Super Simple Girl’s Dolman Dress

What I Wore Wednesday, kiddo style!  It’s a good one, tutorial and all.  If you thought you’ve made simple dresses before (I thought I had!), THIS is simpler – – so so easy and quick to sew up!  If you’ve wanted to give sewing with knit a try, this is a perfect project to start on because it’s so easy – and I’ll walk ya through it…
Cute, right?!  And are you noticing – no set-in sleeves, no binding, etc etc – it’s just a big piece of fabric, sew it together, and call it done!  It’s a perfect summer dress – nice and breezy.  I whipped it up as part of the annual 30 Days of Sundresses over at Melly Sews:
Alrighty, on to the tutorial!
First off, you’ll need a tshirt or dress or something to get the general idea on how big to make the dress.  It’s not really fitted or anything, so it doesn’t have to be perfect sizing.  Lay out the dress on your fabric and cut a strip that’s as wide as your dress, but twice as long (just one layer of fabric)
Then fold it in half so it’s only half as long.  So there’s a fold and that will be the top shoulder area.  Cut a “u” out of the fold area for the neck.  You can be conservative with the size of your hold – I wish mine were a little smaller.

Next up just sew up the two sides.  Leave about 4-5 inches down from the fold-end unsewn – those will be the sleeves:

Then you can just turn under and hem the neckline and sleeves – they should be big enough that you don’t have to worry too much about stretch, but you can use a “stretch” stitch on your sewing machine if you want.

The dress is basically done!!  and what was that, 15 minutes?  See, super easy.  Now, it’s pretty shapeless so we want to bring in the waist a little.  If you want, you can always just tie it or belt it.  I think it’s super awesome to shir the waist, and you don’t have to be scared of shirring – it’s not hard.

Shirring is just sewing lines with elastic thread in your bobbin.  I sewed 5 lines, but you can do as many as you want.  It’ll gather up a little as you sew:

But the real magic happens when you shoot it with steam afterwards – it shrinks up and gathers right before your eyes!

And then you get this awesome stretchy gathered waistband –

Shirring is really really awesome and something you should try.  I have a video of the shrinking and more details about shirring on this post: Shirred Pocket Skirt

I can’t believe how easy this dress was to put together – love easy sewing projects like this!

If you love simple sewing tutorials, here are a few more you won’t want to miss!

Craft Blogger

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  1. says

    oooo I love it!!! I’ve been eyeing the elastic thread I bought FOREVER AGO>… This may be the project to get it off the shelf and into to a garment ;o) pinned!

    • Mandy says

      I think it’d work for an adult – I would make one for myself. I also think it’d make a great swim coverup. Good luck!

  2. Mary Ann Preckol says

    I always wanted to learn shirring. This is a great tutorial. Do you have to have the bobbin wound with elastic? Wish me luck!

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