How to make a fit and flare dress

I am a huge fan of summer dresses. Really dresses of any type of sort, but as quickly as it starts gaining warm out I favor to whip out my favorite ‘pantsless’ outfits.

You watching: How to make a fit and flare dress

I wanted a pretty certain dress this year though, so instead of shopping online or trying on dozens of dresses in stores, I chose to make my own.

These instructions are for world of all eras and sizes bereason this dress does not call for a pattern.

Just make sure you have a measuring tape so you deserve to take your very own distinct measurements.

It can be made longer, in a different product, or by doubling the bust panel you deserve to make even more coverage in the back. That is the magic of a straightforward (yet beautiful) dress prefer this. It can be totally made to be your own unique piece.



Pattern Paper A sewing machine

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Step 1: Taking Measurements

Here are some measurements you will certainly need.

Bust Apex (the highest points on either side of the bust):

Armpit to the bottom of the ribs:

Bottom of the ribs x 1.5:


Draw this shape onto a piece of pattern paper.


Also measure from the apex to the bottom of your ribs:

Mark these points on your pattern paper by separating the distance between apexes in half and plotting them of either side of the direct center.

Make certain they are only as much away from the bottom of your ribs as your measured.

These spots will be your dart tips so make certain they are noted accordingly.


Your darts must be ¼” for every 5 inches lengthy your bust panel is. That would certainly make each of my darts 1 inch. So I am going to make a notch ½” inch from either side of the line I just drew.


Cut the bust panel out of the pattern paper.

True the darts by folding down the center line of the dart and making sure the notches line up.

Also meacertain the distance about your waist and also the size that you want the skirt to be from your bottom ribs.

Tip 2: Cutting the fabric

Always pre-wash and iron your fabric

Use the pattern paper to reduced out the bust of your dress.

Cut two strap pieces that are 3 x 60” each.

Also reduced out two panels for your skirt. Each panel need to be 1.5 x the width of your waist by the size of the skirt plus ½” to each measurement for seam allowance. If you desire your dress to have actually more body, cut these pieces so that the bottom edge is 1-5 inches broader than the top edge.

Also, reduced 2 1 x 3″ strips of towel for strap loops.

Lastly, cut out 4 pocket pieces. For details, view our how to add pockets tutorial.

Tip 3: Make your darts

Sew your darts into the bust of your dress. For even more indevelopment, check out our exactly how to sew darts tutorial for details.

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Tip 4: Attach the straps

Fold in the optimal edge of the bust panel ¼” and sew.

Fold the straps in half-size wise and also clip. Sew up the open edge and also turn the strap ideal side out with the Dritz loop turner. Do this to both straps.

Make sure as soon as you sew the straps on, not to sew them down.

Take the 1x3” strips of fabric and repeat that same procedure.

With the smaller sized strips, sew them 1/4” ameans from the bottom seam and the edge of the bust panel. Make sure they lay pretty flesh versus the product. This will offer you the choice to tie the strap behind your back.

Then pin the straps along the edges of the bust panel so the excess towel is all dealing with in the direction of height of the dress. This will certainly become 2 adjusteady straps that you deserve to tie all different ways. Sew the straps along the inner edge. I inserted by bust panel so it was in line via the strap seam.

Tip 5: Sew the skirt panels through pockets

Now move to the skirt panels. Pin and also then sew 1/2” channels to the top of the earlier piece and ¼” channels to the bottom edges of both pieces.

Also add box pleats to the front panel the exact same distance acomponent as your darts. If you’ve never before made box pleats, see our How to Make Box Pleats tutorial for full instructions.

Also include a few even more pleats so that the width of the panel is around the same as the bottom of the front panel. I finished up with 4 pleats, yet you could have even more or less depending upon just how huge you decide to make them.

Now decide exactly how much down you would choose your pockets to be and mark then pin and also sew the pocket pieces to the skirt panels too. Make certain you are sewing the right panels to the ideal sides so that they will match up once you carry all the pieces together.

Step 6: Add elastic

Take a piece of elastic that as soon as extended gently is slightly much longer than your back ribs.

Attach a security pin to both ends and also string one end through the channel you just made in the optimal of the back piece.

Sew the ends of the elastic ¼” away from the edge of the panel on both sides.

Step 7: Sew the pieces together

Clip together the bust panel and the front panel with appropriate sides dealing with. Make sure the bust is centered on the piece so the pleats and also darts enhance up. Sew with a quarter inch seam allowance.

Now clip the ago side of the skirt to the front with appropriate sides facing. Make sure the pockets are lined up and sew dvery own the side seams and also about the pockets.

Step 8: Alterations

Try on the dress and also make certain whatever fits ideal. My dress necessary a couple of minor alterations that I hopetotally was able to minimize for you after making a couple of trials of this garment.

The most important one was the placement of the loops that you are able to tie the straps through on the earlier. I sewed these closed two times, even though I kbrand-new to be mindful of them. So if you make that mistake, don’t be discouraged.

I also placed my pockets to low. This was completely my negative and I was just not paying attention.

Lastly, I added a small Dritz Fray Check on some of the seams so they did not fray. This is entirely optional however it did help me a lot because linen frays badly. You could likewise surge or reduced the seams with pinking sheers.

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Beyond that take your time and also you will have a beautiful dress for years to come.

Want to understand what the perfect summer apparel fabric is?

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