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A DIY Swing Dress with Bow Ties Sewing Tutorial

September and October can be tricky months for fashion. Everyone gets excited because the official start of Fall arrives, but it’s usually too hot to pull out sweaters and boots. Pastel and bright colored Summer clothing somehow feels inappropriate, so you need a few pieces that are both Fall themed and acceptable for a surprise 85-degree day.

In this case, a good dress is always the perfect item to add to your closet. This one is a simple swing shape, making it the most comfortable thing on the planet, while also having a cute bow tie detail on the shoulders. This trend appeared over the Summer and continued to be shown at New York fashion week this September. Worn with flats for a casual day of shopping or dressed up with booties and jewelry, this dress is great for so many occasions and will be a favorite piece for Fall!

The great thing about this dress, too, is that you can remove the bows if you don’t feeling like wearing them or to wash the dress. All you need to construct the perfect pattern for this dress is a tank top – it couldn’t be simpler!


Difficulty: EASY



    Start by folding your fabric in half so it is 1 yard wide. Fold a loose-fitting tank top in half and place it on the folded edge of the fabric. Trace around the tank top with pins about ½” around the tank top lines and then continue extending the length of the tank top down and out to create a swing dress shape. I made the total length of my dress 40” long. This will be the FRONT piece. Repeat to make the BACK pieces. They will not be cut along the folded edge of the fabric, so you will have to pin along the folded side of the tank top as well to end up with two pieces. Cut out your FRONT and BACKs.

      With your main dress pieces cut, pin the straight edge of the BACK pieces together and sew along this seam.

      Place the BACK on top of the FRONT (right sides of the fabric touching) and sew along the tops of the shoulders and the sides of the body about ½” from the edge of the fabric.

      Fold the edges of the arm holes back about ½” and sew about ¼” from the edge of the fabric. Turn the dress right side out.

      To finish the neck, cut out a piece of fabric that lines up with the edge of the neck and extends about 2” outward. Do the same for the back of the neck and sew these pieces ¼” from the edge of the fabric. Also, sew the edges of the neck pieces together at the shoulders. Fold the fabric to the inside of the dress and sew along the entire neck line about ¼” from the edge of the fabric. Trim any excess fabric on the backside of the dress.

      To create the bows, cut two rectangles from the remaining fabric that are 45” long by 4” tall.

      Fold the rectangles in half and sew along the long end ¼” from the edge of the fabric. 

      Turn each of the rectangles right side out, turn the short ends inwards, and sew along the entire outer edge about ¼” from the edge.

      Finish the dress by tying the bows around the shoulders and hemming the dress to your desired length by folding the edge of the fabric back about 1” and sewing ¾” from the edge of the fabric.



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