How to Make a Slip Dress

A slip dress is one of the most basic dress designs and can easily be sewn at home.
A slip dress is one of the most basic dress designs and can easily be sewn at home. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

The classic style of a slip dress will flatter many figures and can be an appropriate outfit for all types of social occasions. You'll need a basic knowledge of sewing to start your project, as well as a clean, empty table to work on and all your tools. Your dress can be casual or dressy, depending on what material you select and if you decide to add rhinestones, lace or other adornment to the finished product.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Pins
  • Tape measure
  • Dress pattern


Take your measurements or the measurements of the person the dress is for. You will need to measure the hips, waist and bust. These measurements will be used later when determining what size dress to make.

Select a slip dress pattern from a sewing store or an online pattern store. Match the measurements you took with an appropriate pattern size. Dress patterns will have a size and include a range of measurements that correspond with that size.

Purchase fabric for the dress. Pick a fabric that is easy to work with, such as cotton or rayon, if you are not used to dealing with delicate material.

Sew the dress

Remove the pattern from its packaging and pin it to the fabric. You will use the pattern as a guide.

Cut out the fabric along the lines of the pattern, removing the pins as you go along. A slip dress should only have two pieces - the front section and the back section. Make sure they match up.

Use a sewing machine to stitch the two pieces together. Try on the dress and make sure it fits. Adjust the length if desired by hemming the bottom portion.

Add any trim or beading if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pick a pattern that is designated for beginners if you haven't made a dress before. If your measurements fall into various sizes, pick a pattern that goes with the largest measurement. You can take in the other parts of the dress to fit. For example, if your hips measurement corresponds with a size 8 and the rest of your measurements fit a size 4, buy the size 8, sew it, and then take in the dress in the other areas until it fits.

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