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Mod Dress Sewing For Beginners: Full Guide

If you have never sewn a dress before, then a Mod dress is a great way to begin.

Boho Infinity Scarf Easy Follow-Along Guide (2)

Not only is a Mod dress stylish, but it does not have a fitted form due to it being inspired by the shift dress of the 1920s. This means that you do not need it to fit the body shape exactly.

For this reason, a Mod dress is fairly simple to sew and create, even without a dedicated pattern (How long does it take to sew a dress? Find out here). All you need is a loose fitted shirt and some stretchy fabric, and you are good to go.

If you are new to sewing and would like to create your own Mod dress, then you have come to the right place. Here we take a look at how to make a Mod dress for beginners in this full guide.

What Is A Mod Dress?

Mod mainly refers to the 1960s when it was a style of clothing – and you could say attitude too. It was a fashion style that was popular among the youth, and stood for ‘modern’ or ‘modernist’.

These days, something like a Mod dress is a watered down version that takes aspects from this generation of fashion, but brings it into the modern era. 

Mod clothing was influenced by the likes of miniskirts, bell bottoms, shift dresses and lots of bright patterns. Men could be seen wearing tailored suits, as well as polos and boots.

It is a style that is still considered to be one of the best from days long gone, after all, it was the ‘swinging 60s’.

What Does The Word Mod Mean?

Mod basically means ‘modern’ or ‘modernist’. In the 1960s, just like every decade before and after, a new generation of youth came along with their take on rebellious fashion.

Today, we often see fashion going around in circles. This was just the same during the Mod era of the 1960s.

The Mod dress is a take on the 1920s shift dresses when women were embracing a style that wasn’t tight or fitted to their body. 

However, the miniskirt was new and risque, something the younger generation of the 60s made their own. 

Mod itself has changed over the years thanks to popular culture. While it started with tailored clothing, it grew to represent particular haircuts and men on mopeds. 

Why Is Mod A Famous Fashion Style?

While Mod is just another subculture of fashion, it became associated with certain movements. However, it first began due to its association with modern jazz, which is where ‘modernist’ came from.

The fashion and attitude at the time was just another change that was happening in Great Britain when a whole new generation of youngsters rose up into the spotlight. 

However, it was more than just that. It was influenced by the change of a post-war world too. 

Where Did The Mod Style Come From?

When the Mod style first began in the 1960s, it was a modern take of how to dress well.

Many men wore tailored suits, while the women wore very put together shift dresses and matching two pieces that often involved a miniskirt.

However, over time other influences came into play from the likes of pop culture and other things happening at the time.

For example, it took on a hippy influence by introducing love beads and Nehry jackets.

American TV shows also influenced the style of the Mod. These included The Mod Squad and the Laugh-In. 

How To Make A Mod Dress For Beginners?

You Will Need

Boho Infinity Scarf Easy Follow-Along Guide (3)
  • A yard of stretchy knit fabric (though add more if you would like the dress to be longer)
  • Thread (that matches the color of the dress, or is close enough to the pattern color. You can also just choose black or white).
  • A loose fitted shirt (this is not to cut up, but to use as a guide)

Step 1

Place your chosen fabric onto the floor or a table and fold it in half so the pattern or color is on the outside. This will form the front and back of the dress. 

Step 2

Place the loose fitting shirt or top onto the fabric and make sure the sleeves are crossed over on themselves to avoid using them in the pattern. 

All you need is the shape of the shirt, and where the arm seams are. This will be your dress pattern. 

Step 3

Draw around the top and make sure you ghost draw out where the rest of the dress is. Add half a seam allowance to the dress size. Move the top and cut the dress out.

Step 4

You should now have two dress pieces. On one piece of material, cut out the shape and depth of the front neckline. Now cut a one inch strip of the same material that follows the same curve as the original neckline you cut. 

Cut another one that matches the back of the neck. Now pin and sew them in place, one at a time with a three eighth allowance for the seam. 

Step 5

Pin both sides of the dress together starting at the shoulders, and sew into place. Do not go any further than the arm holes.

Step 6

To make the sleeves, place just a sleeve of the original shirt or top onto the folded material. Make sure the longest side matches up with the fold in the fabric. 

Draw around the sleeve and cut it out. Remember to leave a half inch seam allowance. Then do this again for a second sleeve.

Step 7

Place the dress flat out and put the highest part of the sleeve onto the shoulder end of the dress. Sew using a straight stitch and remember the half seam allowance. 

Sew until you reach the armpit on both sides, and then sew down the arms. Repeat for the other sleeve. Then add in a hem at the end.

Step 8

Finish by sewing up the rest of the dress sides and adding a hem at the bottom. Press the seams and you are finished.

Final Thoughts

We hope you have enjoyed reading how to make this wonderful and easy to make Mod dress that is suitable for beginner sewers!

Liz Miller
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