Maxi dresses are a go-to staple in my wardrobe, they transition so nicely from Summer to Fall. They are quite possibly my favorite thing to wear during that odd period of time when Summer is transitioning to Fall…when layers are a must at night, but the daytime heat always catches you by surprise.
I wanted to make a maxi dress that would look classic under a sweater or denim jacket, but would still have a bit of surprise or *oomph* factor. Perfect for these hot Summer days, and for covering up on those cooler evenings.
The best part? You can totally still wear a bra with it. The cross straps cover up the back bra strap, and all you need then is a halter strap bra. Making this totally awesome – woot woot!
Cross Back Maxi DIY
Skill level – Intermediate
Time needed – 3 – 4 hours
- Tank top that fits well
- 2.5 yards knit fabric
- Tracing paper
- 1″ elastic
- Rotary cutter/ fabric scissors
- Universal ball point sewing needle
- Coordinating thread
- Basic sewing essentials
HOW TO SEW A MAXI DRESS:
- Place tank on top of tracing paper, on the center fold, and trace around the neckline, sleeves / armsyce and side seam. Stop at natural waist, adding 1/2″ beyond natural waist for seam allowance.
- Extend tank sleeves beyond shoulder seam by 10″, and trace new pattern.
- Cut (2) front tank top pattern pieces, on the fold, with new pattern piece.
- Measure the width of your back, and cut (4) pieces of knit fabric the width of your back x the length of your side seam from the front pattern piece.
- Lastly, measure from your natural waist down to the floor. Cut (2) skirt panel pieces this length + plus seam allowance x 30″ wide.
- Place one back width pattern piece right sides together with one front shirt pattern piece, matching up the side seam. Pin and sew. Repeat for opposite side with another back width pattern piece. Press seam open, and repeat for bodice lining.
- Sew a line of gathering stitches along the top edge of your front skirt pattern piece. Gather bobbin stitches until the skirt is the same width as your front bodice.
- Pin gathered top of skirt right sides together with the bottom front exterior bodice. Sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Cut excess seam allowance to remove bulk.
- Place lining bodice right sides together with exterior, matching up all sides. Pin and sew around all sides, leaving the bottom edge open. Trim seam corners and turn right side out. Press.
- Cross bodice back strips over each other, with the opposite edge of the strap sitting just above the side seam. Pin in place to the wrong side and sew using a 1/8″ seam allowance.
- Cut (1) piece of fabric 3″L x 30″W. This will be for the back waistband. Fold in half, wrong sides together and press.
- Match up the raw edges of the back waistband with the top edge of the back skirt panel. Pin in place and sew. This will create your elastic casing for the back waistband.
- Slip a piece of elastic the same width of your back measurement, into the back waistband casing. Pull through, holding the edge of the elastic on one side so as not to lose it in the middle. Pin both edge of the elastic to either side of the casing, and sew a line of basting stitches back and forth to secure 1/8″ away from the edge.
- Place skirt back and front right sides together, pin and sew. Trim way excess seam allowance at the waist.
- Fold the bottom of the bodice lining to overlap the front gathered skirt waist seam. Pin in place and sew using a long straight stitch to secure the seam in the middle of the lining and the bodice.
- If desired, cut a fishtail skirt hem. Fold bottom edge of skirt 1/2″ towards the wrong side, press and sew to hem.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…