How to Make Long Sleeved Dresses

Choose comfortable material for your long-sleeved dress.
Choose comfortable material for your long-sleeved dress. (Image: dress image by sasha from

Trying to find a long-sleeved occasion dress in the spring or summer is like looking for a needle in a haystack. To ease this stress, many people choose to sew their own dresses. Whether for a prom, a banquet or just a day out, there are patterns for just about any type of long-sleeved dress and most are quite affordable.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Pattern
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Fabric pen
  • Fabric scissors

Choose a pattern for your dress. (See Resources)

Pick the material you'd like for your dress. Depending on the season, you may choose materials such as cotton, rayon, silk, polyester or satin.

Choose the suggested amount of fabric for your size. Suggested fabric measurements should be located on the back of your pattern package.

Purchase the sewing thread and make sure to keep the color close to the color of the fabric. Depending on the design, you may also choose to include a zipper, buttons or lace.

Thread the sewing machine. All machines are different, so follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to do this.

Open the pattern, and cut out your size. If you wear an odd size like 11 or 13, you may want to cut out a size smaller or a size larger, since certain dress patterns do not come in odd sizes.

Lay the pattern over the fabric. Use straight pins to pin the pattern to the fabric. Make sure you fold the fabric as instructed on the pattern.

Cut around the pattern using fabric scissors. If you feel you will not be able to make a proper cut, use a white fabric pencil to trace around the pattern. Remove the straight pins and the pattern, then cut directly along the white outline.

Cut the sleeve outlines from the pattern and pin them over the folded fabric. Before cutting out the size for your sleeves, use measuring tape to measure the circumference of the widest part of your arm. Trace the pattern and cut accordingly.

Sew the dress according to the instructions on the pattern and your sewing machine manufacturer's instructions. Attach the sleeves when instructed.

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