Introduction: How to Make a Shift Dress (DIY)

About: I enjoy sewing, cooking, baking and using glitter as much as possible. Creating just relaxes and energizes me. I love that, making thing's is something I can share with my children.

This sewing project came about as a way to use up some of the leftover fabric I have from other projects. I dislike having tons of scrap fabric left over and sitting in my fabric stash. So I make it a mission to find something useful to make with it.

So let’s jump in and get started.

Step 1: Supplies


A T-shirt (slightly loose fitting)

1/2 yard of a printed knit fabric (I love Ponte de Roma)

1 yard of a solid knit fabric ( I used Ponte de Roma)

Coordinating thread

Step 2: Method

1. Take your t-shirt and fold it 2″ below the armpit.

2. Pin to secure into place.

3. Place your fabric pretty side down and lay your shirt on top.

4. Trace around your shirt add 2.5 ” at the bottom, extending the sleeve 4″ and cutting the rest 1″ bigger than the shirt.(You can also trace the shirt out onto paper.) Once everything is traced cut it out. You will end up with this.

Step 3: Method Continued

5. Now fold your solid fabric in half (wrong side of the fabric facing you). Next fold the piece we just cut in half. Lay it on your fabric and cut around. No extra seam allowance is needed. You will have two pieces.

6. Next lay your printed fabric (polka dot) pretty side facing you.

7. Place contrasting fabric with right side touching (the wrong side facing you). Pin and sew using a stretch or small zig-zag stitch with a 5/8″ seam allowance. Finish the seam as desired(pinking shears, serger, zig-zag stitch.)

8. Time to cut the neckline. Fold the bodice we have just created in half. Measure down 1/2″ and cut. Once you have finished cutting turn the garment right side out. Now cut the front neckline down deeper(polka dot fabric.) Fold like so and measure down 1″.

Step 4: Next Steps

9. Hem the neckline fold over 1/4″ and then another 1/4″ pin. Hem, the sleeve fold over 1/4″ and then 1/2″ pin and sew.

10. Now measure the bottom of your bodice. Cut a rectangle the desired length + 1″ by 1/2″ smaller than bodice measurement you just took. (my bodice measurement 17.5″, my skirt is cut 17″ × 22.5″ on the fold.) Next sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance and finish the seam.

11. It’s time to attach the bodice and skirt.Turn the skirt right side out and your bodice should be inside out. Push the skirt through the neckline. Align the top of the skirt with a bottom of the bodice and pin all around. Make sure the side seam of the skirt and the bodice are aligned. Sew around using a stretch stitch or small zig-zag stitch with a 5/8″ seam allowance. Finish the seam and press the seam upward towards the bodice.

12. Hem the bottom of the dress by folding over 1/2″ and then another 1/2″. Turn the dress right side out and give the dress a good press.

Step 5: Finished Look

For this and other sewing projects feel free to visit my blog here.

Happy Sewing!!

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