Swing Dress Tutorial

Swing Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift  Summer is my absolute favorite time of year.  I love the slow paced, unplanned days filled with spending quality time with the family.  I also loathe summer a little bit…it’s HOT!  With the heat index yesterday, it felt like 102* outside….yikes!  And it’s only June, which means July and August are just going to get hotter!!!

I love to wear a summer dress to try and beat the heat.  A couple weeks ago I sewed up this swing dress in this lightweight, flowy rayon lycra blend knit from the imagine gnats shop.  It is so comfortable and airy…I know it will be in heavy rotation from my closet this summer!

Want to learn how to sew your own?  It’s really pretty simple.

We’re going to start by making the pattern:

  1. Grab your favorite t shirt and trace around it.  Fold the t shirt in half, tucking the sleeves underneath so you can just trace around the front of the shirt.  Do the same for the back.  Now maneuver the sleeves so you can trace around them.  I like to use two pencils held parallel to each other side by side when tracing to give myself a 3/8 inch seam allowance.
  2. Now extend the side seam and center fold lines for the pattern you just traced to make it the length you would like your dress to be.
  3. We are going to slash and spread the pattern to give this dress some swing.  Draw three lines from the bottom of your front dress piece, stopping at where your natural waist would be.  Cut the three lines, and spread the pattern apart.  The center fold line should remain straight and the spreading should extend the pattern out toward the side seam line.  Do the same for the back pattern piece.  Trace around this slashed and spread pattern and you now have your swing dress pattern.  The sleeves will remain the same.

Swing Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

Now it’s time to sew.

  1. Cut out your pattern.  I used 1.5 yards of fabric and barely had enough to squeeze the swing dress out of it. I would recommend having 2 yards just to be safe!
  2. Grab your front and back dress pieces.  Right sides together, sew the shoulders together.
  3. Right sides together, sew the sleeves.  You’ll have to ease the sleeves into the dress slightly stretching them to fit.
  4. Sew the side seams, right sides together.
  5. Add a neck band, there’s a great tutorial here on what size you should cut your neck band and how to sew it into your dress.
  6. Hem bottom of dress and finish sleeves.

Swing Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

Swing Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

Your swing dress is done and ready to be worn!  I hope you are enjoying summer…and staying cool!  If you need a little more summer dress inspiration, Melissa from Melly Sews has a great series of bloggers featuring 30 different sundresses.  They have been great!


Swing Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift