DIY a Stunning, Simple Maxi Dress

Makyla Creates
by Makyla Creates
5 Materials
2 Hours

I absolutely adore a good maxi dress! This year, I decided to make my own amazing dress to get me through the summer. I had some white cotton fabric at home and I started sewing this gorgeous, tiered dress. This dress is the perfect balance of summer flow and elegance! If you want to DIY this stunning, fashion-statement dress, my tutorial is definitely what you’ve been looking for. Follow my easy steps and get started on sewing the perfect summer maxi dress! I have no donut it will become a season favorite!

Tools and materials:

  • Cotton or linen fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
How to sew a maxi dress
Cut out the fabric pieces

I started off by cutting the bodice pieces. I made sure to cut 1 pair for both the front and back bodice pieces. If you want instructions on the pattern for this bodice visit I chose to use a piece of white cotton fabric for this amazing dress. If you want to add more color or texture to your new dress any cotton or linen fabric will look stunning!

Cut strips

Next, it was time to cut fabric for the strips. I measured a width of 2 cm and a length of 30 cm and cut two strips. 

Cut the tiers

Once I had the strips cut to size, it was time to work on cutting out the three tiers that add so much to this dress. For easy instructions on how to measure these pieces go to

Sew the strips
Sew the straps

I love being organized and prepared when I’m sewing, so I laid out my pieces right sides together and ready to go. I then started sewing my straps with a 1 cm seam to keep them nice and thin. If you prefer to keep your straps thicker, then add a few more cms. 

Simple maxi dress

To turn the straps over to the right side I attached a safety pin to one inner side of the strap. I pushed it all the way through until my fabric was the right side out. 

Sew the bodice
Sew the bodice together

With the straps turned right side out, I moved on to sewing the side seams of my bodice. One of the pieces would become a lining and the other would be the outer shell. In this step, it’s important to have the fabric, right sides together if you are using a patterned fabric or a fabric with a wrong side. 

Attach straps
Attach the straps

Next, it was time to attach the straps. I measured 1 cm from the armhole seam and pinned the strap in the front. This step ensured that the straps wouldn’t get caught in the seam when I bagged the bodice. I untwisted the strap and flipped over to the back bodice where I attached the other end of the strap 1 cm from the armhole. 

Bag the bodice
Create a bagged effect

It was finally time to bag the bodice of the dress. I put the two bodice pieces, right sides together, and pinned around the edges. With all my pins in place, I sewed a 1 cm seam along the front, back, and armhole edges.

Cut slits

To make sure my dress would have the perfect finish, I turned the bodice inside out and cut a few slits along the seam. This really helps prevent any bunching in the fabric. I then pressed the fabric to make sure the bodice would have a beautiful finish.

Sew the tiers
Sew the tiers

In this next step, I moved onto the tiers of the dress. I absolutely love this element! It adds so much to the style of the dress. I sewed the short sides together and overlocked them as they would become the side seams of the dress. 

Gather the long edge

I then sewed a gathering stitch along one long end of the first two tiers and made sure to pull the gather equally along the fabric. 

Pin the tier to the bodice

It was finally time to put this gorgeous dress together. I pinned the gathered edge of my first tier to the bottom of my bodice, making sure the gathered fabric sat nicely and equally along the bodice. 

Simple white maxi dress

I then sewed the tier in place. I always make sure to sew upwards so that I can shift the gathering if I need to while I’m sewing. A great tip for making this lovely dress is to overlock all seams to keep things secure and in place and also give the perfect finish. I sewed the bottom two-tier layers on and couldn’t believe how quickly this dress was coming together. 

Pin a dart
Create a fitted bodice

To ensure the perfect fit for this dress, I measured halfway on my front armhole and popped in a pin. I then folded a 1 cm dart and pinned at the fold. 

Make box pleat

To make sure there wouldn’t be any gaping at the back, I decided to add a box pleat. I found the center of my back and pinned in the middle. I then measured 1 cm on either side of the pin, folded the fabric, and pinned the folds in place. I sewed the pleat in place, making sure it was nice and sturdy. 

Add the second dart

With the back already looking more fitted, I wanted to sew my front darts. I mirrored the dart I had already made onto the other side of the bodice and then sewed them both into place. Although darts are such a small detail, they definitely create a more professional finish. 

Easy maxi dress
Hem the bottom

For the final step, I did a double-turned hem on the bottom of my new dress. I made the folds 1 cm long and sewed. Lastly, I pressed the fabric so that my awesome new dress would be ready to wear! I couldn’t wait to try it on! 

DIY maxi dress

This simple summer maxi dress is everything I wanted and more! What color would you make this dress? Let me know in the comments below! 

Suggested materials:
  • Cotton fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
See all materials

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