Monday, July 12, 2010

Cowl Neck Tee Shirt Dress Tutorial - No Pattern Needed

Please help me welcome Stephanie of Made in Australia by Stephanie. She is a stay-at- home mum to two beautiful young children. Her passions are sewing, knitting, refashioning clothes, and trying to be as 'green' as modern life will allow. She has some cute and fun projects on her blog. I am so happy that she agreed to stop by and show us how to make this beautiful cowl neck Tee Shirt Dress. It's so easy and she looks so awesome in it. You could make this from start to finish in under an hour. 


Hi. My name is Stephanie, and I am so pleased to be here with you all today. Trudy is one of my favourite bloggers, and I am so super happy that she chose me.

I have been sewing for about a year (but shhh! Don't tell anyone as I sell some of the stuff I sew). I mainly sew for little people, but occasionally I sew for myself.

I choked when I realised I had to come up with something for Trudy... I honestly didn't think she would pick me. I thought about it long and hard and decided that I would make something that I wanted, in the hope that it might be interesting to someone else. So I chose to make a cowl neck tee shirt dress.

I would like to preface the following information with this.. I have NO training, I have learned how to sew through trial and please excuse any technical errors :D

(Don't forget to pop the jersey needle in your machine.)

I love this fabric. 

I know it's not everyone's taste but it's a lovely soft jersey knit and I like the colour and pattern.

I used a dress that fits me well as a template, but you could use a tee shirt and trace the skirt pattern in an A line from the bottom of the tee.

Lay the dress/tee shirt over the fabric and cut around it, leaving a bit extra at the top for the next stage and about 1.5 cm seam allowance.

Ok. So this is not super technical, but it was the way that I worked out how much cowl I wanted. I simply used a tape measure to drape from shoulder to shoulder,

gathered fabric evenly in the middle using the measurements from the last step to guide me,

laid the dress back down and cut out the shoulders and sleeves. This is the front of the dress. The back is done by tracing around the dress with a 1.5 cm seam allowance.

Both pieces cut out. I matched up the shoulders and sewed them, right sides together. Then sewed down the sides of the dress.

For a super quick finish you could leave it like this as knit fabrics don't unravel. I serged/overlocked the neckline, armholes and hem, then hemmed everything. I wish I had just left it serged as I prefered that "unfinished" look.

Thank you so much for having me over. It's been fun!

Linking With Sew & Tell Saturday at Sew Country Chick


  1. It's nice to meet Stephanie! She sounds very talented.

  2. Awesome! I LOVE it when you don't need a pattern! I'm going to try this.

  3. Cute dress! I'm amazed! I love this. Stephanie sounds like a very creative gal. Thanks for sharing this with us Trudy.

    Donna @ Comin' Home

  4. Thank you so much for making me feel so welcome, it's very daunting being over here with so many followers. Thanks again, you're all lovely..and you all have great blogs too :)

  5. Love that dress! Thanks for the tutorial Stephanie:) I'm looking forward to checking out your blog.


  6. Very cute. I love summer clothes!

  7. Very cute. I love summer clothes!

  8. This is brilliant! Thank you, Trudy. I will be making one of these come summer! I love it.

  9. Thanks for the tutorial!
    And I will pop over to Stephanie to visit her blog now...

    Thanks Trudy I did get your email and am working on it...

  10. Great tute! Thanks for sharing such an easy to do idea!! Thank You Trudy and Stephanie:)

  11. Neat! Thanks for putting this one up.

  12. Thanks for the post Trudy & Stephanie! Knits are my favorite! And the cowl neck is something I will be featuring in my collection coming this fall!

  13. thanks for the tute, it's so simple but looks great!

  14. Thanks you guys...Trudy, you have the nicest followers :D

  15. Awesome dress!! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  16. Very fun and cute. I haven't forgot to answer my tag, I'm hoping to sit down to do it in the next day or so.

  17. Cute Cute! Thanks for the tute! Thank you for linking this project to

  18. Ooooh - very cute! I just stumbled on your blog and am now following. Excited to get more ideas and inspiration from you!

    I just finished a shawl-neck top with a Butterick pattern -

    I'm sort of teaching myself to sew as I go - but I really like the way it turned out!

  19. Thanks for your tutorial. Measuring the desired drape of the cowl in advance is a great idea!

  20. hello trudy!!!!
    I can't see the pictures of your web page to make a cowl neck dress (
    Please can you send me this pictures to my e- mail?
    Sorry for my bad english but I speak spanish!!!
    thank you in advance

  21. Thanks for a pretty simple tutorial. I have been trying to find a pattern for cowl necks that I could actually understand and I found your blog. Your tutorial is the simplest and easiest to understand by far.

    Thank you again.

  22. It is a lovely dress! I admire people who can just go and make whatever they like :)

  23. Awesome post ! There is a large collection of dresses.
    sasha shirt dresses

  24. Thank you so much for posting this so clearly. But, how much does an average engagement ring cost? Non the less, wonderful write up!

  25. Thanks for posting this blog, I am very impressed with your blog and it is very useful for me and other. Please visit at Sloth clothing We are, you can buy a unique range of Sloth clothing and Dresses at affordable prices. It’s made out of our customized sloth pattern; this dress is as cute as it looks like. Click here -


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