Updated on July 26, 2022 by Sarina
How to sew an Off the shoulder Tunic Dress
Step 1 Cut out the pattern pieces as per the pattern given below .
Fold 2 fabric pieces for the bodice of length 43 inches by the center and mark the following measurements and cut it out – you will get the front and back pieces
Cut out the two sleeves as per the pattern given below. If you have heavy arms increase the width of upper sleeves
Step 2 Join the sleeves and the bodices
Join the armhole seams of the sleeves and bodice pieces to form the whole dress
Step 3 Make the ruffle /frill
Measure the top edge of the bodice you have made- the whole circumference which will come around your shoulder.
Take the fabric for the ruffle. You need to either fold a 28 inch fabric piece two times or take 2 pieces ( 28 inch long and 14 inch wide) two times. Mark as given below – ie you will be marking as for making a circle skirt, taking the measure you have taken around the shoulders as the circumference.
I got two pieces of fabric which I joined together to form a doughnut shape. If you took one 28 inch square you have the full doughnut. This has to be finished – sew the outer edge of this piece with a hemmer foot or make a small baby hem
Step 4 Keep the ruffle and the top edge together and join.
First the dress is kept wrong side outside. The frill is then kept wrong side outside on top of the dress.Keep the edges together all along the top- pin if needed – sometimes you may have some extra on the ruffle – make small gathering stitches or make small folds to accomodate this or adjust the seam. This will be invisible when you add elastic
After you sew the top edges together, trim the seam, clip all over the edge every one inch.
Turn to the right side and you have the frill for the off-shoulder dress.
Step 5 Make casing for elastic
Measure across your body where the top edge of the dress will be with the elastic – the fit should be snug.Cut the elastic with this measure.
Sew a stitching line 1/2 inch from the edge all along the top edge – 1 inch should be left unstitched for inserting the elastic. This is your casing for the elastic. Insert the 1/4 inch elastic through this casing – the length of the elastic should be the measure across your shoulder – the elastic should be stretched as you measure.
Step 6 Hem the sleeve
Turn under the fabric edge of the sleeve 1/4 inch first and then 1/2 inch and stitch in place.
This serves as a hem as well as a casing for your elastic. Measure the arm round with the elastic to know the length of elastic you should use.
Step 7 Sew the side seam
Starting from the sleeve hem sew the side seam for both the sides.
Stop 10 inches from the hem for both sides – this will be a slit ( if you do not want a slit continue sewing till the hem)
Step 8 Sew the hem of the dress
Because the hem is curved you need to create a baby hem – this is a simple turned hem made in two steps. First you trun the edge 1/4 inch and sew very close to the fold . After sewing trim the excess fabric very close to the stitching line as you can see in the picture below
Then again turn the fabric once more (1/4 inches again) and sew the hem close to the turn (not the fold)
Step 9 Sew the slit
Now you have to finish the slit – from the inside turn the seam allowance twice and stitch
Step 10 Make a Sash
For tightening the waist and giving the dress a little shape you can make a sash with fabric left over. You need 1.5 meters long fabric which is about 5 inches wide. Make the sash like you would a fabric tube.
Related post : How to tie a sash bow for your dress.