Maxi dresses are long, flowing dresses that can be worn for any occasion. They are comfortable, stylish, and easy to make. In this blog post, How to make a maxi dress from scratch, without using a pattern. You will need some basic sewing skills, a sewing machine, and some fabric of your choice. Let’s get started!Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
What You Will Need
- Fabric: You will need about 3 yards of fabric for a maxi dress, depending on your size and the length you want. You can use any type of fabric that drapes well, such as cotton, rayon, jersey, or chiffon. You can also mix and match different fabrics for the bodice, the skirt, and the ruffles.
- Elastic: You will need about 1 yard of elastic for the waistband. You can use any width of elastic that is comfortable for you, but I recommend 1 inch or wider.
- Measuring tape, scissors, pins, thread, iron, and sewing machine.
How to Make a Maxi Dress
Step 1: Cut the Fabric
Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, and then fold it again lengthwise. There ought to be four layers of cloth.
- Measure your bust, waist, and hips, and add 2 inches to each measurement for ease and seam allowance. Divide each measurement by 4, and mark these measurements on the fabric, starting from the folded edge. For example, if your bust is 36 inches, you will mark 9 inches from the folded edge.
- Measure the length from your shoulder to your waist, and mark it on the fabric. This is how long the bodice will be.
- Measure the length from your waist to your ankle, or the desired length of the skirt, and mark it on the fabric. This will be the length of the skirt.
- Draw a curved line from the bust mark to the waist mark, and a straight line from the waist mark to the skirt mark. This will be the side seam of the dress.
- Cut along the side seam, and cut a straight line across the top and bottom of the fabric. You should have two identical pieces of fabric for the front and back of the dress.
Step 2: Sew the Bodice
Place the front and back pieces of the dress right sides together, and pin along the side seams and the shoulder seams.
- Sew along the pinned edges, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Press the seams open.
- To make the neckline, you can either hem it with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, or make a facing. To make a facing, cut a strip of fabric that is the same length as the neckline, and about 2 inches wide. Fold it in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press. Pin it to the neckline, right sides together, and sew along the edge. Trim the seam allowance, and turn the facing to the inside of the dress. Press and topstitch along the neckline.
Step 3: Sew the Skirt
To make the skirt, you can either use the same fabric as the bodice, or a different fabric for contrast. If you use a different fabric, you will need to cut two pieces of fabric that are the same width as the bodice, and the length of the skirt.
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- Place the skirt pieces right together, and pin along the side seams. Sew along the pinned edges, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Press the seams open.
- To make the ruffles, you will need to cut two pieces of fabric that are twice the width of the skirt, and about 10 inches long. You can use the same fabric as the skirt, or a different fabric for contrast. Hem one long edge of each ruffle piece with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Run a basting stitch along the other long edge of each ruffle piece, and pull the thread to gather the fabric. Adjust the gathers until the ruffle pieces are the same width as the skirt.
- Pin the ruffles to the bottom of the skirt, right sides together, and sew along the edge. Press the seam allowance towards the skirt, and topstitch along the seam.
Step 4: Sew the Waistband
- To make the waistband, you will need to cut a strip of elastic that is the same length as your waist measurement, plus 1 inch for overlap. Overlap the ends of the elastic by 1/2 inch, and sew them together with a zigzag stitch. You should have a loop of elastic that fits comfortably around your waist.
- Mark the elastic into four equal sections, and mark the bodice and the skirt into four equal sections as well. Pin the elastic to the inside of the bodice, matching the marks. The elastic should be slightly stretched to fit the bodice. Pin the skirt to the outside of the bodice, right sides together, matching the marks. The skirt should be slightly gathered to fit the bodice.
- Sew along the pinned edge, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, and stretching the elastic as you sew. Press the seam allowance towards the bodice, and topstitch along the seam.
Step 5: Hem the Dress
Try on the dress, and adjust the length if needed. Hem the bottom of the dress with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, or use a rolled hem foot for a neat finish.
How to Style a Maxi Dress
You have just made a beautiful maxi dress that you can wear for any occasion. Here are some tips on how to style it:
- For a casual look, pair your maxi dress with sandals, a denim jacket, and a straw hat. Add some simple jewelry and a tote bag for a chic touch.
- For a formal look, pair your maxi dress with heels, a clutch, and a statement necklace. Add some earrings and a bracelet for some sparkle.
- For a boho look, pair your maxi dress with boots, a fringe bag, and a floppy hat. Add some layered necklaces and bangles for some flair.
- For a winter look, pair your maxi dress with leggings, a cardigan, and a scarf. Add some boots and a beanie for some warmth.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to make a maxi dress. This is a versatile and flattering dress that you can customize with different fabrics, colors, and prints. You can also add sleeves, pockets, or a slit to your dress for more variation. Have fun sewing and wearing your maxi dress!