How to Make Your Own Maxi Dress

Hello Lovely, 
Today I am sharing how you can whip yourself up a super cute summer maxi dress. I have personally been trying to find something like this for ages but it seems to be impossible. So I created my own and thought why not share! 

I have a full video tutorial on my youtube channel if thats more your thing.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_9114-1.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_9094.jpg
You will need: 
  • 2.5m Fabric, Cotton or Linen
  • Matching thread & bobbin
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk
  • Fabric scissors
  • Pattern making paper or sketching paper, pencil, ruler and scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Optional: Overlocker

Pattern Pieces to Cut: 

  • Front Bodice - Cut x1 Pair
  • Back Bodice - Cut x1 Pair
  • Straps - Cut x2 (30cm x 2cm strips)
  • Tier 1 - Cut x2
  • Tier 2 - Cut x2
  • Tier 3 - Cut x4

Step 1: Measure the fullest part of your bust.
To do this step grab a dressmakers tape and measure across the widest part of your bust. Write this down and add 2cm.
Example; Bust is 95cm + 2cm = 97cm.

Step 2: On one of the papers fold it in half and measure out 1/4 of your new bust measurement from the folded edge. Then 20cm down and back to the fold with the 1/4 bust measurement. You will now have a rectangle shape. Next, measure in 15cm across the top and 10cm down from the side. Draw a curved shape to meet both points to form your armhole. Now add a 1cm seam all the way around. Cut out.

Step 3: The back bodice is 1/4 the new bust measurement from the folded edge, then down 15cm and back across to the fold at 1/4 bust again. Measure down 10cm at the side and in 8cm from the end of the top line. Meet points to form the armhole curve.

Example; 97cm x 1.5 = 145.5cm.
Tier 1 I am going to round up to be 150cm long x 25cm wide. This will just add a little bit more fullness in the gathers.

Repeat this for the other tiers...
Tier 2 = 150cm x 1.5 = 225cm x 30cm wide (eg, Cut x2 113cm lengths)
Tier 3 = 225cm x 1.5 = 338cm x 35cm wide (eg, Cut x3 112cm lengths)

As you have probably noticed the more layers you have the more fabric you will need so just work with what you have. 
Once you have cut out all of the appropriate pieces here is my sewing guide.
To Sew:

Make Straps:
Take one strap piece (30cm by 2cm) and fold it in half long ways. Sew the raw edges together all the way down the long edge with a 1cm seam.

Turn the strap piece out, so that the raw edges, and seam, are hidden inside. Do this by placing a large safety pin on one end and fishing it through to the other end.

Press the strap flat with an iron to make the seams lay flat.

Repeat with the other strap piece.

Sew Bodice:

Take both pairs of front and back bodices placing right sides together. Sew the side seams together with a 1cm seam.

Fold one of the pairs to the right side so the seams are on the inside.

Attach the straps to the outer shell bodice 1cm in from the armhole raw edge at the front. This is important so they don't get stuck in the seam or sit wonky.

Pull the straps out flat to make sure they aren't twisted and pin to the back bodice the same as the front, 1cm from the armhole raw edge.

Now pin the bodices together along the top edge of the front, armholes and back. Stitch with a 1cm seam. Turn out to the right side and double check the strap positions are fine.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_0081.jpg

Sew Tiers:

Fold back to the inside seams and snip into the armhole curve making triangle cuts to help reduce fabric bulking. This makes the curves sit nice and flat.

Sew all the tier panels together so you have a set of 3 loops of fabric. Overlock the shorter seams (side seams).

Sew a gather stitch around one of the long edges of each tier. Gather up evenly.

Attached tier 1 to the bodice, moving the gathers to sit evenly. Pin as you go.
Sew this together with a 1cm seam. Overlock and press.

Repeat for the other two tiers. Evenly gather, pin, sew, overlock and press.

Once the last tier is attached finish the hem by turning the raw edge over 1cm and then again another 1cm. Edge stitch this down and press.

Thats it!!!! I hope you have enjoyed using this tutorial to create yourself a super cute summer dress. Feel free to tag me on instagram @makylacreates I would love to see your makes!