It’s that time of year—when summer sewing shifts into fall designs! Fall is my favorite season to sew for myself. Cozy sweaters, hoodies and dresses with sleeves!
Maxi dresses can definitely be a fashion staple for summer. With long and flowy skirts, they’re cool and comfortable on a hot day. However, with the right fabric, you can transition into cooler temps with a fun and trendy maxi!
Today I’m sharing my maxi dress tutorial—along with graded pattern pieces as a bonus, making this DIY project super easy! Download the pattern file and instructions, print and assemble and you are ready to begin. No drafting required! Feel free to play around with the length of the skirt as well. This would be a super cute short dress too!
Size Chart for reference when printing:
- Downloadable pattern pieces (Letter pieces are for US/Canada home printers, A4 is for international home printers and A0 is for large format plotters)
- 3-4 yards of Printed DTY
- Matching thread
- Sewing machine (optional serger)
- Pins or clips
- Iron for pressing
- 3/4" non-roll elastic
LET'S GET STARTED!
- Once you have the pattern pieces assembled and cut out (instructions for printing and taping are included with the pieces), it’s time to cut your fabric. The skirt and band pieces will be cut on the fold of the fabric. The bodice piece will be cut on a single layer of fabric, one with the piece facing up and one with the piece facing down to create mirrored pieces.
- Place the bodice pieces right sides together, matching up the shoulder, sleeves and sides. Pin in place and sew the edges shown in red. Finish the seams. Turn the bodice right sides out.
- Fold the neckband and sleeve bands in half widthwise, right sides together. Sew along the edges indicated in red.
- Fold the bands wrong sides together, matching up the raw edges, creating cuffs.
- Mark the neckband into four equal quarters with pins or clips, making sure one pin/clip is on the seam of the neckband. Divide the neck opening on the bodice in the same manner, making sure the first two pins are at the shoulder seams.
- Slide the neckband onto the right side of the bodice opening, lining up the pin/clip on the neckband seam with one of the shoulder seams. Line up the rest of the pins/clips around the neck opening. Sew around the neck opening, stretching the neckband slightly in between the pins/clips to fit.
- Here is the finished neckband.
- Mark the sleeve bands into four equal quarters with pins or clips, making sure one pin/clip is on the seam of the sleeve band. Divide the sleeve openings on the bodice in the same manner, making sure the first two pins are at the sleeve seams.
- Slide the sleeve inside the sleeve band, right sides together. Line up the pins/clips. The seam on the band will match up with the bottom seam on the sleeve. Sew around the sleeve, stretching the band slightly in between the pins/clips to fit.
- Here is the finished sleeve band.
- Now place the two skirt pieces right sides together, lining up the side edges. Pin in place and sew along the sides, as shown. Finish the seams.
- Slide the bodice inside the skirt, right sides together, matching up the raw edges at the bottom of the bodice to the raw edges at the top of the skirt and lining up the side seams.
- Pin/clip around the top of the skirt and sew. Finish the seam.
- Now you will create the waist casing. Using your sewing machine, sew a straight stitch 1” away from the finished seam all the way around the skirt. You will be sewing through the bodice and skirt layers.
- Slide the bodice out of the skirt, still wrong sides out. Flip the 1” seam allowance up towards the bodice and pin it flat against the bodice.
- Sew along the top of the seam allowance, 1/8” away from the edge, all the way around the dress, creating a casing. Leave a 2” section open to allow the addition of elastic.
- Measure around your hips and subtract 5”. Cut a piece of 3/4” elastic that length. For example, if your hips measure 40”, cut your elastic 35”. Using a safety pin, thread the elastic through the 2” opening in the casing until it comes out on the other end. Overlap the ends 1/2" and secure together by forward and backstitching several times. Sew the 2” opening shut.
- Hem the bottom of the skirt by folding the raw edge back 1/2" and pressing. Then fold back another 1/2" and sew 1/8” away from the top fold.
YOU ARE ALL DONE!
This tutorial was created by George + Ginger