Condo Blues: How to Sew an Easy One Seam Sundress

Monday, July 24, 2017

How to Sew an Easy One Seam Sundress

We’re deep into what I call Three H Summer Weather – Hazy, Hot, and Humid.


The type of weather that makes a sun dress the most appropriate way to stay cool (while still looking cute!) which you can barely find in a store because it is full of Fall Back to School clothes and gear.

Double ugh.

Fortunately, while shopping for costume fabric, some pre- shirred and pre-smocked with elastic flamingo fabric caught my eye. I adore flamingos! Most of work was done for me and the kids maxi length fabric is just the right length for my wee 4’11 frame to be a sundress to the knee. I popped the bolt in my cart and starting shopping for the actual reason I went to the fabric store in the first place.

As I shopped, I put the fabric back on the shelf since I was drawn to it only because I have a made crazy love of all things flamingo. It’s an impulse item and I’m trying to stick to my shopping list.

Later I went over and put the bolt in my cart. I do need some summer clothes. I can wear to the annual luau!

Again, I put the fabric back. Would I have time to make an unplanned sewing project or will the fabric sit and take up space until I forgot why I bought it in the first place? Not that there is already any cut fabric like that in my stash already…

I stood there looking at the fabric I put back and though,”Oh for Pete’s sake you are TOTALLY overthinking this! It is a quick and easy one seam sundress. You can sew in less than an hour because most of the work is done for you.. Life is short!  BUY THE FABRIC!”

So I did.

How to Make a Sundress in an Hour or Less

The amount of fabric you need to make this practically no sew dress is your bust measurement minus a few inches so the finished elastic top stays up when you wear it. You can use this tutorial to make it a sleeveless sundress, or you can add ribbon or fabric straps if you like, it is up to you.

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I added halter straps to the top of my dress otherwise my top won’t stay up top where it belongs without a heaping helping of crazy glue every time I wear it. Tie straps are much more comfortable than glue so that’s what I’ll do.

You will need:

Pre-Smocked Shirred Flamingo Fabric - this is the fabric I used. I get compliments on my dress all of the time when I wear it. Also, FLAMINGOS!

Coordinating thread

Sewing machine

Sewing tape measure

Straight pins

Iron and ironing board.

Optional: Ribbon or extra fabric to make straps

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Step by Step How to Make It:

1, Fold the fabric in half lengthwise right side (the pretty part) facing in and pin it into place.

2. Use the sewing machine to sew the fabric together, removing the pins as you go (otherwise you risk breaking the needle sewing over the pins.)

Sew one straight line and BAM! You're done!

3. Use the iron and ironing board to iron the seam flat. This way the fabric will lay better when you wear it.

4. Hem the dress to length as/if desired.

I added a little hem by turning the fabric in on itself and sewing it into place. Luckily this is the finished selvage edge and won’t ravel, otherwise I’d have to turn the top edge over on itself and sew it into place.

I trimmed the fuzzy fringes off the selvage edge to make it look neat, since I didn't have enough fabric for a proper twice turned over hem.

5. Optional straps: Cut two pieces of ribbon to your desired length and sew them inside the top of the dress.


I used the seam technique in Steps 1 and 2 to make straps from leftover fabric instead of ribbon and hand sew the straps into place.

6. Wear your super easy sundress and look cute!

The dress straps tie behind my neck.

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