Posted by: mywakingmemories | March 20, 2009

How to Make the Le Sac Dress

So I finally have some time to write about how to make the Le Sac Dress. It’s pretty simple, it’s just making a drawstring dress. You don’t need anything fancy or complicated. If you can sew straight lines, you’re set.

I’m not great at Photoshop or anything, but here’s a quick tutorial on how to make the Le Sac Dress.

Things you will need:

  • Sewing Machine (or you can hand sew it if you got time)
  • Thread to match your fabric
  • 1 yard of knit jersey fabric (total dimensions: 50″ x 36″ ) – dress
  • less than 1/2 yard of fabric for the string

Instructions for Le String:

1. Cut two pieces of fabric of dimensions 50″ wide by 3″ tall.


2. Sew the two pieces together to make one long rope


3. Fold the piece in half and sew in the seams.


4. Tie a knot at the ends of the rope. That’s it!


Instructions for Le Sac Dress:

1. Cut the fabric in half. There should be two pieces of dimensions 36″ height and 25″ width


2. Sew the armhole section. It should be a total of 8″ from top to bottom of the armhole. Just fold the fabric over about half an inch and sew a basic stitch. Do this for both pieces of the fabric.


3. Then, fold the top of the piece of fabric to make room for the string to go through. You will need about 1.5″ for the string to move smoothly through the dress. Double stitch it down to make sure it’s secure.


4. Sew the sides of the two pieces together and stop when you reach the armholes.


5.  Then put the string through the 1.5″ gap. It’s easier if you attach a large safety pin to the end of the string and use it to thread it through the fabric.  Do this for both sides of the fabric and you’re set.




  1. […] P.P.S.If you’re the sewing type (which I hope to become next year), you can make your own Le Sac without having to pay $30+ for it. Simple instructions HERE and HERE. […]

  2. […] here’s a couple places where you can find the specs to make your own Le Sac dress:link 1, link 2. A couple of Adored Austin readers did this a while back and had amazing […]

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  6. […] I already have a navy blue Le Sac dress (which costs $38 by the way) but my friends Beth, Endya, Katherine and I decided we could craft one for cheaper. My jersey fabric and thread cost under $10 total from Jo-Ann Fabrics & Craft. We used the instructions found on this blog. […]

  7. […] Le sac dress from American Apparel that you can wear different ways. I found a pretty good tutorial here, very easy and for beginner. The only little point missing was images so I had to watch few ads and […]

  8. OMG, I am going to try it this weekend, I need a dress exactly like this for my niece’s christening =), I’ll keep in touch!!!! Your tutorial is great!!!!

  9. I love your tutorial, it is really detailed and well writen. I decided to make my own but encountered a problem, i think i made the strap to short because it will not fit properly and is to short to tie. My strap is aroud 100″ long, is this right or did i miss something. I’ll keep working on it , thanks, love the work you’re doing . 🙂

  10. Do you have to use jersey fabric?

    I bought a poplin fabric today that I think might work?

    • I like jersey because it has some stretch, but any kind of fabric can work too.

  11. I love this, was about to spend £34 on it today. Glad i didnt, but i did just bid for it on ebay :/ hopefully i dont have to pay much more than it does to make it. I’ll be annoyed i didnt find this about an hour ago other wise.

  12. Love this! but the aa le string is 150″x1″, does that make a big difference in the possible styles you can wear it or is the aa le string just a little too long?

  13. I bought this dress, I wish I had seen this before I had! Still, it is one of my favorite dresses! Good Job : )

  14. Hi! I have been planning on making a le sac for a wile but I have one question..
    Do you have to make a cut at the bottom of the 8inches where the arm hole is in order to hem it? Or do you just fold it and sew up to the 8 in mark?


    • You can just fold and sew.

  15. I’m trying to make this dress, but like everyone else, am confused on the armholes that should be 8 inches. It says fold it over and then sew. So I fold 8 inches from the top of the fabric and then sew that down across the dress? Also, for the Belted look, am I supposed to fold the rope in half and then loop it through? because otherwise if i didn’t wouldn’t the rope just slip out if I threaded one side through on the back?

    • For the folding over part of the armhole, it’s just to hide the edges. The 8 inches of the fabric should have a nice hem…that’s all. As for the belted look, when you put it through the back, you tie the knot where the rope meets on the other side so it won’t slip.

