Sew a Puffy Sleeve Maxi Dress With This Easy Tutorial

Creations by Shey
by Creations by Shey
6 Materials
3 Hours

Say goodbye to boring maxi dresses! In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a puff sleeve maxi dress that will give your outfit a lovely twist thanks to the cute puff sleeves. Follow me as I show you step-by-step how to make a maxi dress with puff sleeves- it’s not as complicated as you think! The result is beautiful and is a stylish, fashionable item to add to your spring or summer wardrobe. Let’s get the show on the road!

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric ( 60-inch wide)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Elastic
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
Maxi dress puff sleeve

Make the pattern

Take your 60-inch wide fabric and fold it in half and half again. Use an existing, loose-fitting top for the pattern and lay half of it out on the fabric, as shown.

Maxi dress with puff sleeve

Measure from the shoulders and waist areas and cut across the fabric. Pin the top to the fabric, and cut around the top, leaving a little seam allowance.

How to make a maxi dress with puff sleeves

Remove one bodice piece and markdown 3 inches at the neck area, and cut the neckline into a square shape. This will be your front bodice piece.

Make a maxi dress with puff sleeves

Take the rest of your folded fabric and start cutting 5 pieces to make the ruffles. Measure them 22 inches long. Use the first piece as a guide to cut out the remaining 4 pieces.


I am going for a 59-inch length for my dress. If you are shorter, reduce the length so that it matches your height.

Sew a maxi dress with puff sleeves

Cut the neck binding by folding the fabric in half and placing the bodice on top. Cut the outline of the neck.

How to sew a maxi dress with puff sleeves

Make the piece 3 inches wide. Do the same for the back panel piece. Repeat the same for the front.

DIY maxi dress with puff sleeves

To cut the sleeve of the dress, fold your fabric in half and half again. Use your top to trace around the armhole curve.

Cut out the sleeves

Next, measure your desired sleeve length and cut. Pin the corners to mark your center.

Sew on the neck binding

Sew the neck binding

Now that all that cutting and measuring is out the way, it’s time for the fun part- putting your puff sleeve maxi dress together! Let’s start with the neck binding. Take your neck binding, place it right sides together and pin. Make sure it corresponds to the respective bodice. Stitch the pieces together.

Create small cuts

Make small cuts on the seam. Then, flip your neck facing right sides out and pin and sew. Repeat this for the other bodice piece.

Top stitch the neckline

Next, top stitch to secure the facing. This is what it should look like.

Assemble the top pieces

Assemble the bodice pieces

Place the bodice pieces right sides together and pin at the shoulders and stitch the shoulders together.

Attach sleeves to bodice

Attach the sleeves

Open the bodice and place your sleeve pattern, right sides together and pin from the center outwards. Stitch both sleeves.

Create tiers with ruffles

Make the ruffled tiers

We are going to start with the second ruffled tier. Take the 3 pieces from the batch of 5 that you cut. Take one of those pieces and cut it in half. Join each half to the other two ruffled pieces; this will make two long ruffle pieces. Pin to secure and stitch in place. In the end, you should have two first-tier pieces ( which are the same size as how you cut them in the beginning) and two second-tier pieces which are longer than the first tier.

Hem all the tier pieces

Hem all the four pieces, top, and bottom sides. Then, stitch to join the longer second-tier pieces together, leaving you with one long piece.

Create a gathering stitch

Now, take the first-tier pieces and create a gathering stitch, one inch away from the hemline.

Pull and gather

Pull the thread to create some lovely gathers and pin the first tier piece to the bodice, right sides facing. Be sure to pin this together at the stitch line and that the ruffles are visible.

Repeat the process for the first and second-tier pieces, both for the front and back bodices.

Sew first tier to bodice

Pin the first tier to the bodice and repeat with the other tiers for the front and back sections.

Ruffled maxi dress

This is how your dress should look like.

Add elastic to sleeves

Finish off the sleeves

Take two elastic bands, wrap them around your wrist, and cut. This will be added to the sleeve, as shown.

Sew on the elastic

Then, hem the sleeve. After your sleeve is hemmed, attach the elastic band 4 inches away from the sleeve’s ends. Sew the elastic band using a zigzag stitch, pulling as you are stitching.

Finish off the dress

Complete the dress

Pin the dress at the side seams, right sides together, and stitch. Also, stitch the sides of the sleeves. 

Stylish puff sleeve maxi dress

Finished puff sleeve maxi dress

Here’s the final look! I wore an undergarment because my fabric was somewhat see-through. If your fabric isn’t see-through, then there’s no need. Isn’t this puff sleeve maxi dress just flowy and charming? You can under-dress it for a casual look or add a belt and some classy heels for a more elegant, formal feel. Whatever your style, you know, have a stunning DIY maxi dress with puff sleeves to flaunt!

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Dianne Dianne on Mar 19, 2021

    I WAS inspired! THANKYOU ! I love the material...I haven’t sewed for some’s time to enjoy making something again! 😊

    • Creations by Shey Creations by Shey on Mar 21, 2021

      Aww this is soo special to me! Thank you for your kind comment and I'm glad I have inspired you to start sewing again! 🥰🥰❤❤

  • Lillyrose Lillyrose on Aug 18, 2021

    Beautiful, I love it.