How to Make a Burlap Sack Dress

Written by jody hanson
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How to Make a Burlap Sack Dress
Burlap is a versatile fabric. (ULTRA F/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Burlap, made from the jute plant, is an inexpensive fabric. It is also very strong and has many uses. Sacks that hold a hundred pounds of livestock feed or potatoes are made from burlap, and gardeners appreciate its versatility and biodegradability. If you are going to a costume party as Daisy Mae from the Li'l Abner cartoons, cut a hole for the head and arms and wear it as is. If, however, you want to make a more sophisticated creation, it will take a bit more work.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Wash the burlap sack. No matter if you have just finished up a sack of potatoes or if your sack has been sitting in the garage for a while, you will want to start with clean fabric. If you want to dye the burlap another colour, do it before you sew the dress.

  2. 2

    Cut the burlap sack down both sides so that it opens up into a flat piece of cloth. Spread it out and calculate how many yards of material you have to work with. Unless the dress is for a child, you may need a second sack.

  3. 3

    Determine if you are going to design your own pattern, buy one from the local fabric shop or download one from the Internet. Burlap is a textured fabric, so you may want to choose an A-line dress rather than a design with a fitted waist so that the dress will hang nicely.

  4. 4

    Decide if you will line the dress or if you don't mind the rough feel of burlap against your skin. If you decide to line it, opt against a pattern with a waist, as the extra layer will make the dress too thick.

  5. 5

    Pin the pattern to the burlap and cut carefully. Remember to leave an extra half an inch for a seam allowance.

  6. 6

    Sew the two or more pieces together and then reverse. If your pattern has sleeves, sew them on first. If your burlap dress pattern has a zipper, sew it in carefully and be sure the fabric doesn't bunch up.

  7. 7

    Visit your button box and pick the best ones to go with your dress. Try a few different combinations to see which buttons look best.

  8. 8

    Wear your creation proudly. You will be the only person at the party in a burlap dress.

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