go.

6 Easy Dress Patterns For Beginners

Looking for a simple sewing pattern to start? Here are 6 epic sewing tutorials for dresses.

#1 Brunch Dress by Missy Rose: Dressmaking Tutorial

One of the easiest knit dress sewing patterns for new sewists, the Brunch Dress by Missy Rose is a stylish dress. This stunning, beginner-friendly dress is classic, elegant and versatile with a sleek, semi-fitted silhouette, high crew neckline, and a tie waist bodice, making it a dream both to wear and to sew. For this style of dress, we recommend lightweight cotton lycra, bamboo or a double-brushed poly fabric. The simple dress pattern is available for adults and kids.

Interested in a step-by-step print dressmaking guide for this dress? Download our how to sew a dress step by step pdf for the Brunch Dress pattern.

#2 Copen Dress by Made To Sew

The Copen Dress by Made To Sew is a simple shift dress or top: the perfect sewing project for budding sewing enthusiasts. Featuring a classic neckline, bust darts and optional waist darts, the Copen Dress is quick to make and easy to personalise.

This simple dress pattern for beginners is ideal for learning and practising essential dressmaking techniques, such as sewing darts and contour darts, inserting an invisible zipper, introducing sleeves, and attaching a professional facing. Check out the YouTube sew-along video below.

#3 Summer Dress by Kreena Desai

The Summer Dress by Kreena Desai is a DIY skater dress offering both comfort and relaxed, breezy style for the hotter months. The YouTube video shows you how to make the dress step by step and provides a simple measurement chart.

#4 Off The Shoulder Dress by MYSTYLEDIARYY

This Ruffled Off The Shoulder Skater Dress by MYSTYLEDIARYY features an elasticised ruffled off-shoulder neckline, blind zipper closure, ruffled puffy sleeves, and a floaty, full-circle skirt. For this simple sewing pattern, we recommend using a light or medium weight woven fabric, such as cotton in 150gsm.

#5 First Day Dress by MADE Everyday

Looking to make a dress for a daughter or a loved one? The First Day Dress by MADE Everything is a simple, super cute girl’s dress featuring lining and a twirly skirt. For this style, we recommend a cotton-lycra for comfort and a little bit of stretch as your little one grows.

#6 Tee Dress by Ellie and Mac Patterns

The Tee Dress by Ellie and Mac Patterns is an easy-to-make dress. The dress can be customised with your choice of short, three-quarters or long sleeves. For this sewing pattern, choose a soft knit or cotton fabric.

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