How to DIY a Super Easy Maxi Dress

Quiana Unique
by Quiana Unique
6 Materials
3 Hours

I love wearing bodycon dresses. I wanted to show you how I make a DIY maxi dress and how I sew without a pattern.

This is a very form-fitting dress, so you want to use a well-fitting tank top and pencil skirt to work from.

Sewing stretch fabric takes a little skill so take it slowly and I'm sure you'll get great results.

Tools and materials:

  • 2 yards stretch jersey fabric
  • Tank top and pencil skirt to use as patterns
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Sewing machine
Fabric for DIY maxi dress

1. Fabric

I used 2 yards of stretch jersey fabric for my dress and folded it double.

Preparing the maxi dress pattern

2. Prepare pattern

I laid out my tank top and pencil skirt on the fabric, matching them at the waist. I made sure the armholes lined up on either side.

Check the overall length is correct when they're put together. It's a good idea to pin them to the material so they don't move around while you cut.

Using clothes you already have that you know fit is a great way to learn how to sew a dress without a pattern.

Cutting fabric

3. Cut fabric

I cut directly around my clothes, but you could draw an outline around them with tailor's chalk first and cut around that.

Make your chalk outline or cut 1/2 inch away from the clothes, to give a seam allowance for sewing.

When you're happy with the overall shape of your dress, cut around the clothes or along the chalked line.

Cutting neckline

4. Cut neckline

I wanted a V neck at the front of my dress.

Fold the top piece of your pattern in half lengthwise, mark the depth of your neckline and cut a diagonal line from a few inches away from the center down to the mark.

The finished neckline will be half an inch larger all around than the piece you cut out.

Pinning side seams

5. Pin side seams

Lay the two pieces of fabric flat on top of each other again, with right sides inside.

Pin them together from below the armhole to the hem on both sides, placing your pins 1/2 inch in from the cut edge.

Neck facing

6. Neck facing

For a clean edge around the neck, turn 1/2 inch all around it to the wrong side.

Jersey doesn't fray, but if you don't have a serger or overlocker for the raw edges, turn in a narrow hem at the bottom of the facing and pin along that so the edge is hidden.

Joining shoulders

7. Join shoulders

Pin along both shoulder seams, on the seam allowance.

Pinning armholes

8. Armhole facings and hem

Pin facings around both armholes in the same way as you did for the neckline. Turn up a narrow hem at the lower edge.

9. Sew

Using a stretch stitch, sew the seams at the sides and shoulders first, then sew around the neckline and armholes and the hem.

Trim any excess fabric at the seams and zigzag stitch along the raw edges or use an overlocker.

DIY maxi dress

DIY maxi dress

DIY maxi dress

DIY maxi dress

My finished DIY maxi dress fits perfectly and I'm delighted with it!

Jersey is a generous, stretchy fabric so it's easy to adjust your design. I think it looks fabulous styled with a wide corset belt or kept simple and accessorized with some stunning jewelry. 

Did you find this project easy to follow? Let me know in the comments how you got on, I love to get your feedback.

Suggested materials:
  • 2 yards stretch jersey fabric
  • Tank top and pencil skirt to use as patterns
  • Pins
See all materials

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