  16. This is amazing and beautiful! I was intrigued by this dress and the circle scarf on the AA website, and found your site on Google. This seems like a brilliant and fun way to get this dress. I didn’t want to spend $40 buying it anyways. Did you ever finish your circle scarf with the stripes? It would be great to see!

  17. HI, do the two ends of the string just come out of the same armhole (one from each side)?

    • Yes. They should be threaded through the armholes to create the drawstring look.

  18. […] oder aber Preisschild nicht gefielen. So auch bei American Apparels „le sac“-Kleid, (hier der Link zum Tutorial) das zudem sehr gut in meinen momentan ziemlich straffen Zeitplan […]

  19. […] oder aber Preisschild nicht gefielen. So auch bei American Apparels „le sac“-Kleid, (hier der Link zum Tutorial) das zudem sehr gut in meinen momentan ziemlich straffen Zeitplan […]

  20. Hi 🙂 I’m sure this sounds really ridiculous, but I was looking at the Le Sac dress and was like “Oh, I can make that!” but now I’m confused. You sew up both sides of the dress? But then how do you make it all different stuff? Wouldn’t it just be a strapless dress then?

    I’d love to see a picture of what it looks like when it’s not tied up or anything.

    • The dress is pretty much two pieces of fabric sewn together with “slits” for the armholes. The rope connects the two pieces which creates the full effect of armholes and allows for you to make the different styles. You can wear in many ways, forwards, backwards, and on its sides. I’ll try to put up a picture, but I don’t have a camera at the moment!

  21. Hola From México I love sewing and my friend was a model from AA and she has all this cool dresses and stuff but I refused to pay since I can make it myself and sell it later to others… do you have any more patters or websites with convertible dresses?

    And for the girls that want to know how to use the dress go to check the videos in AA website just to see how it works out in several ways!!! thanks soo much I just wish I understand the other measurements because in Mexico we do centimeters!!!

    • I’ll be updating the site soon with more info on patterns and links. Thanks for the idea!

  22. Hi, what fabric did you use to make your straps for your Le Sac? I’m crazy for convertible dresses and made one last week ( Can’t wait to try this one!


    • You can use any fabric, but I got a rayon jersey because it has a bit of a stretch and a nice sheen.

  23. Hey thanks for the how to! It was perfect for my next project! I went to AA recently and tried it on, only to find the measurements 😉 But im glad i was able to find a how to also! thanks a bunch! you can check out my blog which features the stuff i make and my project (le sac dress)

  24. […] ihr wolltet eine DIY-Anleitung… Posted in DIY by spontanextase on 1. August 2009 hier gibt es die unfehlbare, genial einfache anleitung für den Le Sac Dress! […]

  25. […] How to Make the Le Sac Dress Waking Up to a New Tomorrow __________________ Sometimes when you bring the thunder, you get lost in the storm […]

  26. i have zero sewing experience and i followed your directions and made the dress! so thanks 🙂

    • I’m glad it worked out for you! 🙂

  27. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I must be really sewing challanged though, because I still don’t understand how the armholes work. Which way do I fold up the fabric? I feel like if I tried to sew the armholes, I would sew them shut. I’m so very confused, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • For the armholes, first you just sew the fabric so there’s no raw edge showing for the 8″ of fabric. Then, to connect the two pieces of fabric, sew from the bottom to the 8″ seam, that creates the armhole. The rope that goes at the top will complete the armhole.

  28. Hi, was the fabric you used as stretchy as the actual AA dress? I went to a fabric store today and found a very similar jersey fabric…for $14/yard. Didn’t buy it. Do you have any chain stores you can recommend?

    • The fabric I used was a jersey material, very similar to the AA one. I got it for about $8 a yard at Jo-Ann Fabrics. However, if you want a better quality one, it’d be better to go to a actual fabric store such as Mood Fabrics, etc. Since I live in Los Angeles, it’s easy to head to the Fashion District and pick up fabric at wholesale prices, so it really depends of where you can go. Sometimes, it takes some shopping around to find fabric you like. Also, since only a yard of fabric is needed, I’m willing to spend a bit more for better quality fabric…it’s still cheaper than the AA store.

  29. Hi, thanks for the pattern! I knew I could make it and was totally shocked by the price, so I’m glad you had instructions!

    Today I made my dress in the total of one afternoon, and hand sewed it, it was so easy… It’s hot pink fabric with yellow flowers and a yellow ribbon to tie it up. I’m pretty happy with it, haha but I don’t think I have the boobs to pull off some of the styles.

