How to make a summer tank top dress

The clocks lept ahead last night in the UK (we’re two weeks behind every American who’s already done so) and it’s officially British Summer Time! Downsides = we lost an hour of sleep during a weekend and I’m clutching a cup of Earl Grey for warmth while cocooned in a tartan blanket but the promise of summer is there! And I’m going to hold onto that to get me through the end of winter.

diy dress headerIn the meantime, I’m dreaming about all things spring and summer. I’m thinking sun, bright colours and soft, breathable clothes. So what better way to focus your mind on the upcoming warmer months than whipping up a soft, comfortable dress to wear when you’re on your summer holiday or simply soaking up the sun in a park near you?

If you’d like a fun, creative distraction from the lingering cold weather, follow the steps below to create your own tank top jersey dress. This DIY project is perfect for all sewing levels so invite your friends over for some afternoon sewing.

materials needed

So let’s get started! You’ll need a tank top (or vest if you speak British English). I chose this cheap and comfortable jersey tank top from H&M. It has some stretch so it will give your top half shape while the completed dress’s bottom half will flow around you. This style is great for hourglass or pear body shapes.

Next up, choose a jersey fabric for your skirt. I ordered 1.75 yards length by 1.91 yards width (1.6 metres length x 1.75 metres width) in a turquoise organic jersey by Das Blaue Tuch – Organic Fabrics & Co from Etsy. Have a look around your local fabric shops for the right colour and price – it’ll be worth the time invested.

Now grab a ball-point needle (they work well with jersey fabrics), thread to match your skirt fabric, tailor’s chalk, pins, measuring tape and scissors to get started!

Follow the DIY steps in the photos below to create your summer dress! It took me a day to make this dress. I’d recommend using a dress form so that you can accurately measure a straight hem. I didn’t have a dress form so I modelled it while measuring. If you do this, grab a friend/flatmate/partner to help you with this part as it’ll be a slow process if you do it yourself.

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I decided to create a drop waist for my dress as I wanted the black stretch top to frame my waist and leave the bright colour of the skirt to skim over the legs and bum – most girls will understand why!

Here’s the end result. Now I just need some warm weather to show the dress off. For now, I’m wearing it with my slippers and hoodie on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

finished dress

Best of luck creating your own summer dresses! What colours will you be using? I’d love to see your finished dresses! You can email me at with your fab creations. Enjoy! x


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