DIY Projects & Crafts Sewing Dress & Blouse How-To Use a lightweight cotton or linen that drapes well. These instructions apply for a dress or a top. By Martha Stewart Editors Martha Stewart Editors An article attributed to "Martha Stewart Editors" indicates when several writers and editors have contributed to an article over the years. These collaborations allow us to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive information available.The Martha Stewart team aims to teach and inspire readers daily with tested-until-perfected recipes, creative DIY projects, and elevated home and entertaining ideas. They are experts in their fields who research, create, and test the best ways to help readers design the life they want. The joy is in the doing. Editorial Guidelines Updated on September 20, 2018 Share Tweet Pin Email What You'll Need Materials Fabric Iron Sewing machine and supplies 2 yards 1/4-inch-wide elastic or ribbon Safety pin Dress and Blouse Pattern Template Instructions Download and print pattern and instructions for desired style and size. Buy appropriate amount of fabric, as indicated below. For a long-sleeve dress, you'll need 3 1/2 yards of 45-inch-wide fabric (or wider). For a short-sleeve dress, you'll need 2 3/4 yards of 45-inch-wide fabric (or wider). For a long-sleeve shirt, you'll need 2 3/4 yards of 45-inch-wide fabric (or wider). For a short-sleeve shirt, you'll need 2 1/4 yards of 45-inch-wide fabric (or wider). Decide on your style and size. Cut out pattern pieces. Lay pattern pieces on fabric. For front and back body pieces, fold fabric selvedge to selvedge, then lay the center fold of front and back pattern pieces on the folded edges. Pin together and cut fabric pieces out. For the sleeves, open the fabric back up, fold it widthwise, then lay sleeve pattern piece down. Pin together and cut the fabric pieces out. Prep neck hem: Fold over top edges of all pieces 3/8 inch and press; fold over 3/8 inch again and press. Unfold. (You'll use pressed lines as guides later.) Take 1 sleeve and, with right sides facing, sew to front, then back, using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Sew other sleeve to back, then front. Press seams open. Sew along sleeve inseam, then down 1 side. Repeat on other side. Press seams open. Fold over sleeve hem 3/8 inch and press; fold over 3/8 inch again and hem, leaving 1/2-inch opening at inseam. Using guidelines from step 2, refold fabric to make neck tunnel. Sew, leaving 1/2-inch opening at center front (for ribbon) or center back (for elastic). Using small safety pin, thread ribbon or elastic through neck and sleeve tunnels. Gather to desired tightness. If using elastic (as we did for sleeves), overlap ends and sew; then sew opening closed. If using ribbon (shown in collars), tie to finish. Fold bottom hem over 3/8 inch and press; fold over 3/8 inch again and hem.