Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DIY Maxi Dress Tutorial

I've seen these tutorials all over Pinterest. I followed this tutorial when I did my first dress with my friend Amy. We took out the tied sash and sewed the sash to the dress and added buttons. We also added some ruffles to the tank to add a little flair. After doing hers, I made some changes to how I'd like to make mine and I am thrilled with the results. This is a pretty easy dress and can be done in a couple hours. Pinning the tank to the skirt was a little tricky without a helper to pin it for me, but otherwise it was a piece of cake.

Supplies needed:
Tank Top
Skirt fabric- I used knit- 1.5 x's around your waist + 1/4 yard
2 inch non-foldover elasic
coordinating thread
coordinating fabric for ruffles and flowers if desired

First, pick your fabric. Wrap the fabric around your body 1.5 times and add a quarter yard. I actually had them cut the 1/4 yard for me at the store because it's much easier for them to cut a straight line...I need one of those scissor guides on my craft table!

Pick out your tank top. If you want to add ruffles, you can either use the bottom half of your tank, as we did for Amy's dress or purchase an additional quarter yard of coordinating fabric.

To make the top of my dress, I cut 2 strips 2 x 43 inches of white knit fabric and made a ruffle. To make a ruffle, adjust the top thread tension and stitch length on your sewing machine to the highest setting. Sew a quarter inch from the top of the fabric and as you sew the ruffle will gather. If you want more ruffles, after you're done sewing hold the bottom thread and adjust the fabric.Pin the ruffles in desired pattern and sew along the same line that you made the ruffles.

For the skirt, I wanted to add pockets. If you didn't already trim your 1/4 yard of extra fabric, do so now.  Take the large cut of your fabric and cut it in half so you have two skirt panels. The width of my fabric was 58", so I trimmed 10 inches off the bottom to use for the pockets. I hemmed the skirt at the end, so I made sure to leave more than enough on the end.

Take this extra and trace around your hand with a pen or a rotary cutter, adding about an inch and a half all the way around. Using this as your pocket template, cut 3 more pocket pieces. 

Measure where you would like the pockets to be on the skirt and mark it with a pin. Take your first pocket piece placing right sides of the fabric together, and position where your pocket should be. Pin to fabric. Do this with all four pieces of pocket. Make sure that when you hold your two skirt panels together, that the pocket locations all match. Sew the top of the pocket to the skirt panel with a 3/8 inch seam.

Pin your two skirt panels together right sides together and sew using a 1/2 in seam. When you get to the pocket, Sew 1/2 inch past where the pocket begins and pivot to sew around the pocket. When you get back to the skirt panel, pivot and continue sewing panels together.

Your skirt is now starting to take shape. Take the elastic and sew to inside at the top of the skirt using an elastic stitch. Stretch the elastic as far as it will go as you sew around the skirt. As you sew, the fabric will pleat on the elastic. If you get to the end and you have more fabric than elastic, don't worry, just bring the two elastic ends together and overlap about a 1/2 inch. Bunch up the remaining fabric and sew it to the remaining elastic. Sew the ends of the elastic many times to reinforce the seam. Trim off any elastic that extends over the elastic waistband. This will bunch if not trimmed.

To make your waistband, take the extra 1/4 yard fabric and cut it to the size of the top of the skirt, adding 2 inches. Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together and sew. Take the ends, fold into each other and topstitch so that you have a waistband.

Pin the raw edge onto the inside top of the elastic waistband.

Sew all the way around using the elastic stitch.

When done, fold over the waistband.

Try on your two pieces of your dress and pin where you'd like the skirt to hit. This is where you will need help. Be sure to pin under the folded waistband and to pin every inch of the waistband to ensure the skirt is at the correct position. Using an elastic stitch, sew shirt to skirt.

Hem skirt to appropriate length.

I used this blog to make the flowers I embellished the waistband with.

And we're done!

 my friend's dress:

Here are a few more posts you might enjoy...
DIY Large Tote

DIY Beverage Koozie

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