A simple and stylish dress is a great garment-sewing project for a beginner to start with. While it may seem overwhelming to sew an entire dress from scratch, it’s actually quite simple. With this step-by-step tutorial, sewing a Sleeveless Circle Skirt Dress is easy and fun! We will be using the free Dress Pattern from The Littlest Studio for this tutorial. This pattern is used for crafting a fashionable dress that has a sleeveless bodice and full circle skirt. It’s a beginner-friendly sewing project that will be a great addition to your wardrobe, or a gift for loved one.
Here are the supplies you’ll need to stitch up this stylish dress.
Before You Start
First, download and print out the sewing pattern. Assemble the pages of the bodice pattern by matching up the lines of the pattern and the numbered circles, along the edges of the papers. Tape the bodice pattern together. Then cut out both bodice pattern pieces, and the circle skirt pattern piece. Next, prewash your fabric. Finally, cut one bodice front piece on the fold, two bodice back pieces, and one circle skirt piece.
To cut the circle skirt, first fold the piece widthwise, then again lengthwise. Place the skirt pattern piece with the upper edge, along the fabric edge with 2 folds, and then pin it in place. Measure out and mark the desired length of your skirt on the skirt pattern. Repeat this measuring and marking process all the way from one side of the fabric to the other. Finally, cut along the marked hemline and the upper curved edge of the pattern piece.
You’re ready to start sewing!
How To Sew A Dress
STEP 1 Pinning The Center Back
Start by lining up the two bodice back pieces, with their right sides together. Carefully align them along the long straight edge. Pin the pieces together along this edge.
STEP 2 Stitching The Center Back
Once pinned, take the combined, bodice back pieces to your sewing machine or serger. Overlock or zigzag stitch the long, straight center back seam with a ¼ inch seam allowance.
STEP 3 Pinning The Bodice Front To The Bodice Back
Press the center back seam to one side with your clothes iron. Next, place the bodice front piece on the bodice back piece with their right sides together. Line them up along the shoulder and side seams. Pin both of the shoulder seams, and both side seams, together.
STEP 4 Stitching The Bodice Front To The Bodice Back
Use a serger, or zigzag stitch on a sewing machine, with a ¼ inch seam allowance to stitch the shoulder and side seams.
STEP 5 Cutting Elastic For The Shoulder And Side Seams
Next, we need to add ¼ inch wide elastic to the shoulder and side seams. This gives the seams more stability and durability and will help prevent them from getting stretched out of shape. Cut two pieces of elastic to match the length of the shoulder seams, and two more pieces to match the length of the side seams.
STEP 6 Adding The Elastic To The Shoulder And Side Seams
Using a serger or sewing machine, overlock or zigzag stitch the cut pieces of elastic onto the seam allowances for both of the shoulder and side seams. Make sure to not stretch the elastic as you sew, as this can create puckering. Once all four pieces of elastic have been sewn onto the shoulder and side seams, press each seam towards the bodice back.
STEP 7 Notching The Skirt Waistline
You can now set aside the bodice for a moment, as we now will notch the waistline of the skirt. Make a small notch, less than ¼ inch deep, through each layer of fabric at both sides of the folded skirt waistline. In total, you should have 4 notches. Once the skirt is unfolded, the notches should be evenly spaced around the waistline of the skirt.
STEP 8 Quartering The Bodice Waistline
Next, we need to evenly quarter the waistline of the bodice. Fold the bodice so that the side seams are aligned at the center. Place a sewing pin in the center of the fold, at either side of the bodice. One pin will be marking the center front and the other will be marking the center back.
STEP 9 Placing The Bodice Inside The Skirt
Next, turn the bodice right side out. Then slide it upside down, into the waistline of the skirt. The waist of the bodice should be facing towards the top, and the bodice and skirt pieces should have their right sides positioned together.
STEP 10 Pinning The Bodice To The Skirt At The Quarter Points
Slide the bodice down into the skirt, so that the waistline of the bodice is even with the waistline of the skirt. Match up the side seams, center front pins, and back pins in the bodice with their corresponding notches in the skirt. Pin the bodice to the skirt at these four points.
STEP 11 Pinning The Waistline
At this time, add additional pins between each quarter-point pin, to secure the skirt waist edge to the bodice.
STEP 12 Stitching The Waist Seam
Next, sew the skirt around the waist seam to the bodice piece. Use a ¼ inch seam allowance on a serger with an overlock stitch, or a sewing machine with a zigzag stitch.
STEP 13 Adding Elastic To The Waist Seam
To finish off the waist seam, stitch a ¼ inch elastic to the seam allowance for stabilization. Since this is a rounded seam, it is easier to stitch the elastic into the seam before cutting it. During this process stop sewing when the elastic overlaps the seam by about 1 inch. Then, simply trim the excess elastic away close to your stitching. When finished, press the waist seam allowance up towards the bodice.
STEP 14 Finishing The Edges
Now let’s finish the raw edges of the dress. First, overlock or zigzag stitch along all of the raw edges of the dress with your serger or sewing machine.
STEP 15 Turning Under And Topstitching The Edges
Once the edges have been finished, turn the armhole, neckline, and hemmed edges to their wrong sides, and fold them by ¼ inch. The fold should pass the overlock or zigzag stitches that were made from your serger or sewing machine. Next, topstitch along each folded edge by using a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. Rather than pressing and pinning these edges in advance, it’s faster and easier to just turn under the edge before it passes through the sewing machine.
STEP 16 Giving The Dress A Final Press
Once all the edges have been finished, press the entire dress with your clothes iron. In the event that slight puckering is visible because you accidently stretched some fabric while sewing it, don’t worry. By focusing on those areas with a clothes iron, you can probably flatten out any visible blemishes.
As we have learned, stylish dresses are fun and easy to sew. By using only a few materials, you can craft your own chic and comfortable, Sleeveless Circle Skirt Dress. This dress will be sure to turn heads, keep you warm, and feel comfortable against your skin. Be sure to visit our dress fabric collection to see, get inspired by, and shop all of our colorful Dress fabric by the yard. If you haven’t already, thread your needles and start sewing!