I love dolman style tops because they're easy to make and generally look great. The project is perfect for someone just starting to sew with knit fabrics as well as for intermediates and experts who want a quick project.
You will want a jersey knit. Using a woven fabric with no stretch will result in something either way too tight or far too loose.
You can use as little as one yard of fabric for this, depending on the desired length. I used one full yard to yield a minidress that falls to about my mid thigh.
Dolmans are exceptionally simple to take in if you make them too loose. They're also very versatile. Depending on the fabric you use, your dolman top can be casual, classy, or flirty.
Be sure to take three main measurements to keep in mind while making your dolman top: desired length (from shoulder to where you want it to fall), widest point (can be either bust or hips), and waist. Always measure twice and cut once!
Start by laying your fabric flat with the top, bottom, and side edges all lined up. Your fabric should be folded in half, or have two layers.
When your fabric has been laid out, put a comfortable knit top on top of the fabric to use as a pattern. (As you can see here, I used my first dolman top as a pattern so I could make a larger one.)
Leaving plenty of room for seam allowances, cut out around the top you're using as a pattern.
Remove the pattern top from your cut out pieces, and fold both layers in half. Cut out a small strip from the top that will mark the collar/neckline.
After cutting the initial neckline, fold only the top layer in half. For a deep front neckline, cut a few inches down from the original neckline, making sure that your front will match up with the back.
Now take your cut pieces to the sewing machine. Using a zig-zag stitch (my length and width were set to medium/low and my needle position was in the middle), sew from neckline mark to the edge of the sleeve on both sides.
Now, still using the zig-zag stitch, sew up the side seams including the curve for the sleeve.
If you would like to finish the raw edges, fold over a hem and sew, still using a zig-zag stitch so that the hems can stretch.
After you have finished all the seams, snip any long threads remaining.
Try on your new dolman top! If it's too loose, simply sew up the side seams. If the neckline is too high, carefully trim it deeper.