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10 Dresses To Sew This Summer

Posted by Maaike van Besien on

sewing patterns for summer dresses

There is no shortage of sewing patterns for dresses, the abundance of choice can be a bit overwhelming.

So I thought I would share my 10 favourite sewing patterns to sew a fabulous dress this summer. Some I have already made, the others are all on my to sew list.

What all these patterns have in common is that they were designed by independent designers, women who turned their passion for sewing into creating unique sewing patterns so we all get to sew wonderful handmade clothes that fit.

All these designs got a lot of attention in the online sewing world.

And what makes these patterns even better is that they come with step-by-step detailed instructions. So you don't need to be a seasoned seamstress to attempt any of these! 

I've included fabric suggestions for each pattern. Enjoy!

1. Fringe Dress

Fringe dress pattern in Rayon fabric from Atelier Brunette

The Fringe Dress sewing pattern by Chalk&Notch was launched in August 2017 and it seemed that, for a few days, it had taken over my Instagram account. I could see gorgeous examples everywhere. And many seamstresses had even made several dresses!

Definitely one I must sew this summer!

Suggested fabric:  

Atelier Brunette Blossom Coral Rayon fabric for dress making

The Blossom Coral Rayon fabric by Atelier Brunette is a beautiful soft drapey fabric. The texture is pretty special, it almost looks like linen.






2. Rushcutter Dress

The rushcutter sewing pattern by In The Folds

The Rushcutter is a sewing pattern by the Australian designer Emily from Inthefolds. All her patterns are wonderful, but I especially like this one as it is such a unique design. I love the sleeveless version with buttons at the back. It is so airy and comfortable to wear. I made this one last year.

Suggested fabric:

Terrazzo night, apparel fabric by Atelier Brunette

Terrazzo Night cotton gauze by Atelier Brunette.

This fabric is perfect for that light and loose-fitting, breezy dress.





3. Charlie Kaftan

Charlie Kaftan sewing pattern by Closet Case Patterns

The Charlie Kaftan sewing pattern by Closet Case Patterns was new in 2017.  

Can you see yourself strolling down the beach in style in this dress? 

Combine this with a gorgeous fabric and everyone will think you are wearing expensive designer clothing.

Suggested fabrics:

Graphite Blue & Rose, cotton double gauze by Atelier Brunette


The Graphite Blue and Graphite Rose fabrics from Atelier Brunette. These apparel fabrics are soft and are a cotton double gauze. Therefore they have a double layer of fabric so you won't need to line your dress. 




4. Bettine Dress

Bettine sewing pattern by Tilly & The Buttons

This is the perfect dress if you are a beginner.

The Bettine sewing pattern by Tilly & The buttons is an easy-peasy throw-it-over-your-head dress,  no zippers involved!

Suggested fabrics:

Arrows mint, rayon fabric by See You At SixThis viscose/ rayon fabric has a very fine weave and is heavenly soft.

Top quality at a very affordable price.

This mint green is right on trend.





5. Kalle Shirt + Shirtdress

Kalle shirt dress sewing pattern by Closet Case Patterns

I have been on the hunt for the perfect shirtdress and have been collecting images from the internet as inspiration. I especially like the Kalle sewing pattern by Closet Case Patterns as it is quite special with that high low hem.

Depending on the fabric you use, you can create different styles. 

If you are after a more classic look, I also love the Matilda and the Darling Ranges dresses from Megan Nielsen (Australian designer).

For a tailored shirtdress, there is also the Rosa pattern by Tilly & The Buttons.

Suggested fabrics:

Frosted Sage denim by Art Gallery FabricsWho doesn't love a soft denim? It's so versatile and perfect for a shirt dress. This Frosted Sage denim from Art Gallery Fabric is gorgeous. I made a dress for myself in this one once.






6. Louisa Dress

Louisa dress sewing pattern by Compagnie M

The Louisa dress by Compagnie M is a great pattern to make an elegant figure flattering dress. You can make it extra special with the kangaroo pocket!

I made this dress in a wonderful cotton fabric from Soft Cactus and some silver piping.

Suggested fabrics:

Cotton fabric for apparel sewingCombine this gorgeous cotton by Soft Cactus with some red or aqua blue piping and you will have a unique dress to impress. 



7. Nore Dress and T-shirt

Nore dress and T-shirt sewing pattern by Compagnie M

It was so hard to pick just one picture to show this dress, as this sewing pattern is so versatile. You can also sew quick and easy tops with this sewing pattern. The Nore dress by Compagnie M was designed for knits but you can actually use it for woven fabrics too. 

I think this is a design that lots of teens will like as well.

Check out more product pictures here. 

Combine two fabrics to create a really fun dress. 

Suggested fabric combinations:

Hanging feathers organic cotton jersey with mustard cotton jersey.

 organic cotton jersey for apparel by Lillestoffmustard yellow cotton jersey for apparel sewing

 Vintage flowers organic cotton jersey with Petrol Blue cotton jersey.

Vintage flowers organic cotton jersey by Lillestoffpetrol blue cotton jersey for apparel sewing


8. Zadie Dress

Zadie dress

The Zadie dress by Tilly and The Buttons is another sewing pattern where colour blocking would work really well, or to combine a fun print with a solid colour.

It is designed for knit fabrics and it is great in a ponti knit. But for a more lightweight summer version, you could use any of our solid knit fabrics. 

And it comes with big pockets, always handy right?

Here is a combinations I love:

This organic cotton jersey from Froy & Dind combines well with our solid dark blue jersey.

 dark blue cotton jersey knit fabric for dress making


9. Pony tank + dress


Poly tank sewing pattern

This has to be one of the most comfortable looking dresses ever. The Poly Tank sewing pattern by Chalk & Notch is actually for a tank, but simply make it longer, and voila! you have yourself a dress.

This one is perfect for a very drapey knit, like modal (rayon jersey).

Fabric suggestion:

Model knit fabric by Lillestoff for dress making Any of the modal fabrics would work for this pattern, but I especially like this colourful print in summer colours.


10. Inari Tee Dress

Inari Tee dress by Named Clothing

The Inari dress by Named Clothing has been so popular, because it combines simplicity with a few interesting details. This dress is has a slight cocoon shape. It can be made in a woven and in a knit fabric that has not too much stretch, and is a pretty quick and easy dress to sew.

I have seen examples of this dress made in a french terry.

Fabric suggestions:

Stripes by Bambiblauw and Fish French Terry by See You At Six

Stripes french terry for dress makingfish french terry for dress making


I hope this list has inspired you!

Which one is your favourite?



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  • Love the Bettina dress!, we need some patterns suitable for us ‘older’ ladies!

    Margaret on
  • :) I have a completely different list, but I think it’s at least ten long too, and all I can say is bring on summer! …. And what pretty fabrics!

    Lightning McStitch on
  • Thanks for the list – just purchased the Rushcutter dress!

    linda on
  • A great list Maaike. It is nice to see which fabrics will work for the patterns you mentioned. A few of these dresses are on my list, gotta start with the fringe!

    Jenya on
  • Such a great idea that you have done the research and found these patterns and a good all round list too! Thank you.

    Kaye Poole on

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