Make an A-line dress {Free Sewing Pattern & Tutorial}

A line is a dress silhouette which suits almost everybody.There is no end to the way you can use this silhouette to design your own clothes. Just browse the photos given at the end of this post to see the variations and versatility of this style.

The pattern given here gives you an A line dress which is half sleeved and has darts at the waist taking in the extra and a front open placket .

You can alter the pattern to make it suit your bodyshape – like add a puffy sleeve or long sleeves or  make it knee length or change the neckline to a deep V or make it in a single colour or pattern or add a fabric bow( which you can make following this tutorial for 7 types of fabric bows) or eliminate the front placket altogether. If you are new to sewing checkout this post for learning lots of sewing tips and techniques

2 sewing patterns for Aline dresses

Related posts :Checkout the pattern and tutorial to sew a variation of this dress – sew a flare dress with bell sleeves. or this simple dress sewing pattern with square neck and flared skirt or the easy to make sundress pattern

flare dress free pattern   sundress pattern

Method 1 A simple A line Dress

how to sew an aline dress

Step 1 

Fold 2 pieces of fabric  by the center ( For each of the fabric piece – length should be equal to length of dress you want +2″ and width equalling your hip round for a glood flare)

Make pattern as below. 

stitching aline dress free

hhow to make aline dress

A-B = Length + 2″

A-C = Neck width = 3″ or 3.5″

C-D = Front neck depth -6 -6.5″ ( If you are using a facing following the tutorial here  and donot cut the neck width or the neck depth on the fabric as this will be cut on the facing piece. ) Check out the different types of neck designs, as many as 60 you can use for your Aline dress. 

neckline types designs

A-K = 2″ = Back depth 

A-F = 1/2 of shoulder to shoulder + 1/4 inch

F-L = 3/4 inch ; this is for shoulder slope

From point –  F on shoulder tip mark down 3/4 inch to point L (  1/2 inch for kids) Give the shoulder slope by joining the line C-L.

K-N = 3/4 Inch

Mark A-E  which is the armhole depth or the bustline – as per table or 7.5″ for adults. This is the bust line. E-G is marked on this line

Bust measurement inchesArmhole depth

286 3/4
306 3/4
347 1/4
367 1/4
387 1/4
407 1/2
427 1/2

Draw straight line down from F so that it intersects with line E-G  . 

E-G = 1/4 * bust round + 1/2 inch ease

A-H = Waist length

P-H = 1/4 * waist round + 1/2 inch

B-M = 1/4 * waist round + 1/2 inch

Add 1 inch seam allowance along G-P-M

Mark the armholes

Back armhole  – Where the lines from F & G intersected (name it K ) go outside ( measure the distance between G& K and divide by two) . Mark the point as X . Make a curved shape of the armhole from L-X-G – this is the back sleeve line.

To mark the front sleeve line  Mark from K to the inside 3/4 inch for adults and 1/2 inch for kids. Mark this point as N . Draw up a straight line to L . From N Go outside 3/4 inches diagonally to Y as shown in the diagram. L-Y-G is the front armhole line

Draw a soft curved line touching Y from L to G – This is the front sleeve line.

This is the back piece which is cut on both the pieces


aline dress free sewing pattern

Remove one of the pieces and mark the front armhole and the neckline on the remaining piece

aline dress stitching pattern

Step 2

Join the shoulder seams of front and back bodice with a 1/2 inch seam allowance

Step 3

You can finish the neckline with a simple facing or make piping like I have done here.Checkout the post on facing pattern for more details on making facing for the neckline.

Piping – Make a piping for binding the neckline and armhole with a bias tape. Measure around the neckline and the armhole lines to cut the piping fabric.

Checkout this post on piping for more details on how to make and sew them

dress sewing pattern

Stitch the piping on to the neckline with a zipper foot. Align the cut edge of the neckline and piping cut edge. Start from the center of the  back bodice. 

dress sewing pattern - aline

When you reach the back over lap the ends like below so that you will get an almost seamless line. 

aline dress sewing pattern

Turn the piping to the other side and top stitch the piping in place. For the neckline I would clip the piping seam allowance to make sure that the piping stretches and press in place. Hand stitch the piping edges to the bodice with whip stitches. 

Step 5

Join the side seams and do the hem.


Method 2 Aline dress with front open placket


a line dress pattern

Mark the measurements either directly on to fabric or make a paper pattern. Checkout the post on cutting fabric for more details. If you donot know how to read a tape measure or take your own measurements read the posts before proceeding.


A – B – Shoulder to waist +1″ Measure from the shoulder bone to the narrow part of your torso
A- D -neck width
Check the neck width table and armhole depth table given below for A-D & A-J ; You can also take this measurement from a favourite top or dress you already own. Neck depth of back neck and front neck are personal preferences.
A-J – Armhole depth
J-I – Bust round/4 + 1.5 “
A-H – Total Shoulder /2 + 1/4″

G-H – 1/2″ –  Give a slope to the shoulder from the top edge to H
C-B – Waist round /4 + 2″

D-F – Back neck depth
D-E- Front neck depth

The front neck depth I have taken 7″ from D-E & Back neck dept 3″ from D-F

For the back neck line square down from H to the bust line at K . Then mark up diagonally 1″ . Join I-H through this point. This is the back armhole line.

