Looking for a super simple maxi dress DIY this Summer? Alexia from the Sewing Rabbit Team has the perfect sewing tutorial for an easy Summer dress, great for both women and children alike! With a cute top ruffle, easy straps (which would also look great as a halter), and comfortable elastic waist band – this dress was made for sandals and summer days. I don’t know about you, but I need to make it to the fabric store…stat.
Super Simple Maxi Dress DIY
Good morning!! Today I am sharing a SUPER simple summer maxi with you. I don’t know about you but I am loving this warm weather we have been having and so are my kids! Now that I have put away most of their winter clothes they are left with a bunch of spring/summer clothes that no longer fit! I have been desperately trying to replenish their closet with clothes they can fit into for the summer and this dress does the trick. It is so quick and easy to make I have a feeling I will be making lots more in different prints for a comfy summer maxi for the girls. Here is what you will need for this project:
- fabric (woven or knit will work)
- elastic (any size you want. I used 1/4″ for the top and 1″ for the waist)
- measuring tape
- Cut your fabric into four rectangles. You will want two for the top of your dress and two for the skirt of your dress. To know what size to cut my rectangles I simply measured my daughter’s chest which is 20″ and added 10″ to that. You want to take into account your seam allowance and also add enough width so that she will have room to move around. Using a ready made skirt or dress to compare widths is a good idea if you are not sure how wide to make it. So for all of my rectangles I cut my fabric 15″ wide. To know how long to cut it I simply measured my daughter from where I wanted the dress to start at her chest and then hit at her waist. I added about 2″ to allow for the elastic casing at the top and waist. For the skirt I simply measured where I wanted the elastic to hit the waist down to where I wanted it to hit the floor. You can do any length you want. I decided to make this one a midi length with a hi-lo hem. Be sure to add in your seam allowance for the elastic casing as well as your hem allowance. You will want to add about 2.5″ to your desired length. For the little ruffle at the top you will do the same thing as the other rectangles. You will cut you fabric at the same width as the other rectangles and then however long you want your ruffle. I made mine 15″ wide and 2″ long.
- Once you have your rectangles cut sew them right sides together and finish the seams if you are using a woven fabric. For the ruffle you will want to hem it at this step. I just simply serged the hem and then folded under once and stitched in place. If you don’t have a serger you can fold under twice and sew.
- Next you will want to turn your top piece and your ruffle piece right sides out and place your top piece inside your ruffle piece so that the raw edges meet. Pin and sew together. I serged my ends together but if you don’t have a serger you can simple baste them together staying close to the raw edge.
- Now you will want to turn your top piece inside out and fold the top edge over to create a casing for your elastic. Be sure you fold over enough to allow the elastic to go through. Stitch in place close to the edge leaving at least 1″ open to be able to slide the elastic through. If you don’t have a serger you can just fold over twice so you have a nice finish before stitching in place.
- Next you will want to slide your elastic through in the opening you left until you have made it all the way around. Stitch the elastic together at the ends so you have a circle. You will now want to stitch down the 1″ opening you left. (to measure how long you should cut your elastic simply measure your child’s chest and then subtract 1-2″)
- You should now have something that looks like this.
- Next you will want to place your skirt piece inside your top piece so that the raw edges meet. You will want them to be right sides together. I serged the raw edge of my top and skirt pieces together but this is not necessary if you don’t want to. Now you will sew the two pieces together making sure you make your seam allowance wide enough for your elastic. I used 1″ elastic for my waist so I used a 1.5″ seam allowance.
- Now you will want to flip your top piece up making sure the skirt piece seam allowance is flipped up towards the top like the picture above. Since I serged my raw edges I simply stitched the edge down like I did with the top casing leaving an opening to guide my elastic through. If you did not serge your edged you can old under before stitching so you have a clean look. You will finish your casing just as you did for the top elastic part.
- You should now have something that looks like the picture above.
- Now it is time to hem your skirt. You can have your skirt any length you want and you do not need to do a hi-lo hem like I did. To create the hi-lo look I simply put for skirt flat on a table making sure the side seams met each other evenly and then cut the front portion at a curve until I meat the seams at the side like the photo above.
- Next you will want to hem your skirt.
- Now you will want to add your shoulder straps. I simply cut two 2″ pieces of fabric and folded them in half right sides together lengthwise and stitched together. Pull the ends through so they are right sides together and then stitch in place on your dress. You will want to measure your child to see how long they should be and where you want to place them. As a guide, I placed mine 2″ from the side seam in the front and then 3″ from the side seam in the back.
- You should now have a finished dress that looks something like this! See, super simple and quick but so cute!!
Here are some photos of my daughter wearing her new summer midi length maxi:
I hope you love this little summer dress as much as I do! It would even be easy to make an adult version as well!
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…