Feb 17, 2013

DIY Maxi Dress

Boy, am I excited to share today's post with you! Why? Because I made a freaking maxi dress all by myself! This was my first sewing project, and I am beyond proud of myself with how it turned out.

I've been dying for a sewing machine for forever and I finally got one for my birthday from my amazing Hubby! This thing is amazing, let me tell you! There are so many stitches to choose from, I don't think I'll possibly ever use them all. But I'm sure going to try!

I saw this maxi dress on Pinterest a few weeks back after I received my sewing machine. I figured, "hey, that doesn't look so hard," so I pinned it. Well, I was finally brave enough to try it out and, as you can see, it turned out AWESOME!

For this project, you'll need one tank, fabric (I used jersey knit) roughly 2.5 yards or enough to wrap around your body 1.5 times and have some left over for a sash, elastic thread, cotton thread, ball point needle, walking foot (for the sewing machine) and scissors.


First, cut your tank. Cut where you want the skirt to attach… In my case, it was right under my chest, or boobs, if you will lol. Leave a little room to sew the tank to the skirt.

Wrap the fabric 1.5 times around your waist where you want the skirt part of the dress to start. Cut off any remaining fabric and save for a sash.

Fold the fabric in half so that the pretty side is visible on both sides, this will create a bubble bottom at the bottom of the skirt so you won't have to hem that. Now, to begin creating the skirt, place the edges together (four layers in total) creating a rectangle, and sew up the long side using the cotton thread. Because you folded the fabric, one end will have four raw edges and the bottom will be a pretty bubble edge. Flip the skirt inside out so you no longer see the hem edges.


Okay, next we add the elastic thread around the top of the skirt, not the bubble side. In this step, we will use the elastic thread, but only for the bobbin thread. The top thread will remain the regular cotton thread. Below is the kind you should get, I found mine at Jo-Ann's Fabric Store.

Image Source
Wind the bobbin by hand, but make sure not to do it too tightly. Sew all the way around the top of your skirt with the elastic thread on the inside, the side that would be touching your skin. It should begin to gather like you see below. You want it to gather!


Before the next step, turn the skirt inside out so the raw edge that you sewed in the first step are on the outside.

Next, slide the tank top in the skirt, making sure the tank is right side out. Slide it in the skirt, top (straps) first, as pictured below:



Pin the cut edge of the tank to the ruffled skirt edge, making sure that the long seam on your skirt is in the middle of the back of your tank. The seam will run down the back of your dress. I would suggest pinning it in that spot first and then working your way around, spacing out the ruffles. As you sew, you will need to stretch the tank, but not the skirt. This will make the skirt gather more. Pull the tank tight towards you and lay the skirt edge on the tank edge and sew. You can't mess up ruffles!

While your dress is turned inside out, carefully trim the excess fabric at the waistband. Flip your dress right side out and inspect your work!

To make the sash to cover the seam, cut a long strip of fabric to your desired sash length. Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, and sew up the long side and one short side. Turn the sash right side out, fold down raw edges on the last side and sew. I did not attach the sash to the dress, but instead just tied around the small of my waist.

I really hope all of that made sense! I've never taught others how to do a sewing project... Heck I just taught myself how to sew! If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I'd be happy to help!