Mark the armhole as follows – Square down from H to the armhole depth line you have drawn at J-I . Go up 1″ from K to L. Join I-L-H. This is the back armhole as shown in the picture as red

For the front armhole Mark 3/4 ” inch inside from K inside at M . Mark up 1″ diagonally to N. Join H-N-I as the front armhole line


Make sleeve pattern following the drafting tutorial here.  There are more than 40 types of sleeves you can make for your bodice . Check it out if you are interested

The skirt pieces (2 numbers)  should be cut out as per the diagram below. Please note that you can make the whole dress in one piece of fabric without the joint if you want the full dress in one fabric – just combine the patterns and cut.

The length is as per your preference – just measure from the waist to whatever length you want . I have taken a 36 inch length so when you take the back piece as well you need 68 inches of cloth which is about 2 meters ( 2.2 yard) 



How to sew the Aline dress

Step 1

Cut out the pieces for the bodices and the skirt pieces and the sleeve pieces.

Fold the fabric by half lengthwise first and then by half again width wise. This is so that you can mark the front and back pieces together. If you are sewing with a slippery fabric or a sheer fabric you may want to cut in single layers

Mark the pattern markings. Cut out through the back pattern markings especially back neck, back armhole line. Take off the inside fabric and keep it aside – that is now the back pattern. Then cut the front neck and armhole line on the remaining fabric piece and you will now be having the front bodice pattern – easy right?

I am using a lining for the bodice part – infact it is an underlining which is treated the same as the main fabric . You can baste along the armholes and diagonally with long basting stitches with a hand needle and thread so that they stay in place without slipping.


To cut the skirt pieces I folded the 2 meter cloth by half first and then folded them widthwise . Marked the measurements – basically just one measurement at the waist which is the same as B-C in the bodice pattern  – for the bottom edge I have taken the whole width. I had a 45 inch cloth so took 22 inches for each folded side. If you have  60 inch cloth you will get more flare. I rounded the edge by going up some 3 inches otherwise it will hang down awkwardly. 


I also cut out the neck line for the front and back bodice pieces – If I was joining facing I would not have cut out the neckline now. 


Step 2

Make the front button placket for the front bodice.You can easily make the placket with a single piece of fabric .

Just follow the directions given below – it is the same directions as I have given in the post on 3 ways to make a placket.


Mark a parallel line 2 centimeters to the right on the bodice – ie as you look at it on the right side of the center line- white line in the picture below the measurement of the line is 6.5 inches . Mark 1/4 inch from the top edge on the same line on the right side 

Mark the center fold line of the bodice


Prepare the placket facing
1. Cut out placket facing measuring 6 5/8 inch width ( 5/8 translates to 1.5 cms I find it easier to mark 1.5 cms after I have marked the 6 inches) and 8 3/4 inch length
2. Cut out an interfacing strip 3 inch wide and 7 inch long.


Fuse the interfacing to the placket fabric 1″ from the left side edge

how to sew placket

Mark a line on the center of the interfacing strip, 1/2 inch from the top edge . The line should be 6 inches long

Mark two lines parallel to this center line on either side 1/16 inches from the center line . These lines should stop 1/4 inch from the bottom end of the center line and join the center in a tapered line


how to sew plackets

Keep the placket facing interfacing side up on the bodice, placket extending 1/2 inches from the top edge , the long marked lines aligning correctly. pin in place
Stitch the placket to the bodice along the parallel lines you have drawn on either side of the center line. When you reach the tapered bottom edge, reduce the stitch length. Be careful that you donot waver from the drawn lines.

Cut through the center. Use sharp scissors and stitch to the absolute end but make sure that the stitching line is not cut.


Turn the facing to the back of the bodice.
Finger press everything in place

Fold the placket facing on the left side, turned inside. Pin in place

Stitch the placket. This is better done from the top.The placket will extend a little to the top ( just for safety). You can cut it off on level with the bodice neckline when sewing the neckline.



how to make placket

Step 3

Join the bodice to the skirt piece for both front and back. Finish the fabric edges


Step 4

Join the shoulders



Step 5

Join the sleeves. Skip this if you are going sleeveless and bind the armholes as well. 



Step 6

Bind the neckline edge. You can checkout the post on bias binding on learning how to do it. I have used a double folded bias tape to bind the neckline. You have to measure around the neckline and then add 1″ for folding – this is the length you need for the bias tape. It is wise to cut bias binding tape some 2 inches more to be safe.Finish the insides with a whip stitch on the inside. 

Step 7

Join the side seams. Make sure that the stitching line is aligned properly. 

a line dress sew

Step 8

Make the darts. I Marked equal distance from the side seams on the inside , pinched 1/2 inches ( total take in 2 inches; reduce this if you donot want fitting near the waist ) and then stitched the seam near the joining of bodice and the skirt – very unscientific way of sewing darts I know but does the work.

If you want loose fitting dress donot make the darts – simple.

Step 9

Hem the dress. Use a narrow hem .To get the narrow hem I folded the hem once 1/4 inches inside and stitched along the edge. 

hem an aline dress

a line dress

Then trimmed the edge close to the stitching line 

a line dress hem

Turn the hem again and stitch the hem . 


Step 10

Attach hooks and eye on the placket.If you donot know how to, checkout the 5 ways you can attach the hook and eye  .You can also attach buttons with buttonholes.

Please share with your friends  if you like the instructions 🙂 

Checkout the neckwidth and neck depth table and the armhole depth table you can use as reference.

Bust MeasurementNeck width ( inches)Neck depth (inches)
242 1/44
262 1/44 1/2
282 1/25
302 1/25 1/2
322 1/26
342 3/46 1/2
362 3/47
Bust measurement inchesArmhole depth

286 3/4
306 3/4
347 1/4
367 1/4
387 1/4
407 1/2
427 1/2

All the pictures given below are variations of the Aline silhouette.Please share with your friends  if you like the instructions 🙂