The Best Denim Dress Patterns

The Best Denim Dress Patterns

FG Denim


Denim is undoubtedly one of the most popular fabrics out there. Due to its toughness and diversity, denim fabric can be used in all kinds of sewing projects such as jeans, jackets, skirts, bags and much more. And this year it is all about the denim dress as seen on the Spring/Summer catwalks in abundance. We referenced this trend earlier in the year in our blog on the key spring/summer dressmaking trends for 2022 where we highlighted the denim pinafore dress (which is so versatile as it works in both summer and winter) and also the denim shirt dress, both easy makes which are also bang on trend.


Before we get on to the best denim dress patterns for the summer, our team have put together a definitive guide to denim, to help you make your next denim project something pretty special.


The History Of Denim


Denim is a super sturdy form of cotton, in which the weft passes under multiple warp threads. As mentioned previously, the material has grown into one of the most popular fabrics available, but how has denim developed into the fabric that it is today? 


Well, we start in the cultural southern French city of Nîmes, a stunning location that is the proud birthplace of denim fabric, which is why the word denim in fact originates from the name “serge de Nîmes”.


During the mid-1800’s, the popularity of denim clothing in the USA experienced an astronomical surge thanks to the California Gold Rush. Hundreds of thousands of American gold prospectors required strong, durable clothing to help them with their mining exploits, and denim fabric provided the perfect solution.


Thanks to its durable qualities, denim clothing continued to be worn by workers in the decades which followed the Gold Rush. Then, in the 1930s, denim clothing was deemed fashionable after Hollywood was gripped by the cowboy movie craze.


Denim sales understandably took a dive during World War 2, however sales picked up once again in the 1950s as many young people began to embrace denim clothing.


During this period, many youngsters chose to wear denim clothing as a sign of rebellion, a movement that was heavily inspired by the release of Hollywood blockbusters such as “The Wild One” and James Dean’s “Rebel Without a Cause”, films that both heavily featured iconic denim outfits.


Denim clothing gradually lost its rebellious association during the 1960s and 1970s, as it started to be recognised as a widely fashionable and marketable fabric. Since then, denim clothing has maintained its popularity and manufacturers began releasing different styles of denim jeans, such as ripped jeans during the late 1980s, and more recently skinny jeans.


Our Top Tips For Sewing With Denim


Due to its sturdiness, denim is certainly not the easiest fabric to sew with. However, that doesn’t mean that you should shy away from the challenge! To help you with your denim sewing project we have put together a few top tips to consider.


First of all, it is really important to use sharp tools so that cutting patterns is much easier. A sharp pair of scissors as well as sharp rotary cutters are a must for sewing with denim, and it is also worth noting that you may have to cut your denim one layer at a time if your fabric is considerably thick.


Also, using heavy duty needles is vital when sewing with denim. Denim specific needles with a reinforced blade are available to help you minimise needle deflection and reduce the chances of you breaking your needle or skipping stitches.


The Fabrics Galore team also recommend using a heavy-duty jeans thread for any denim sewing project that you have planned. If you are unable to find a heavy-duty jeans thread, an upholstery thread should suffice.


The Best Denim Dress Patterns

Don’t let our top tips about sewing with denim put you off because the good news is that sewing a denim dress is sooo much easier than sewing a pair of jeans or a jacket. Phew, that’s a relief.

1. Denim Tunic Dress Pattern


Our friends at Sew Different and The Foldline have a few denim dress patterns to get you started. First up it’s the appropriately named Essential Denim Dress which is a loosely fitted shift dress or tunic with cap sleeves.

Essential Denim Dress Pattern

Essential Denim Dress Pattern

It has a diagonal bust line repeated on the pocket and three front panels which means you can elevate the style with a mix of different denim fabrics and colours. We recommend trying our stonewashed denims in different colours, maybe the pale, medium and dark indigo blue?


stonewash denim mid blue    Indigo denim fabric

Stonewash denim in mid blue and indigo 


2. Denim Pinafore Dress Pattern 

Next up we have the Katy Pinafore dress which would look just fabulous in one of our denim hickory stripes for summer.


denim pinafore dress pattern

Katy Pinafore Dress Pattern


denim hickory stripe fabric pink    denim hickory stripe multicolour

Denim Hickory Stripes


3. Denim Shirt Dress Pattern

And finally the gorgeous Simplicity vintage shirt dress which would work equally well with our denim chambray cotton twill as it would with our brightly coloured stretch denims.


Denim Shirt Dress Pattern

Simplicity vintage shirt dress


chambray denim fabric     yellow stretch denim fabric

Chambray Denim Cotton and Yellow Stretch Denim



 Here at Fabrics Galore, we love our high-quality denim fabrics, which is why we stock a small but carefully curated selection of different denim designs within our online fabric store.



Fabrics Galore is proud to provide sewers of all experience levels with the fabric they need, to create beautiful denim clothing. Our fantastic, high quality denim fabric range is one of the most popular collections at Fabrics Galore, and by exploring our selection it is easy to see why.



To find the denim fabric for your next project, explore our denim fabrics range today.


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