Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sew Easy - Part 6: Reversible Zen Dress

Sew Easy Tutorial: Reversible Zen Dress Pattern
Reversible Dress Sewing Tutorial

Reversible Dress Sewing pattern

You can read the story behind this series and the first part 10 min skirt sewing tutorial here. Here are the earlier tutorials - the second part 20 min dress from Tshirt, third part Butterfly Shrug Sewing Tutorial, fourth part  Kaftan Sewing Tutorial for women and fifth edition Strawberry Vanilla Dress of the series.

This week lets make an A-line reversible dress. When I thought about doing this tutorial, I was surprised at why didn't this idea came to me earlier. This dress has very simple cutting, and very simple sewing and yet the finished garment looks something that would take a lot of effort. A perfect sew easy.
Not only is this easy to sew, its also very easy to put on the child and take off. And if she spills some sauce on one side just put it on from the other side. No wonder the first name that came to my mind was Zen Dress.

So lets get started.

Two coordinating fabrics half yard each
Two set of closures of some kind ( snaps, Velcro, buttons etc)

For measurement: An A line dress that fits the child.


Lets lay out the fabrics first ( lets call fabric 1 - F1, fabric 2 - F2 )

Fold F1 lengthwise in half.

Fold it again lengthwise in half.

how to draft a jumper pattern
Fold F2 similarly and place it over the F1. Also fold the dress in half lengthwise and place it on fold.
jumper pattern and tutorial

Mark the neck front.
how to sew a jumper

Draw an outline around the dress with some margins at the side seams for seams. I have kept the margins more because I wanted the dress to be wider than the original.
 When you reach shoulders just extend the neck and armhole such that it extends 2.5 to 3 inches above shoulders and then round it towards the end.

drafting jumper pattern
Cut across all the layers.

how to sew a reversible dress
Pull out one layer of F1 and one layer of F2. This is the back of the dress.

reversible jumper tutorial
To cut the front, draw a curve between the points that we had marked earlier, between the front neck and shoulder.
Also draw a line 1 inch above the shoulder as shown in the pic above.
jumper sewing tutorial

Cut the deeper front neck and the line above the shoulder that we just marked. In the above pic the back pieces are on the left and the front pieces are on the right.

how to sew a jumper
Now take both F1 pieces and place one on top of other right sides together. Similarly take both F2 pieces and place one on top of other right sides together. Make sure both pieces are aligned at the sides.

reversible jumper sewing tutorial
Sew the side seams. The seams are not visible in the above pic so I have marked the seams with a blue line. Its still a little hard to see though.

sewing reversible jumper
Turn F2 inside out.

Slide the whole dress inside F1 such that F1 and F2 right sides are together.

Now sew joining F1 and F2 starting at front of neckline

and continue on shoulder, armholes, back shoulders, neckline etc until you are back at the starting point. Go easy and take your time aligning F1 and F2. This is a very simple dress with just 4-5 seams total, but if you mess up the alignment of the two fabrics, you will be left with a wonky garment where one fabric will be doing a peek-a-boo on the other side.

Cut small notches throughout the seam you have just sewn. Don't forget to snip the corners of squares at the front shoulders. These notches make it easy to turn out curvy seams and help fabric lie smoothly. Just take care of not cutting into the seams while making these notches.

turning out a reversible dress
Turn the dress inside out. Use a pencil to turn out all the corners of the dress.

hemming a reversible dress
Iron the dress to smooth out any misalignment while turning. Also iron the hemline inside about half inch on both F1 and F2 as shown above. Make sure that the hemlines are exactly equal for F1 and F2 and iron them well so that they don't show on the other side.
 Top-stitch the hemline with both F1 and F2 together.

I also recommend top-stitching the neckline ( which here means neckline, shoulder, armholes) though its not necessary.
adding snaps to the dress
Add closures on both shoulders. I have used snaps because I had the snap pliers and they take the least amount of time. But you can add velcro or buttons as well.

reversible tunic diy
And Done! Enjoy the dress, Right side..

how to sew reversible tunic
Or Wrong!

Here are the links to more editions of the Sew Easy sewing tutorials.

Sew Easy Part 7: Knotted Fringe Dress Sewing Tutorial
Sew Easy Part 8: Circular Bodice Dress Sewing Pattern
Sew Easy Part 9: Layered Knit Skirt Sewing Tutorial
Sew Easy Part 10: Striped Knit Jumper Dress Sewing Tutorial
Sew Easy Part 11: Nordic Prince Tuxedo Tshirt Tutorial
Sew Easy Part 12: Layered Skirt with pickups sewing tutorial
Sew Easy Part 13: Box Pleated Skirt Sewing Tutorial
Sew Easy Part 14: Nautical Dress Sewing Pattern   


  1. How cute! Thanks so much for sharing!

    I'd love to have you visit our first linky party this Thursday! It's a party specifically for kids and teenagers craft and other ideas, so your idea will be absolutely perfect! Hope you'll stop by!

  2. What an adorable dress. Thank you for the tutorial. If you get a chance I would love you to link your dress up to More the Merrier Monday. It lasts through Wednesday so you have plenty of time to stop by. See you there.

  3. love it reversable and such an easy way to make it

  4. This is absolutely adorable. I have made many of these dresses for my daughter and I think they would be awesome reversible. I am bookmarking for future use. Thank you for your wonderful explanation.

  5. This looks great! I wish I had your talent to make clothes for my kiddos! Super cute! Thank you so much for sharing this at my Favorite Things Friday Party! I can't wait to see what you link up this week! My party is now live.

  6. Very cute! I love reversible clothes for kids. The tutorial is also great. Thanks for sharing. I hope to see you again this week.

  7. That is darling! So cool you made it reversible!!! Thanks for sharing this and all your lovelies on Fancy This Fridays!!!

  8. I just LOVE this dress! Thanks for linking to the Tuesday To Do Party!

  9. Beautiful.. I wish I knew to stitch...not just hem...
    Love the creation and love the fabric...

  10. This looks really cute and simpler than the other dress I've tried. I think I'll attempt this next. =]

  11. so adorale and simple enough for someone like ne with minimum sewing skills.

  12. Great fabrics for the reversible dress! I just saw your Selfish Sewing shirt you made. Super cute!! I can't wait to check out your other tutorials.

  13. Hi! I featured you in my blog. I hope you can stop by at

    DIY Addict

  14. Love it!! My stepdaughter gave birth to a baby girl today and I am already planning out this dress for her. :-) Thank you so much!!!

  15. This is it! This is the practical and cute dress I have been searching for as I start sewing for my little gal. Thank you so SEW much! :)

  16. You could also sew both pieces together at the bottom round the hem line before turning the dress right sides out.

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  18. wow! this I must try!- Suzie from Sweden

  19. This Nanny dosnt have a dress to use as a templet dose anyone have a pattern for sz1

  20. This is a wonderful pattern. I think it's really cute. Two for one!


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