sewing a maxi dress tutorial update


My original chevron maxi dress tutorial seems to be making its way around pinterest so I decided to update my tutorial with step by step instructions to clarify some of the questions you’ve written me about. Here is my brand new tutorial for making your own maxi dress just in time for Summer!


Here is how you can make your own maxi:

What you’ll need:

  • basic plain tank top in your choice color (a target one will work)
  • fabric of your choice roughly 2 1/2 yds. (cotton or jersey knit will work well)
  • elastic thread
  • empty bobbin
  • regular thread and matching bobbin
  • fabric for sash
  • pins
  • scissors


1. Cut your fabric to the appropriate size. (see diagram above, I made an A-line pattern). To insure a good fit, I measured a dress I already owned and came up with the measurements you see above. All body types are different so you’ll have to adjust accordingly. I always cut larger than my actual measurements to give myself a little wiggle room for mistakes while sewing. 

2. Cut the plain tank top you bought. I cut my tank top at about 16″ from the shoulder to the cutline, I followed this guidance.

3. Sew the edges together (right sides together) to create seams along the sides.

4. Wind elastic thread onto your bobbin. loosely, by hand. Keep regular thread on top!

5. Sew around the waist (right side in) you should see it magically start to gather. How cool is elastic thread?!?!?!

6. Insert your tank top (right side up) into your newly gathered skirt. Pin so that seams of shirt match seams of skirt, down the side.

toddler owl dress tutorial

7. Sew around the waist again the same way as step 5.

8. Carefully trim excess fabric around waist, turn right side out.

9. Try dress on and decide on final length.

10. Pin and sew a finished bottom seam.

11. Create a simple sash. (See above diagram).

12. Dress should be complete at this point!

You can sew a simple maxi dress using a white tank top and printed fabric! This tutorial is so simple and turns out great.

Please feel free to contact me in the comments section for any questions! Now that I have made a few of these dresses I find them pretty easy. Here is my toddler version I made for my daughter. I love simple sewing and maxi dresses!


6 thoughts on “sewing a maxi dress tutorial update

  1. Pingback: sewing a maxi dress - amy+mayd

  2. I love your tutorial. Just wanted to ask how you get the dress over your head with such a tight sash? do you leave the sash open in the back? Thanks!

    • Hi there! Yes I leave the sash open in the back or I just leave it completely off as a free piece itself that way I can tie it in different ways 🙂

    • Hi Katie!
      Yes, you could do that you would sew the skirt according to the tutorial and then you would want to add some sort of waistband over the top portion of the skirt. You could make and attach the sash for that purpose and to give it a finished look.

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