Simple maxi dress

This dress is so beginner friendly that you can make it even if you haven’t sewed before.

I used 100% cotton fabric. It’s gentle to your skin (especially in summer), easy to wash and has a nice enough fall for this dress. You can use other materials too, just please stay away from very synthetic ones because they will stick to your legs (because of the electricity) as you walk, viscose is not bad but wan’t fall nicely.
You will also need rubber thread (for the chest area).

My dress is 120 cm / 1.31 yard long and is made from 4 quadrangular parts (25cm + 30cm + 30cm + 35cm / 9.84 inc + 11.81inc + 11.81inc + 13.78inc). To determine the desired length of you dress just measure the distance between your feet and and the point on your chest until you would like the dress to cover you up. To get the length of the 4 quadrangle divide the desired length of the dress with four, lets call the number you get n, n is the length of the 2nd and 3rd part. The length of the 1st part is 84% of n (the number you got by dividing the length with four), and the length of the 4th part is 116% of n.
To determine the width of the dress, measure the width of your chest. This way you get a number, lets call it x. The width of the 1st part is 118% of x, the width of the 2nd part is 141% of x, the width of the 3rd part is 188% of x, and the width of the 4th part is 235% of x.
This is how the 4 parts of the dress looks like:

And here’s a suggestion how to cut it out of a fabric. (The standard fabric width here is 1.4 meters, so I made a suggestion based on that and my own dress measurements. If it’s OK for you, use it as it is, if it’s not OK than make your own plan based on my suggestion or the way you think is best for you) Make sure to add half an inch / 1 cm on every margin of every part (except the upper margin of the first part, there add a whole inc / 2-3 cm), it’s necessary and will be used when you sew the parts together/work the ends.

By making a scheme like this in advance you can easily calculate how much fabric will you need.
When you buy fabric, always buy little bit more because it may shrink (you can ask in the store does it shrink and how many) and it’s always better to have more than less. Before cutting it, wash it out, dry and iron (if it’s a fabric that needs to be ironed) to avoid unpleasant surprises the first time washing of the dress can give you. (I know those who sew know all this, but those who are beginners might not know)
Sewing the parts together: If you find it challenging to divide the wimples evenly you can use a following little trick. When sewing together for example the first and second parts, cut a thread that is exactly as long + the length you need to make a knot at both ends as the first (the shorter) part, make a knot on one end of the thread, stitch it trow the second (the longer) part til the end of the fabric, make a knot, than divide the wimples evenly across the fabric (that is now exactly as long as the other one, the one that you will sew this on). Pin them together (with the right sides facing each other) 1 cm/ half inc from the edge and sew them together.
It’s easier to sew together all 4 parts and then sew the back together.
The upper margin of the 1st part: Fold back and iron/pin as much fabric you added. When you finish with the sewing, cut the rubber thread (when not stretched it should be shorter than your chest width, I suggest 60-70 % of it, depending how tight you like your dresses to be) and stitch it throw parallel rows that are 1.5 cm/0.5 inc away from each other. The number of rows depends on you, but you will need at least 1o, the last few (at least 2) rows has to be under your breasts.
You can work the bottom margin as you want, I folded it back, pinned and sewed throw.
At this point you can try the dress on and measure how long the straps should be. You can make them or buy already made, or use decorative ribbons as straps. To make a strap, first decide how wide you want it to be, multiply that number with 4, and cut two pieces of fabric exactly that wide and 2 inches / 5 cm longer that the needed length (so that you can sew it to the dress severely). Fold it in half the right side facing you and iron it, now you have the center marked. Fold in the margins carefully, so that they touch the center and iron it like that or pin it with T pins, now it’s ready for sewing. Attach them to the dress. The maxi dress is ready to wear!
PS: you can use decorative ribbons to “upgrade” it by your taste.

Cheers,
Mimi

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Simple maxi dress

  1. Very clever, and it looks beautiful!

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