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!


71 comments :

  1. I love it....tell your photographer he is good also...hehe

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    1. He's only as good as his director ;) lol

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  2. Oh wow! This is so pretty! YOU are so pretty too! I love the colors and your sewing work is so good!
    I would love if you link this to my link party Monday morning!
    XO
    Isabelle
    http://lechateaudesfleurs.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you, Isabelle! How very sweet of you :) That made my day! I will go link up!

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  3. Nice Audra!
    This is a nice sewing project!
    thanks for sharing.

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  4. Wow you did a great job here :) Thanks for sharing with us at Creative Mondays ...

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    1. Featuring your wonderful post this week on Creative Mondays:) also pinned... also I've just started a share your style Saturday where you can share any fashion post, would be great if you join us soon :)

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  5. Pretty! You should check out the refashionista blog now that you know how to see. A lot of her projects turn out really cute!

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  6. This is gorgeous! I love the pattern you chose, I would buy this dress off the rack!

    www.domesticblisssquared.com

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    1. Wow! What a complement :) Thank you!

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    2. I would too. Gorgeous!

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    3. I would too. Gorgeous!

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  7. I love it! Looks like a simple project....my favorite! Plan to make 1 for me and 1 for my 14 year old daughter. Super cute! I'm a new follower!

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    1. That's awesome! Let me know how they turn out! :)

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  8. Super cute! Love the color fabric you picked too

    ~Sherine
    Confessions Of A City Girl / Check out my eyewear line Enerjiee

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    1. Thank you, Sharine! :) Happy you approve.

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  9. You are kind of like my hero now!!:D Congrats on making your own maxi dress. And making it as gorgeous as ti is!

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    1. Stop it! lol, You're making me blush :) Thank you!

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  10. This is amazing. Now I am thinking of making one!!

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  11. Very Cute!! What type of fabric did you use for the skirt??

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  12. looks awesome! My sewing machine gives me fits, but maybe I should try again!

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  13. I love it!! It is so pretty! I have that same necklace too and never wear it! Maybe I can make a dress for the summer with the colors so I can wear my necklace! Thanks for sharing! I pinned it! Julia @ www.juliakendrick.com

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    1. You should! Its one of my favorite necklaces :)

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  14. Excellent fabric!! Great tutorial, thanks for sharing :)

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  15. LOVE that print!! Makes me wish summer was here!! :) So cute

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  16. Love your maxi dress Audra!! I have never sewed anything so I'm impressed! Plus, this makes me want to try my hand at sewing something! Amazing job!!

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    1. Thanks girl! You should totally get one!

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  17. It is beautiful! I love it. I tried something similar with regular cotton fabric, but I love how you used jersey! I need to try it for summer! I'll be featuring this on my blog tomorrow!

    http://www.sumossweetstuff.com

    Thanks!
    Sumo:)

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  18. Audra that skirt is beautiful. I love the fabric you chose and your pictures are beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial at Transformed Tuesday.
    Hugs,
    Peggy~PJH Designs

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  19. Fabulous dress! I never would have guessed it started with a tank.

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  20. I wish I had a sewing machine. That's so pretty. I want one bad.

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  21. Where did you get your fabric? I love it!!

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    Replies
    1. At a local fabric shop close to my office.

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  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  24. Yes, I too would Love to Know where you got that Colorful Jersey Fabric! I'm Guessing Joann's?

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    1. Nope, actually just a local fabric shop. :)

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  25. Hi Audra!
    My only dilema is I have curves and am using linen fabric for the bottom half. Any suggestions on how to make this fit but flow? Since it isn't stretchy I'm a little nervous about measurements...

    Thanks!
    Taylor

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    1. You could try sewing in an elastic band instead of just the elastic thread. As long as you make the fabric at the waist it should look good!

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  26. Hi,
    i love the dress. also where did you get that patterned fabric, i have been looking for jersey knit multi color fabric online and at my local jo ann fabrics and no luck.

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    1. Thank you! I found it at a local fabric store.

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  27. I just made one! Thanks so much for your tutorial. Very easy to follow and I am extremely happy with the results!

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  28. I just have one questions on the first part im a little confused about folding and sewing right side out

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    1. Feel free to email me! I'm happy to help :) Audra.Kurtz@gmail.com

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  29. Can't wait to try it!! it's so cute!

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  30. What kind of fabric did you use? I'm making one for my sister's baby gender reveal party and it's a little stiff with not a lot of flow..

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  31. Call me crazy but I cant figure out how you created the bubble at the end of your skirt. You say fold your fabric in half, but which way? When I did mine, it didnt create a bubble, it was still open-ended. NOt sure what I'm doing wrong here

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    1. Hey not a problem, I've had a few people email me the same question. Imagine a large rectangle lying on the floor, right side (pretty side of the fabric) facing down. I folded it length wise (hot dog fold lol going back to elementary here!) so that the wrong sides were touching. Then sewed up the left and right side. Now, I have a rectangle with the top still open, left and right side sewn, and the bottom is now a bubble skirt finish. Assuming you bought enough fabric, the fabric should be able to wrap around you 1.5 times (with the bubble at the bottom). So, if that works then you lay the rectangle out again, take the left side that you sewed, bring it to the right side you sewed and sew those together. That creates the four layers, make sense? You would flip that seam to the inside now so you don't see the raw stitch...since all sides are the right side of the fabric. Hope that helps!

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  32. PS to anyone who has questions and leaves them here, make sure you aren't a "no-reply" commenter. If you haven't set up your e-mail reply with your personal e-mail and you use blogger I won't be able to send you a direct reply. You can always send me a personal email using the link under my welcome image :)

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  33. Wow! This turned out AWESOME! I might have to get a sewing machine...

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  34. Very cute!!

    Ann @ The Rustic RedHead

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  35. I am going to make this today! I love glitter as well so we are kindred spirits! Best of luck with the baby!

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  36. I love your dress but I personally need step by step instructions! More pictures would be a big help too. Sorry, I'm one of this slow people lol

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  37. Gourgeous, I Love it! I'm featuring this tomorrow on my weekly round up!!! Hope you have a wonderful week!

    Hugs
    Cami @ TitiCrafty.com
    Sunday Bewitch Me & Titi {Link Party}

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  38. You have a new fan from India- Me. Awesome dress and awesome you. I am inspired.

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