Sundress Tutorial with Flutter Sleeves

We receive a lot of pillowcase dresses. They are cute and simple to make. But this week I am going to encourage you seamstresses out there to try something different.

Each day I’m going to post a link to a different simple sundress tutorial that I have found out there in cyberspace.

I dare you to give one a try.

Momday’s dress comes from It’s Always Autumn. It uses a t-shirt as a reference and has cute little flutter sleeves.

photo from: It's Always Autumn.

photo from: It’s Always Autumn.


Easy Sundress Patterns For the Sewing Novice

One of our frequently asked questions is, what pattern do you use for dresses?

The simple answer is we use a lot of different patterns. My mom, who is a seamstress extraordinaire makes some super pretty dresses using patterns that I won’t touch.

I am mediocre on the sewing machine and prefer as few pattern pieces as possible. Plus I don’t do zippers and I try to stay away from buttons 🙂

Below are a couple easy patterns that I regularly use

siimplicity halter pic

Simplicity Halter #5531

I this #5531 may be discontinued because I can only find it for sale on etsy, but I did find a similar one that you could try.

Simplicity Halter 6478

Simplicity Halter #6478

Let me know if you give #6478 a try. I haven’t used it, but it looks very close to the one I do use.

For larger sizes I usually use the Butterick pattern below.

Butterick 3860

 Butterick #3860

Depending on the fabric, sometimes I add a little trim to this pattern because it can look very plain.

We also accept dresses made from the pillowcase dress pattern. The following is a good tutorial.


Pillowcase Dress Tutorial

We use the above patterns regularly, but will accept any sundress pattern you choose to use. It’s fun to have a variety of sizes and styles to ship.

Happy Sewing 🙂

Super Simple Shorts Tutorial

Step 1

My mom made this super duper simple pattern for shorts to send to Haiti. We love receiving dresses for the girls, but it would be awesome to get more shorts for the boys too. This is a great pattern for beginners. Maybe you have a daughter who wants to try her hand at sewing. This is a great place to start.

Step 1 –  Fold your fabric, so you have a double layer and cut two identical pieces at the same time. These size 6 red shorts are on a rotary board with inch markings so you can see how big to cut your pieces.

19 1/2” across the bottom (approx)

7 1/4” up front leg with a gradual curve of about ¾”

7 ¼” up back leg seam with a gradual curve of about 1 ¼”

8 ¾” up the front body portion of the shorts with a tighter inner curve of about 2”

9 ½” up the back body portion with an inner curve of about 3 ½”

14 ½” across the top (approx)

This should be simple if you have a rotary cutting board. If you are interested in a pattern piece instead, please contact me at, and I’d be happy to send you the pattern free of charge (as long as you are planning to donate at least one pair of shorts to 500 Dresses.)

Step 2

Step 2

Sew zig-zag up the front and back side seams with a 5/8” seam allowance. (right sides facing each other)

Step 3

Step 3

Sew zig-zag inseam with a 5/8”  seam allowance.

Step 4

Step 4

Press the waist edge 1 1/4”  and sew a zig-zag stitch close to the edge and leaving an open spot as shown forming a casing for the elastic

Step 5

Step 5+

Step 5

Using ¾” wide elastic, cut a 18 1/2″  piece. Attach a safety pin to one end and pin the other end to the shorts. Work the elastic through the casing.

Step 6

Step 6+

Step 6

Pin the two ends of the elastic together and sew them back and forth several times with a zig-zag stitch.

Step 7

Step 8

Step 7

Add a size tag, and sew up the open part of the casing. Optional – Sew a straight stitch on the seam line of the center front and back seam through all layers to keep the elastic from twisting.

Step 8

Press a 1” leg hem. Sew around each leg, close to the upper edge of the pressed hem.


Completed Shorts!

See, wasn’t that easy? I am not a great seamstress, and I can whip up a pair of these pretty quickly.

These directions are  meant for use with knit or athletic shorts type of fabric. If you are using cotton fabric, you can use a straight stitch instead of a zig-zag. You will also need to turn under the waist and the hem ¼” of an inch and then turn under again the amount specified in these instructions to keep the fabric from unraveling once the shorts are completed.

T-Shirt Dress Success


I underestimated the simplicity of creating a gathered edge and had to call my mom for advice, but after I fought with it for a while I finally won.

This was a pretty simple dress to make, but will be the only one I make unless I hunt down some girl shirts. I had to dig deep through the boy clothes to find this gender-neutral one.

P.S. Don’t tell Lewis I turned his red t-shirt into a dress 😉