Simple to Make Summer Dresses

By Elizabeth Tumbarello ; Updated September 15, 2017
A photo demonstrating the line of a classic, simple sundress

Simple to construct and easy to wear, sundresses in a variety of fabrics can make any girl or woman feel ladylike and simply elegant during summertime. Learning how to make your own sundresses does not take much effort or time, and the pattern can be altered for whatever occasion might occur. Different necklines and lengths add a different character to the dress and different fabrics can dress up or down the dress of your choice.

The Classic Sundress

Pattern for a basic sundress

A classic sundress can be made from any type of light- to medium-weight cotton. Cotton breathes and absorbs moisture, it is ideal for hot summer days. A sundress requires few measurements, so long as it fits at the bust, and skims over the hips with ease and ends somewhere between the knee and mid-calf. Straps can be omitted, but because of the nature of cotton to stretch out of shape with wear, they are recommended. An example pattern of an easy classic sundress is pictured.

Playing with Fabric Choices

Satin lends a whole new feel to the classic sundress

The fabric used in a summer dress can change the entire feel and purpose of the dress. Using satin would make a sophisticated dress suitable for an evening on the town. Patch-worked fabric might indicate a music festival outfit with a bohemian, free-spirited feel. Use heavier fabrics like twill or denim to lend the dress the durability needed to stand up to gardening or playing.

Playing with Color

Bright purple and black are uncommon, but striking, choices

The basic sundress has three parts, the main body, the bust circle, and the straps. These can all be the same color, or different colors. Experiment with different colors and textures to get exactly the right summer dress you want. For example, if you have a goth teenager at home the main body and straps of the dress can be made out of black cotton, while the bust circle can be made from luxurious jewel toned velvet. Changing elements and adding embellishments like applique or beading are also excellent ways to use up any scraps of fabric or supplies you may have.

Necklines and Hemlines

Necklines can add different personality to the dress

There are variations on the basic sundress pattern that can be made by making the hemline longer or shorter. A shorter dress is reminiscent of the 1960s daring fashion, where mini-skirts were all the rage. A longer dress is be more practical and modest for everyday wear. Common alternative necklines for sundresses are halter necklines, as well as V-necklines, although these require a more advanced knowledge of sewing to accomplish.

About the Author

Elizabeth Tumbarello has been writing since 2006, with her work appearing on various websites. She is an animal lover who volunteers with her local Humane Society. Tumbarello attended Hocking College and is pursuing her Associate of Applied Science in veterinary technology from San Juan College.