strapless blue dress tutorial


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Iced tea with limeade. Chicken salad. Dinner on the patio. The marks of summer. And this sundress (a knock-off of the strapless tie dress from the GAP) fits right on that list. It’s sweet and simple and easy to wear.

As I mentioned previously, I love this dress and am happy to share the how-to with y’all. But I can only show you what I did to make this particular one- I’m not sure how to adjust for different sizes… As is, it’s probably a S (or XS since it fit my little sis so well). However, it was seriously super, super simple and I’m certain it’s not too hard to adjust the sizing.

A couple of notes- the dress is made out of chambray, but I think any lightweight fabric would probably work (I’d like to try it in seersucker). The finished length is thirty one inches.

To make this dress, you’ll need:
-about a yard of lightweight fabric
-about a yard of lining fabric
-about 12″ of elastic
-sewing machine and supplies

Cut a square of fabric that measures 37 inches by 37 inches for the dress. Cut another rectangle of fabric 37 inches by 30 inches from lining material (the difference in length stems from two things- you don’t need extra length at the top of the lining for a casing, and the lining is several inches shorter than the finished length of the dress). I used really lightweight lining fabric.
*Just a note about determining the width of the fabric- it sounds really inexact, but I took the fabric and draped it around myself (like a towel, or a strapless dress- haha). I added about an inch to account for seams and elastic bunching to get thirty seven inches.

Double roll and iron over an inch on the top and bottom edges of fabric. Sew the top edge in place, creating both a finished edge for the front and also an elastic casing for the back.

Add darts three inches from the top of the front of the dress by drawing a triangle with a 1″ base and equal 5″ sides. Line up the sides and sew in place.

Sew top of strapless dress to top of lining.

Sew up the edges, leaving the inch at the top where the elastic casing is open

To make the dress gathered in the back, but flat in the front, add elastic to the back casing (but, you guessed it, not to the front). I used dana’s flat front pants tutorial as a guide.

With the elastic pulled through, try the dress on. Adjust the elastic until the top fits correctly (I’d estimate that I used 12″ of elastic). Pin the elastic in place, turn the dress inside out, and sew the final inch at the top together. Finish off the inch of seams with a serger (or snip with pinking shears).

Hem the bottom (it’s already been double rolled and ironed in place to make a chunky, one inch hem).

Add a belt (a long tube of matching fabric with the edges finished).

You’re done! Rehearsal dinners and evening strolls and summer soirees here you come!

ps- Thanks to Kedron (our sister) for modeling this one for me!

EDITED TO ADD- This dress is also a Sew Along (we even made the tutorial a teeny bit easier)!

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  1. Aw, man, this dress is too cute! Maybe I should make one and just add straps. Bra is not optional in Camp Laura, and I haven't met any strapless nursing bras to date. (I guess they wouldn't even make sense. Clip to what, right?)

  2. Howdy girls! You go, love it…of course you can sew clothes for yourself not just the kiddos…keep it up and hope y'all are doing good!

  3. I love the dress! I'm working on one, but have a question. Did you cut the 37×37 piece in half so you have a front and a back so you can put the darts on the top of the front? I don't see that step in the description but I can't figure out how to dart the side that isn't a cut side. Also, you girls are tiny! I had to do a 44×37 piece (so it would go arond my hips) and I am small size 6 at Gap.


  4. I just made this tonight and I love it! I can't wait to wear it at the beach this summer. I'm going to try it in seersucker next πŸ™‚

  5. Look at you fancy pants guys!! I just went to 101 sewing tutorials and you guys were number one. Fancy pants who? Fancy pants you! πŸ˜‰ Now if only I can get this thing threaded…

    1. Emily, it’s FABULOUS! I want a seersucker one too now! You’re right- the perfect beach dress.
      Plus, I couldn’t help but scroll down a little and LOVE your Sip ‘n Sew idea. I was a teacher pre-Burke and Piper Jane- I wish we would’ve done something like that!!!!
      So glad you let me know that you made the dress! πŸ™‚

    1. Caroline- I hate it that we didn’t hang out more! But, yes, so fun to see you for a little bit. πŸ™‚ And thanks for the dress compliments!

  6. Pingback: Strapless Blog

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