Make a Puff Sleeve, Wrap Maxi Dress

Creations by Shey
by Creations by Shey
9 Materials
5 Hours

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!

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Top
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Marker
  • Seam ripper
  • Elastic
  • Sewing machine
Make a wrap maxi dress

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. 

Cut from the shoulder

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. 

Pin the shoulders

Position your two front pieces, over the back piece, right sides together, and pin at the shoulders. 

Extend the back neckline

I decided to extend the back neckline by about an inch so feel free to do that. 

Mark on the waist

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. 

Sew a wrap maxi dress

To create the darts, pinch about 2 inches of fabric and pin. I made my darts about 6 inches tall. 

Pin darts in the front

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 1-inch strips

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.

Measure to the desired length

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 along the armhole

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. 

Cut the sleeve to the desired length

Measure how long you want your sleeves to be and then cut. I decided to make mine elbow length. 

How to make a wrap maxi dress

Cut the corners to mark the center and your sleeves are ready!

Cut 2 strips

Cut a belt 

For the belt, cut two, 6 inch wide strips. 

Pin the strips together

Go ahead and fold and pin the strips, right sides together. 

How to sew a wrap maxi dress

Sew the bodice together 

Moving back to the bodice, take it over to the sewing machine and stitch the darts and shoulders in place.

Sew the strips together

Next, join the 1-inch strips together to make one long piece. 

Pin the strip to the bodice

Place the strip on the open front of the dress, right sides together, and pin. 

Sew on the strip

Carefully stitch close to the edge to secure the strip in place. 

Fold and stitch

Then fold the strip inward twice and stitch. This will give the front of the dress a nice, clean finish. 

Sew a gathering stitch

Sew the sleeves

Next, take the sleeve and sew a gathering stitch across the top. 

Create gathers

Pull one of the threads to create gathers. 

Pin to the armhole

Place the sleeve right sides together, lined up with the armhole of the bodice. 

Sew on the sleeve

Carefully stitch on the sleeve and repeat the process on the other side. 

Easy wrap maxi dress

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 the sides of the belt

Sew on the belt 

For the belt, fold the piece, right sides together, and stitch the sides leaving one end open. 

Trim excess material

Trim any excess material and turn the belt inside out. 

Pin the belt to the bodice

Then pin the belt onto the bodice, right sides together. 

Trim the fabric

Trim off any excess material.

Fold and topstitch

Then double fold the edge and topstitch to secure the belt in place. Repeat this on the other side. 

Hem the skirt

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. 

Seam rip 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. 

Casual wrap maxi dress

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. 

Use a safety pin

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. 

Wrap maxi dress pattern

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! 

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

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Join the conversation
4 of 8 comments
  • Kathy Beachy 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.


    • Creations by Shey Creations by Shey on Feb 10, 2021

      Aww thank you so so much! I'm glad you found my instructions easy to follow. Pls share your project with me once you're done xx

  • Jennifer Francis Jennifer Francis on Mar 02, 2021

    Love this! I can’t sew, but if I could I’d definitely try this! Fantastic job!