Our favourite part of summer is undoubtedly going to the beach, but we have another favourite thing too that comes in a very close second place! It’s a simple pleasure that not many other people might think of quite as highly as we do, but every single year it gives us a bit of simple joy. What is it that we love so much, you ask? Well, we just can’t help but love getting to wear cutely comfortably, coolly airy summer dresses! Believe it not, however, there’s actually something that’s even a little bit better than just wearing a new summer dress- wearing a new summer dress that you made yourself!
Whether you prefer altering clothing that already existed or sewing yourself garments from scratch, we’ve got a pattern here for you. Check out these 15 adorable summer dress tutorials and sewing patterns that will keep you looking cute and feeling comfortable all summer long!
1. Simple shirt dress
Is your style a little more casual than some and, in other seasons, you’ve always loved the look of a simple blouse style top with little buttons and a neat collar? Then you might feel a little bit discouraged looking at a lot of DIY summer dresses because many of them are quite floral, lacy, and girly, not just in their material and colour, but in their cut and actual design. Lucky for us, Randomly Happy is here to show us all how to make a dress shirt style summer dress with a casual, comfortable fit. We love the idea of making this smart style in a really attention grabbing pattern or colour!
2. Hand painted front-zip lemon dress
We’ve always loved the idea of zipping dresses. Some people might find them a little too casual for anything but the beach, but we think that they’re stunning if you dress them up right. “Dressing” your dressing up, however, doesn’t have to mean just pairing it with the right accessories. Instead, why not try your hand at painting a pattern onto your dress, just like Merrick’s Art did here? We think their hand painted lemon idea is bright, summery, and adorable, but we also think that’s only the beginning. The visual possibilities are endless when you’re painting your own material!
3. DIY kimono sun dress
We’ve always very much appreciated the lovely wrapping style of a kimono. Besides looking pretty with the tie around the middle, we love the way the material wraps around and hugs all our curves. We think kimono dresses are flattering on any body type, and they’re also a huge DIY bonus because they’re relatively easy to make yourself! Freckles in April guides you through the process of making a lovely little kimono dress in whatever material or pattern you like best.
4. Ruffled top sun dress
Perhaps you’ve been looking for a simple, solid sun dress that’s rather subtle in its visual design but still has a bit of detail to keep things stylish? Then we definitely think you should check out this adorable ruffle top dress from Brit Creates! We love the way the cascade of ruffled material slips elegantly off the shoulders without making things look too fancy or intricate.
5. Swinging caftan dress
Kaftan dresses are an awesome style because they’re incredibly comfortable and you look stylish even though all you’ve had to do is throw them on and walk out the door! Perhaps, however, you’re looking for something similar to a kaftan but with maybe just a touch more fitting to it? In that case, you might appreciate this kaftan inspired swing dress pattern from Riva La Diva. This one keeps things fitted at the top around your shoulders for some shape but flares out into a more classically draping kaftan style towards the bottom of the skirt.
6. Pretty strapless summer dress
Perhaps you’ve been looking for something very simple in its style and shape so you can make it from a loud, attention grabbing fabric without having the style look too over the top? Then we’ve found a great option for you! This simple, pretty dress from Makezine sits strapless just below your collar bone and cinches in slightly at the waist, giving you a nice fit without detracting any attention away from whatever fun colour or pattern you choose fabric-wise!
7. Pleated beach dress
When we hear the term “beach dress”, we automatically think of terrycloth beach covers that feel like you’re wearing a towel. These can be cute, but they’re not always the most stylish garments in the world for occasions where you’d actually prefer a beach dress. In those scenarios, try something comfortable but cute instead, like this stylish pleated pattern from Merrick’s Art. They’re so easy to make that we’ve done more than one, choosing different bright fabrics each time so that each one is unique.
8. Easy swing dress
If our perusing of both fashion and DIY blogs is anything to go by, then one of this year’s biggest trends is the “swing” dress, and we’re very pleased about that! A swing dress is one that has a lot of pretty material and movement in the skirt because it’s made from a full circle of fabric that’s been left to hang down in pretty folds. That might sound intimidating to make, but we think you’ll actually be surprised at how simple it is! Find out how it’s done on Sewing Rabbit.
9. Simple boat neck dress
Perhaps your sewing skills are a touch more advanced and you’re looking to make yourself a dress from scratch, but in a classic style that looks just like something you’d find in the store? The beauty of being able to make garments that look perfectly store bought is that you can mimic what’s stylish right now but do so in the fabrics, colours, and patterns of your choosing rather than being limited to just the options available on the rack. That’s exactly what Melly Sews did here with this lovely boat neck style dress!
10. Swing dress with sleeves
Are you still very intrigued by the idea of a swing dress, but they styles we’ve shown you so far just aren’t quite doing it for you? Then here’s a pretty alternative for you! This version of the swing dress has 3/4 length sleeves rather than being sleeveless, and it’s also full swing, without a cinch at the waist, letting you really take advantage of all that pretty free movement. Get more info on how to make this one happen at Merrick’s Art.
11. Lace top summer dress
We’ve talked about a number of very simple solid fabric designs up until this point for those who aren’t into dresses with lots of fancy bells and whistles, but what if a bit of pretty intricate detail is actually exactly what you’re looking for? In that case, this pattern from Lula Louise might be the one for you! While the bodice and skirt of this design are quite classic, the top around the shoulders is purely lace for a lovely feminine look.
12. Lace skirt to strapless dress
Perhaps you’re not quite confident enough in your sewing skills just yet to make yourself something from scratch but you’re very into the idea of making a new sun dress yourself? Then try transforming another garment that you already own instead! Studio Waterstone suggests turning a lace maxi skirt into a cute short summer dress in just a few short steps, which their tutorial outlines for you quite nicely!
13. Simple t-shirt cut out dress
Are you in love with the idea of making yourself a new dress and you’re open to altering something rather than starting from scratch, but all you’ve got to work with is a big t-shirt? Well, never fear, because believe it or not, you’ve actually got just about everything you need! Molly Anne Bailey guides you step by step through the process of making a cute cut-out dress from a simple long t-shirt.