    I have one question though… My favorite styles are the super basic ones (the first three on your “fun with le sac” page), but I don’t get what you can do with the straps in the back! I looked it up on the site and it said they go diagonally but had a picture of them dropping vertically down the back. And every time I do it it just ends up messy. I’m thinking of just wearing a sweater over it until I can figure it out, but do you have any tips? It just always looks bunched up, sloppy and disorganized in the back, but the front looks so good!

    Thanks for the pattern!

    • It definitely takes a bit of work to get the back to look right, but it can be done. If you keep the knot closer to the edge of the fabric, it won’t be as noticeable and if you pin it to the dress itself, it can keep the rope from showing. Either keeping the rope vertical or diagonal doesn’t matter as long as it works for you…though a vertical drop is easier to do. I hope this helps! =)

  30. I linked to you but never said hello!
    So… hello! You have a great blog 🙂

    • Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy it! =)

  31. […] HERE & HERE […]

  32. Could you maybe post a photo of the dress where i can see how the straps are done? Since I dont live in the US i cant see the dress myself, and somehow i cant figure out how the straps should be…

    Is it that the straps are through the whole front and then one side is through the back aswell so the straps end on one armhole?

    Thnx for the help, and the pattern!

    • I’ll definitely be putting up a tutorial with actual pictures soon. You can also check out the american apparel website.

  33. […] American Apparel’s Le Sac: Seit in Hamburg eine Filiale von American Apparel aufgemacht hat, ertappe ich mich dabei, immer mal wieder die bunten Leggins, T-Shirts und simplen Jersey-Stücke, die sie als Kleider verkaufen, anzuhimmeln. Dieses super-wandelbare Modell kann man zu einem Bruchteil des Kaufpreises selber nähen! […]

  34. This is perfect! When I first saw the dress I knew I could make it, but was considering buying one anyway just to get the measurements. Thanks so much for them, I’m going tomorrow to get fabric.

    Also, the fact that you can make your own le strings is awesome. I’m going to buy extra fabric just to make extra strings in different colors and patterns. Brilliant.

  35. Hey, thanks for the tutorial! 🙂 Just one comment..why is it that you have the strap measuring 100″ (after you put the two 50″ pieces together) when the American Apparel website says the strap is 150″? I was just a little bummed when I went to put on my dress and found out that a couple of the ways wouldn’t work right because I needed more length in the strap. Could be because my strap isn’t very stretchy though! Anyways, just thought I’d point that out in case anyone else had the same problem.

    • I wanted the strap shorter than 150″ because I kept getting tangled in it, but it would be better for other people to have longer. I just wrote down what I used.

  36. I am having a really hard time figuring out the whole armholes part? like…do I sew up to them, or just hem them?

    • For the armholes, you fold the fabric over and sew it down so the edge doesn’t show (about 8″ long). Then sew the two pieces of fabric from the bottom of the 8″ armhole area to the bottom of the dress. I hope that answers your question.

  37. Thank you for this tutorial! I tried to make this based on photos from the AA website but ended up with something a little too wide because they don’t have the dimensions up. I have some really great seafoam jersey material I am going to try this again with!!!

    • I hope it works out for you! =D Good luck!

  38. Do you mind if I ask how tall you are? I am considering making the dress, but am afraid 36 inches won’t be long enough on me (I’m 5’5″). I noticed in your “Fun with Le Sac” post that the dress falls to your knees. Thanks!

    • I’m about 5,” but you can make the dress longer to fit your proportions. Just measure from the top of your shoulder to the top of your knees to get a more accurate measurement than 36″ and add enough excess for the band, bottom seam (if you want one), and seam allowances.

      • Thanks – I clearly have no sense of what 36 inches means because it was the perfect length! I made my version of the dress last night and it looks good – thanks for providing the tutorial!

      • No problem. I’m glad it worked out for you!

  39. Thanks soo much for this ‘how to’. I made my versiion today and it was a big help 🙂

    • I hope it turned out great!=D

  40. Hi, I was looking at all the styles you made with this dress, and the first in the second row from the left, it looks like there’s a “v” shaped cut in the middle. Do you have to make a “v” shaped cut in the front of the dress, or how do you go about achieving that style? THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE TUTORIAL!

    • You don’t have to make a v shaped cut. All you need to do is put your head through one of the armholes and use that to create the v-neck.

    • The V-shape cut is made by separating one of the armholes to create the halter look! Thanks for checking out my blog! =)

    • Thank you, thank you for posting this tutorial! Love the tutorial and love your blog!

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