How to Make a Cute DIY Shirred Maxi Dress For the Summer

by Houseofchyda
10 Materials
2 Hours

In this DIY, I’ll show you an easy way to make a shirred maxi dress with no pattern required. This shirred dress with sleeves looks flattering on anyone! So grab your lightweight cotton fabric or linen, and let’s make something beautiful!

Tools and materials:

  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Elastic thread
  • Cotton, linen, or rayon fabric
  • Elastic
  • Scissors
Measuring the length of the dress

1. Make the shirred top dress pattern

Determine the length of your dress by measuring your chest line to wherever you want it to be. 

Transferring the width measurements

For the width, measure 1.5 times your bust circumference. My bust circumference is 34”, and 1.5 times 34” is 51”. In the end, you should have a big rectangular fabric piece to work with. 

Tip: I’m using a mix of rayon and linen fabric; you can use cotton, too. 

Hemming the top edge

2. Hem the top edge

Hem the upper part of the rectangle by folding the top edge twice. Pin it down and run a straight stitch. 

Drawing the shirring lines

3. Draw the shirring lines

Next, mark 1cm (0.39”) increments from the top down. These will be your shirring lines. Also, mark across the fabric and draw straight lines. These lines should normally be on the right side of the fabric. However, mine is on the wrong side because of the type of fabric I’m using. 

How to make shirred dresses

Keep creating the lines until you get to your desired shirring length. Mine was a little bit below the bust and this is what is looks like. 

Making the sleeve pattern

4. Make the sleeve pattern

The next step is to cut out the sleeves. Mine measured 27” x 24”. 

How to do shirring

5. Make the shirring

Wind the bobbin with your elastic thread. Then, sew along the lines you created, from side to side. You should set your stitch length to the longest on your sewing machine. 

Assembling the sleeves

6. Assemble the sleeves

Pin the top edge of the sleeve down based on the allowance you have for the elastic. 

Sewing with a straight stitch

Then, sew with a straight stitch. 

How to make a shirred bodice dress

For the bottom edge, mark 4” from the end. Then, cut a piece of fabric with the same width of the sleeve plus 2” long. Fold both ends inward, as shown.

Pinning the strip on the 4-inch mark

Running a straight stitch on both

Pin the strip on the 4-inch mark and run a straight stitch on both ends. 

Folding and hemming the bottom

Also, fold the bottom hem over and pin. 

Tip: You can iron the bottom fold for a neater finish. 

Feeding the elastic through the casing

Feed the elastic band through the top casing using a safety pin. The elastic should be the same size as your arm’s circumference. 

Sewing both ends with a zigzag stitch

Stitch both ends with a zigzag stitch. 

Shirred top dress tutorial

Do the same for the lower part of the sleeve. 

Folding the sleeves and pinning the sides

Fold the sleeve and pin the sides. Then, run a straight stitch. 

Sewing the sides of the dress

7. Sew the dress’ sides

Your shirred bodice dress is almost complete. Just pin the sides (right sides facing), and sew with a straight stitch. 

Tip: I did not attach my sleeves, but if you want them attached, now is the time. 

DIY shirred maxi dress

DIY shirred maxi dress

The shirred maxi dress is complete, and here’s the final result! I love how easy and quick this DIY is! Thanks for joining me, and let me know in the comments below what you think of this beautiful shirred dress with sleeves in the comments below!  

Suggested materials:
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Marker
See all materials

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