I’ve suddenly become obsessed with making clothes. I blame it on Pinterest and all the adorable ideas I’ve been exposed to. In one of my lives (lets pretend we get lots) I would love to be a fashion designer. Sigh Instead though, I have been breaking out my sewing machine and pretending I’m one.
Don’t get me wrong though. I seriously am NOT a seamstress. I know very little about sewing actually and I never follow patterns. I don’t know if I even know how to read patterns. I just sketch ideas out as they come or try to figure out how to make things based on other items I’m inspired by. This is why my little sewing tutorials are relatively easy. Because I don’t think I could pull of anything much harder.
When I do get the itch to sew something, I usually turn to jersey fabric or a stretchy knit. This stuff is so easy to work with and doesn’t fray so hemming edges isn’t necessary unless you want it to be. I went to the fabric store the other day in search of a fun print in a knit to make a maxi dress after becoming obsessed with the easy to sew kimono style maxi dresses I’d seen on Pinterest and Etsy lately. I took both my boys, and quickly perused the options in between shoving cookies into my screaming 14 month old and reprimanding my 4 year old for unrolling bolts of fabric down the aisle. Ugh. Can I just say how much I HATE shopping with my kids. By the way, any tips on that matter would be appreciated! Anyway, I found this colorful, kind of native american-esqu, ikat-ish print that I loved and lucky for me was 40% off. I got 3 yards for $23. Enough to make my maxi dress and a little whatever-else-I-feel-like-making later. Anyway, this is a really easy dress and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! Hope you like it and have fun making your own!
Cost: About $23 or so depending on the fabric
- 2 and a half yards or so of stretchy knit fabric
- Coordinating thread.
- Elastic for waistline.
- Sewing machine.
- Refer to my little sloppy sketches below that kind of walk you through it.
- The sketches pretty much lay it out for you but I’ll give you some extra tips.
- TIP 1: Try this on a lot as you go to make sure its fitting you well. OR, take a maxi or long dress you already own and find the proper length for your new dress from that.
- TIP 2: Leave at least 12 inches open at the armholes when you sew up the sides, if you want less of an opening, you can always sew up more of the armhole after you try it on. P.S. When sewing, sew right sides together and use a knit stitch (or zigzag stitch) on your machine to allow the fabric to continue to stretch. Careful not to pull the fabric as you are sewing to avoid rippling.
- TIP 3: Cut the neckline by folding the dress in half and cutting a half V on the fold. This way the neckline will be symmetrical. Also, cut the neckline pretty conservatively at first. Since the fabric has stretch it will widen/deepen when you put it on. You can always cut more from the neckline after you try it on and gauge how deep/wide you’d like it to be.
- TIP 4: You can omit the pleating if you’d like along the shoulder area at the neckline. I just through that on mine for solely decorative reasons. If you don’t know how to make a pleat, google it. Its super easy and quickly adds a little “fancy” to any design.
- TIP 5: Cut a strip of elastic long enough to wrap around your waistline. Make it slightly longer than you think you’ll need. You can always cut the excess off when you’ve sewn it into your dress. Refer to this post for more tips on sewing in elastic waistlines.
- Throw it on when you’re done and accessorize in an oh-so-bohemian-chic kind of way and be proud of your work!
GO DO IT!! :)
To see another easy-to-sew maxi dress click here.