Make a PANEL DRESS- free sewing pattern & tutorial

This is a pattern for a floor length panel dress with a bodice with a false placket.The panels give a good flare to the dress without adding bulk to the waist

panel dress sewing pattern

This pattern has raised waistline. Check out the post on different types of waistlines for more on this

Cut out the pattern pieces. 2 bodices – front and back bodice-  as per the pattern given below

panel dress pattern

First mark the length – the bodice ends at the smallest part of your body. So take the waist measurement there – it is usually just under the  bust.  You need to add 1: seam allowance as well

For me it is J-N = 15″

J-H = 1/2 of Shoulder to shoulder measure + 1/4 “
H-A= 1/2″( this is for a small shoulder slope)
J-C = 2″ ( this is the neck depth for the back neck; take as you need it)
J-L = 7.5″ /Armhole depth . Ref the table below)
K-L = 1/4 of bust round  +2″

Mark down straight from A – D on the line K-L. Mark 1″ diagonally to E
D-E = 1″

M-N = 1/4 of waist round + 1.5″ ( This is the bottom edge of the bodice)

To give a small curve mark up from M to  O = 1/2″

Take two fabric pieces length  and fold by half.

Cut out the back and front bodice same first as per the back bodice pattern. Then remove one piece and continue marking the front pattern on the remaining one.

panel dress pattern

Mark the front pattern as per the picture given below

panel dress pattern

Cut out the neck and armhole which are different from the back pattern

panel dress pattern

Cut out bias tape for neck binding (1″ wide and for length measure around the neckline back and front and add seam allowances) and a piece of fabric strip 10 inch long and 1.5 inch wide. This piece is for making a mock placket on the front bodice. You can attach small buttons or cloth buttons here.

make a panel dress - free sewing pattern

Make the mock placket

Take the fabric strip and press with a hot iron the side edges inside 1/4 inch on both long edges .

panel dress sewing pattern

Keep that on the front bodice on the center fold line

panel dress sewing pattern

Pin in place and stitch in place ( the white lines on the picture above)

panel dress sewing pattern

Join the shoulder seams – joining back bodice to front bodice

panel dress sewing pattern

Bind the neck with the bias binding strip. You should make a center fold and attach the edges along the neckline starting from the back

panel dress sewing pattern

Remember to make a fold when you start. This will give a turned inside edge rather than a raw edge

panel dress sewing pattern

Do not join the side seams now. Press everything neatly and cut the loose threads ( yeah, I havenot; good for you to notice)

panel dress pattern

Join Sleeves

Cut out the sleeve pieces. You can make any type of sleeves – checkout this post for drafting sleeves. Do not want to repeat myself.

Just remember that you need to get mirror image sleeve pieces – as the front and back sleeve lines are different. You can get this by keeping fabric pieces right sides together and marking the sleeves.

free pattern for panel dress

Keep the sleeve on top of the bodice ; right sides together aligning the center fold of the sleeve to the shoulder seam.

panel dress pattern

Stitch the edges  together. Trim the seam allowance and finish the edges inside. Finish the sleeve hem.

panel dress pattern

Sleeve is joined here

panel dress pattern

Skirt panels

Cut out the panels for the skirt piece as per the pattern below

panel dress sewing pattern

Take the side panels ( 2 Nos) and cut right through the middle so that you have 4 pieces now for the side panels

panel dress pattern

Join the center panel to the two other panels – look at the order below. The tapering sides should be to the outside. Make the back and front skirt panels like this


free panel dress pattern

You have two skirt pieces now. The back skirt and the front skirt

panel dress stitching pattern

Keep the skirt pieces folded by the center. You should cut off the top edge and bottom edge as per the picture below

panel dress pattern

Join the front skirt to the front bodice and back skirt to the back bodice

panel dress pattern

Join the side seams from the sleeve hem to the bottom edge in one go for both the sides. Do the hem as well.

Related posts

 cutting and stitching salwar kameez   Kaftan dress



Updated on September 16, 2022 by Sarina Tariq


Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

29 thoughts on “Make a PANEL DRESS- free sewing pattern & tutorial”

  1. Thank you for the above step by step guide. Just wanted to make sure whether the seam allowance is included in the pattern.

  2. Thank you Sarina, for your instant response.

    Shall follow the same measurement and make the dress.

    Thanks again.

  3. Hi Dear,
    Your pattern details are very good and understandble. Just one clarification that what is the ratio of measurement E-F & G-H. Found it is taken as 25″ in your pattern, will this change for other sizes.

  4. Never mind. I looked more carefully. It all looks like Greek at first. I am just a bit nervous to sew well. Thanks kindly.

  5. Greetings,
    I am new to sewing and love these patterns. However, I do not know how to alter the sizing for say a (US size 14/16) for example. Please advise.

  6. Hi Emelie
    This is not a downloadable pattern, sorry. You have to draft the pattern as in the picture given under the sentence

  7. “Cut out the pattern pieces. 2 bodices – front and back bodice- as per the pattern given below”
    I cannot find any pattern, where is it?

  8. Hi Kelaiah
    No downloadable pattern , sorry. you have to draft pattern with your measurements as I have done. Just take your body measurements and calculate as in the tutorial and cut fabric – easy peasy 🙂

  9. The skirt starts from the waist ( the smallest part of your torso where the bodice ends) to whichever length you want – I have taken till floor length, you can take anylength

  10. Thanks so much for the tutorial. It is quite explanatory for a beginner like me. The only thing I didn’t understand is how to apply the calculation for the skirt in cutting out the panels. Is skirt height same as the full length of a skirt? Thanks in anticipation for your reply.

  11. I was impressed as a beginner at 75yrs..I liked very much..Pls have more easy patterns..loved d tables that went with it…meaning if your bust is 40 then d front n back should b so many inches…very helpful

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