For anyone looking to make a stunning dress, this tutorial is just what you need! Today I will be showing you how to sew this gorgeous wrap maxi dress with puff sleeves from scratch. This dress is an absolute show-stopper, worthy of any summer or spring event! Just make one for yourself and you’ll see what I mean!
Make a Puff Sleeve, Wrap Maxi Dress
Tools and materials:
- Measuring tape
- Seam ripper
- Sewing machine
Cut and pin the bodice
To begin, double-fold a piece of fabric. I used a 3.5-meter piece that was 60 inches wide. Use an existing top as a pattern. First, place the top on the fold and then measure and mark from the shoulder to the waist area. You can then go ahead and cut the fabric adding a 1-inch seam allowance.
Take one of the bodice pieces and cut a diagonal line through it from the shoulder to the waist area. I decided to free cut but you can mark the line before cutting if you prefer. Use this piece to cut out another piece for the other side.
Position your two front pieces, over the back piece, right sides together, and pin at the shoulders.
I decided to extend the back neckline by about an inch so feel free to do that.
Next, measure the waist measurement and divide that by 3. Use this measurement to mark two points on the bodice. These two points will be the position of your darts.
To create the darts, pinch about 2 inches of fabric and pin. I made my darts about 6 inches tall.
Once you have pinned the darts on the back panel, measure and pin a dart on each of the front panels. The darts will cause the bodice to be more fitted.
Cut strips to hem the front of the dress
Next, cut 1-inch strips of fabric that will be used to hem the front of the dress. You will need quite a few of these to join together.
Cut the skirt
For the skirt of the dress, fold the fabric twice over. Measure from the waist to however long you want the skirt to be and cut.
Cut the sleeves
To cut the sleeves for the maxi dress, place the top on folded fabric and cut following the shape of the armhole. Make sure to cut at least 4-5 inches away from the fold to get the puff sleeve effect.
Measure how long you want your sleeves to be and then cut. I decided to make mine elbow length.
Cut the corners to mark the center and your sleeves are ready!
Cut a belt
For the belt, cut two, 6 inch wide strips.
Go ahead and fold and pin the strips, right sides together.
Sew the bodice together
Moving back to the bodice, take it over to the sewing machine and stitch the darts and shoulders in place.
Next, join the 1-inch strips together to make one long piece.
Place the strip on the open front of the dress, right sides together, and pin.
Carefully stitch close to the edge to secure the strip in place.
Then fold the strip inward twice and stitch. This will give the front of the dress a nice, clean finish.
Sew the sleeves
Next, take the sleeve and sew a gathering stitch across the top.
Pull one of the threads to create gathers.
Place the sleeve right sides together, lined up with the armhole of the bodice.
Carefully stitch on the sleeve and repeat the process on the other side.
Finish the bodice
Fold the bodice right sides together, pin the sides, and sew. Go ahead and hem the lower part of the bodice as well.
Sew on the belt
For the belt, fold the piece, right sides together, and stitch the sides leaving one end open.
Trim any excess material and turn the belt inside out.
Then pin the belt onto the bodice, right sides together.
Trim off any excess material.
Then double fold the edge and topstitch to secure the belt in place. Repeat this on the other side.
Sew on the skirt
Next, take the skirt of the dress and hem the bottom. Add a gathering stitch on the top and pull the thread to gather. Then place the skirt on the bodice, right sides together, and pin. Pin up to 3 inches from where the belt joins the top.
Choose one side seam on the top and seam rip it open for the belt to go through. Open from the hip line and approximately 3 inches up. To secure the belt opening topstitch the sides in a square shape.
Add elastic to the sleeves
Lastly, create a fold at the bottom of the sleeve, wide enough for an elastic to go through. Sew the fold in place leaving a 1-inch opening.
Cut two elastic strips the width of your arm. Then use a safety pin to thread the elastic through the opening in the fold. Pull the elastic through and sew the two ends with a zig-zag stitch. Then go ahead and sew closed the opening.
Your dress is finally complete! This wrap, maxi dress is just stunning and I adore the puff sleeves! I would love to know where you would wear a gorgeous dress like this! Share in the comments below!
- Measuring tape
- Seam ripper
- Sewing machine
The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.
Kathy Beachy on Feb 08, 2021
The video was so easy to follow. The directions so simple and complete. I’m going to make one from a soft, flowing fabric and another from knit. One for church & one for lounging. Thank you for the easiest dress pattern I’ve ever had.
Jennifer Francis on Mar 02, 2021
Love this! I can’t sew, but if I could I’d definitely try this! Fantastic job!