Two Hour Dress/Tunic

This is such an easy dress to make that it only takes 2 hours! I made it more than a year ago from fabric I bought at JoAnn's for $2 per yard. The fabric is a light weight knit without much stretch at all. The dress is really versatile. It can be worn alone or over pants and a shirt. The tie belt can also be tied just under the bust, at the waist or slung low at the top of the hips. The belt provides shape to the very loose fit, turning this sack style into a figure flattering dress. Using a belt to create shaping also saves a lot of sewing time. Just cinch it up and you're ready to go.

Below are my notes from when I made the dress. I measured a large, thin sweater to get estimate the size I wanted to make.

Below is a nice clean diagram of the pattern. I drew the lines on the fabric using chalk and a ruler. I cut two pieces, on the fold, one for the front and one for the back.
The steps are simple. Stitch front and back together at sides and shoulders. Finish neck, sleeves and bottom of skirt by turning fabric to wrong side and top stitching in place. Make the belt by cutting a length of fabric, folding it in half, stitching and turning. I made mine too long. I would aim for being able to wrap it around twice, tie it and still have dangling ends.

According to my notes, if I made it again, I would curve the underarm seam, shorten the sleeves and increase the length of the dress. I might also make the whole thing a little smaller around. As it is there are about five inches of ease at the bust (on me). It's so easy to make and to wear. I get so many compliments, it's definitely worth the time and effort.


  1. It looks great. I'm craving for simple dresses these days. I'll definitely add your pattern to my list. Thanx for sharing it.

  2. cute dress - and it looks so easy - good work!

  3. thanks for sharing, i'm itching to have a go at making some tunic style dresses to be worn over jeans.

  4. Thank you so much for these lovely, inspiring posts. I am a beginner sewer who came across your tutorials on a search for instructions on how to sew pleats. As I am a burgeoning writer/teacher living abroad with no budget to take sewing classes, I am so grateful for sites like yours, which share insight and instruction on how to hand craft beautiful things.

  5. Hello!
    I really like your how to and I was wondering if I could translate it in French and add it to my list of how to as explained in my french post (
    Of course, your website would be quoted and there would be a link!
    Thank you,

  6. Thanks for the great tutorial. I've posted a link to it in a summer tutorials post on my blog, The Handmade Experiment. Check it out at

    Thanks and have a great summer!

  7. great tutorial! Love the dress, nice fabric!!!!
    i am sure I am going to make one!

  8. I just finished making this! I did however make it a bit smaller (as I'm a short ass) and it came out rather well! I just made it out of white t-shirt fabric so I can wear it over jeans. I'll definitely have to make another few, thanks for the awesome tute! xxx

  9. very clear, especially with the pictures. thank you for the tute!


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