I have wanted a maxi dress for ages, but I never seem to find one that I like. The shape is usually off , the fabric is not quite right or the pattern is too boring or too crazy. On my trip to the fabric store a while ago I picked up this really cool knitted jersey in white and grey stripes and I decided to sew my own maxi dress with my own pattern!
I didn’t have any pattern and even after looking around online, I couldn’t really find any that I completely loved. And to be honest, my printer was out of ink and I was to lazy to go walk 3 miles either to buy new ink or to the closest print shop on a sunday:)
So the solution came to me in a tank top! I have a few that I really like the shape of and I folded it in halv and marked around on some parchment paper. I added some seam allowance of about half an inch ( 1-1,5 cm) on each side and cropped the neckline to a high v-neck in the front. Normally I would not add seam allowance to the fold (the back or mid section front of the tank top) because you are not sewing anything here, but this tank top is a little tighter than I would like my dress to be so I added all the way around.
I then laid out my fabric with the inside out and enough width for the “pattern” to cover and made sure the stripes were aligning front to back. At the end of the tank top pattern I continued the line with a slight curve going out all the way down to the end of the fabric. I had measured in advance how long I wanted it and added a few inches to that. It is always better to have a little to much on the length instead of having it be just a little too short, especially when sewing without a pattern.
After cutting out both pieces, I pinned them up together on both sides with zig zag stitches since I was doing a jersey knit (very important detail!). I tried on the fit and had to do some smaller adjustments to the waist for a perfect fit. After stitching it up, I pressed the hem and overcasted the ends (See your sewing machine manual for overcasting stitches, basically zig zag along the end of the line so it wont fall apart). I closed up the arm holes and neckline by doing a fold and sew. I sewed an overcast stitch to all the edges for them not to flare and then folded in about 1/4 of an inch (0,75 cm) and pressed it down with an iron. I then folded again and sewed with a lightening stitch (it is probably not called that, but it looks like a lightening on the sewing machine so I am calling it that). I also had to adjust the neckline somewhat as I wanted it a little lover then my first cut (Again, I have learned along the way that it is always better to have a little more than less fabric to work with).
And thats it! Took me probably a few hours to make, but I am sure if you are more efficient you could pull it off in an hour.
What do you think?