I have a feeling that fashion designers were watching The Wizard of Oz while designing spring lines, because gingham is *so* hot right now. It is without a doubt one of my favorite spring fashion trends, and making a gingham dress has been on my to-do list for a while. This outdoorsy print always makes me feel like going for a bike ride or setting up a picnic, with a matching picnic blanket of course!

As a disclaimer, this dress requires at least a basic knowledge of how to sew. If you’re totally new to sewing, I suggest checking out our Online Sewing Class first. Personally, I’m a beginner sewer (like, I know how to put an elastic waistband on something) and this dress was surprisingly easy. Just be sure to pick out a lightweight fabric so the dress doesn’t get too heavy. :)

Materials and Tools:

Step 1: Cut Your Dress Shape Out

First, make a circle with the fabric. Fold your fabric in half with the folded side at the top. Measure your chest and divide by four and add one. (For example, if your chest is 26 inches, you will end up with the number 7.5.) Mark that measurement at the top corner along the fold of the fabric. Mark that measurement down again along the other edge of the corner. Draw a curved line to connect the two points.

From each of the points, measure the length of how long you want your dress to be. I’m making mine 26 inches. Measure the dress length several times along the curved line. Connect those marks. Cut out two of these shapes. My measurements are on the diagram above.

Step 2: Sew the Dress Body

Sew the dress body by sewing the long edges of the two shapes together, good sides in, forming a funnel shape. Fold over the top at least half an inch and sew down, leaving a gap to thread in elastic.

Measure a piece of elastic around your chest. Thread in the elastic using a safety pin, then sew the two elastic ends together. Sew the gap close. Hem the skirt bottom.

Step 3: Make Sleeves

You’ll want to cut out a square for each sleeve. Measure the length of your bicep. Then, measure around your bicep and add 7-8 inches to it (you want the sleeves to be nice and flow-y). My square is 17 x 10 inches. Cut out two of these squares.

Sew a sleeve by sewing together the two short sides, good sides in, to form a tube. Hem one of the sides. Fold down the last raw edge at least half an inch down so that the elastic fits in and sew down, leaving a gap for the elastic. Repeat on second sleeve.

Step 4: Adding Elastic To The Sleeves

To add elastic to your sleeves, measure around your bicep and cut two pieces of elastic in that length. Feed the elastic through the opening on the sleeve with a safety pin. Sew the two edges of the elastic together and then sew the fabric opening close.

Step 5: Make Ties For The Sleeves

Make the ties for the sleeves by cutting out two 28 x 3-inch pieces. Fold them longways in half and sew the edges. Turn them inside out and stitch the short edges closed.

Place the straps on top of a sleeve at the bottom of the elastic. Add a couple of stitches by the bottom of the elastic to secure. Repeat on second sleeve. Tie the ties loosely around the sleeves.

Step 6: Attach Sleeves To Dress

Attach the sleeves of the dress by pinning the side seam of each sleeve to the top corners of the dress. Make a couple of stitches to secure the sleeves to the dress.

At this point, try on your dress and tailor to your liking. All done!

Olivia and her dog, Watson, totally brought it on set. They’re quite a pair, don’t you think?

Fashion Pro Tip: Always dress your dog like you.

Good dog!

Lookin’ sharp, you two!

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 DIY Production and Styling: Irene Lee
 Model: Olivia Hoang and Watson
 Photography: Chris Andre