Summer Dress Pattern Tutorial

It’s finally summer time!!! This is my favorite time of year because it means no school, swimming, margaritas, and summer dresses.  I’m a teacher, so by the time June rolls around, I am just itching to summer sew! Ellie and Mac just recently released the Oasis Swimsuit. As soon as I saw the tester photos, I messaged Lindsey, asking if I could PLEASE write a blog post on making it into a dress. So here I am :)

Summer Dress Sewing Tutorial

Meet my newest summer sew, a mashup of the Oasis Swimsuit and the skirt of the True Beauty!

Summer Dress Sewing Tutorial

This mashup is actually very easy and I only had to add one little thing :)  So let’s get right down to it!

First you will need to purchase the following patterns (click on the names for my link):

Oasis Swimsuit and True Beauty

For the Oasis Swimsuit, you will need the following:

  1. One Piece Front Bodice
  2. Halter Straps (I cut 2 rectangles that were 2.5” by the length recommended for my size for the back tie straps - this can be found on the One Piece Front Bodice Piece. For example, I am a Small, so mine was 2.5” by 18.5”
  3. Band (This is the one extra piece I had to add!) For this piece, I took my underbust measurement and subtract 3.5” to allow for the stretch of the fabric and seam allowance. For example, my under bust is 31”, so I subtracted 3.5” and cut a rectangle that was 27.5” by 2.5”. You will need 2 of these so that you can hide the bottom of the bikini part!

For the True Beauty, you will need the following:

  1. Skirt - you need 2 of these, one for the front and one for the back! I went with the Above the Knee Length because I was going for the summer look!

*Optional: I HATE strapless bras. So I happen to have some inserts laying around and used them so I don’t have to wear a bra :)


Since I am using this as a dress, I DID NOT use swim fabric. I used a 4 way stretch knit on the top and bottom. I also did NOT use swim lining. For the top I used the same fabric for the main fabric and the lining.


I started with the Oasis top. I followed the directions for the one piece top. It starts on page 29 of the pattern.. I omitted the back straps part and just added the halter straps. The pattern includes the instructions for the inserts so it’s easy peasy :) Once the top is assembled, I continued following the instructions by overlapping the pieces by 2” and basting them in place.

Now for the hack :)

You will need your 2 band pieces. I decided that I wanted side seams, so I actually cut mine in half so I would have a total of 4 pieces. This is optional, but I liked the look :) I took 2 cut pieces, put them right sides together and sewed down the short side on both ends. This creates 1 Band or 1 continuous loop. Then I repeated with the other 2 pieces so that I had 2 bands, an inside band and an outside band.

Next: hiding the bottom seam of the top piece -  I took the band pieces, put them right sides together, one inside the other. I pinned the centers of each piece (inside and outside separately - so 4 (green) pins on the centers). Then I went to the top piece and (pink) pinned the center front of it as well.

Now sandwich the top piece in the middle of the 2 bands ( think layers - band, top piece, band, with the right sides of the bands facing the top piece), lining up the center of the top and the center of the inside and outside band and take out all the center pins and then pin that location.

Once you have that pinned, continue pinning the top between the two band pieces until you get to the end of the top piece, in both directions from the center. Mine worked out that it ended right on my side seams :) Once you have the top pinned all the way in, continue pinning the 2 bands together, all the way around.

Sew with a stretch stitch and the ¼” seam allowance. Once you have it sewn all the way around, flip the band pieces down and set aside.      

Now grab your 2 skirt pieces. This part is easy :)

Skirt construction starts on page 16 of the True Beauty Pattern. I followed it exactly. Gather to the length of your top bands and stitch together, just as you would on the True Beauty pattern, attaching the bodice to the skirt. Hem just like the pattern.

And now you are done and can enjoy your new summer dress!  Enter to win a $10 Ellie and Mac gift card just by commenting below!

Summer Dress Sewing Tutorial for Ellie and Mac

*Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links”. This means if you click the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to our readers.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published