DIY Sleeveless A-Line Dress with Square Neckline | How to make a sleeveless dress

Posted by Kokka Fabrics on

DIY sleeveless a-line dress

Want a sewing project perfect for the summer months? Then look no further than this sewing tutorial! We have documented the exact steps we took to make this charming sleeveless A-line dress with a square neckline, made with our Flownny Poppy 100% cotton lawn.

In this tutorial, we'll show you the materials we used, the prep work we did, the cutting of the fabric, and then how we pieced all parts of this dress together to make it into the finished dress. Follow along with our step-by-step guide below and make your own sleeveless dress!

How to make a sleeveless A-line dress with a square neckline

Preparations before Cutting and Sewing

Required Fabric & Materials

Materials: Flownny Poppy Cotton Lawn - KOKKA Original Design in color B (White x Blue)

  • Front Bodice (1 piece): 21.5” x 16.5” (H)
  • Back Bodice (2 pieces): 11 “ x 16.5” (H)
  • Front Skirt (1 piece): 30” x 22.5” (H)
  • Back Skirt (2 pieces): 16.5” x 23” (H)
  • Front Bodice, Lining (1 piece): 21.5” x 16.5” (H)
  • Back Bodice, Lining (2 pieces): 11 “ x 16.5” (H)
  • Front Skirt, Lining (1 piece): 30” x 21.5” (H)
  • Back Skirt, Lining (2 pieces): 16.5” x 22” (H)
  • Fusible Cloth Interlining:  1” x 19” (H)
  • Invisible Zipper: 20”
  • Zipper Presser Foot
  • Pins

Note: The measurements above fit around a US size small, and were made to fit our collaborative sewist who designed this dress. 

  1. Always pre-wash fabric to account for fabric shrinkage when cutting fabric. You can read our full guide on pre-washing fabric here.
  2. Make sure lining fabric has the same weight as fabric. You may also use the Flownny Poppy Cotton Lawn fabric as lining.
  3. When determining zipper length, make sure it passes the widest part of hips.

Pattern Pieces

front bodive
Front bodice
Back Bodice
Back bodice
Front skirt (click to enlarge)
Front skirt 
Back skirt (click to enlarge)
Back skirt 

Seam Allowance Measurements:

  • Neckline and Armhole Seams: ¼”
  • Shoulder Seams: ½”
  • Side Seams: 1”
  • Hemline Seam: 1”
  • Hemline Seam (Lining): ½”

Sewing Instructions for a sleeveless A-line dress with a square neckline

1. After cutting the fabric, finish the raw edges of fabric with a serger.

2. Pin all the darts and sew.

pin darts and sew
pin all darts and sew
pin all darts and sew

3. To sew darts, start from the widest part of the fabric until you reach the tip. Before cutting the thread, extend the thread from sewing machine until you get enough to create a double knot at the tip of the dart. 

Sewing darts
sewing darts

4. Attach the fusible cloth interfacing to the seam allowance of zipper seam. Interfacing should be attached to back bodice and back of skirt. This length should be the same as the zipper length. This will help support the zipper. To attach interfacing, spray water and press with iron. Interfacing will stick to fabric after a few seconds of pressing. 

attaching fusible interfacing
attaching fusible interfacing

5. Attach the front bodice to the back bodice. Place right side of the fabrics towards each other and sew shoulder and side seams together. Darts should be facing down.

attach front and back bodice

6. Put front and back skirt together. Place right side of fabrics against each other and sew side seams. Waist darts should be facing towards the center.

put front and back seams of skirt together

7. Attach the bodice and skirt together. Sew from centerback until the other end. Make sure the side seams are open and waist darts of bodice and skirt are aligned.

attach body and skirt

8. On the right side of skirt, sew a topstitch 1/8” down from waist seam. Seam allowances at the back should be facing down.

sew a topstitch
sew a topstitch
sew a topstitch

9. Double-roll hemline of skirt. After finishing the raw edge of hemline, fold approximately 1/8” towards the back. Topstitch on right side of fabric.

double-roll hemline skirt
double rolling hemlines

10. Assemble together the lining pieces. Apply steps 5 to 9 to create the lining for the dress. No interfacing is need on the lining fabric. 

create the lining
create the lining

11. Now it's time to attach the lining to outer dress shell. Place the right sides of fabric together and start pinning on neckline of back bodice towards shoulder until front neckline and proceed to other side of the shoulders and back neckline.

attaching lining

12. Trim the neckline seam allowance and slash at the curved areas. Flip the fabric to the right side and iron flat any crinkly areas. If the crinkly areas still persist, this may mean you need to slash more on the seam allowance.

trim neckline
trim neckline

13. On the seam that joins the outer shell fabric and the lining, mark 1/8” below on the lining fabric. Seam allowance should be facing towards the lining. Sew an understitch 1/8” below the seam on the right side of the lining fabric – joining the lining the seam allowance together. The understitch makes sure the lining will neatly stay in place.

outer shell fabric and lining
outer shell fabric and lining

14. In this next step, we will be closing the armhole gap between the shell fabric and the lining. With the fabrics facing right side up, look for the side seams on the area encircled below. Pin right side of the side seams together and flip to wrong side of fabric, as shown below.

pin seams right side to right side of the fabric

15. On the wrong side of fabric, make sure seam allowances are open. Pin together the armhole seam lines. Shoulder seam allowances of fabric shell and lining should also be open with the right sides facing towards each other. Pinned fabric should look like photo below. For this portion, sewing of armhole seam is done per side.

armhole seam

16. Flip over to right side of fabric again. Look for the unsewn part of the armhole and flip again to the wrong side. Pin up to the edges and sew.

pinning until edges

17. Flip over to the right side of fabric. If there is still a gap, use blindstitch to close the gap.


18. Now is the time to attach the invisible zipper. Once the armhole gap is closed, pin zipper to centerback. See the photo below on how the zipper should be pinned. Baste the zipper to the dress before sewing. Basting will help make sure the zipper stays in place. Before sewing the zipper in place, close the zipper first to test if waistline seam and neckline are aligned properly. 

attaching the invisible zipper

19. Use a zipper foot to sew the zipper in place. Test the zipper again after sewing to make sure the waist and neckline are aligned correctly. 

sewing zipper in place
sewing zipper in place

20. Close the rest of the centerback seam from the end of zipper until the hemline.

Closing centerback pieces

21. Close the lining on the zipper seam by sewing a topstitch 1/8” away from zipper.

closing zipper lining
closing zipper lining

22. Close the rest of the centerback seam on the lining.

close the centerback seams

23. And you're finished!

finished dressed

We hope you enjoyed this DIY tutorial! We can't wait to see your sewn up sleeveless dresses this summer! When sharing your blouse on social media, please tag your makes #kfsleevelessdress so we can find it.

If you have any questions about this sewing tutorial or need help selecting fabric, please get in touch at our Contact Us page. Happy making!

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