I pretty much live in maxi dresses all Summer long. In my opinion, they are the most comfortable outfit to wear while still looking nice. My hair can be thrown up in a messy beach bun and I can be wearing no make up, but if I am wearing a maxi dress with sunglasses – its still a total score. After shopping around to add to my collection, it turned out – I couldn’t find a single maxi dress that I liked! Luckily, I happen to know someone who can sew :).
The Layered Bodice Sundress is a knit sundress with a fun extra knit layer that sits over the top of the dress. You will be surprised at just how easy this dress is to make for the experience beginner seamstress. It is part of the 30 Days of Sundresses Series going on at Melly Sews.
Layered Bodice Sundress DIY
- Knit fabric, lots and lots of it. About 2.5 yards should suffice.
- Good fitting tank top to help use as a pattern piece.
- 1 yd. 1/4″ elastic
- Basic Sewing Essentials (sewing machine, serger optional, rotary cutter, thread, etc.)
- Lay out your knit fabric so that it is on the fold, and the stretch is going from left to right. Place your folded in half tank top on top of the fold in the knit fabric. Cut around the top of the tank top (adding seam allowance), arcing down in a gentle outwards curve at the sides to the length you want your maxi dress to be. Determine the length of your maxi dress by measuring from your shoulders to the floor, and add 4″ to that number. Cut (2) dress pattern pieces. Alter the neckline for the front and back dress pattern piece to match your tank top’s neckline.
- Lay your folded tank top once again on top of the fabric, also on the fold, and cut around the neckline. Bring the side seams way out, almost triangular in shape from the tank top side seam, stopping at your natural waist line. Cut (2) layered bodice pattern pieces, altering the front and back to match the tank top’s neckline.
- Place your layered bodice pattern pieces right sides together, pin and sew the shoulder and side seams.
- Place your dress pattern pieces right sides together, pin and sew the shoulder and side seams. If you want a side leg split opening, leave the side seam unsewn from the hem up to your desired point.
- Turn both the dress and the layered bodice right side out. Slip the layered bodice inside the top of the dress, matching up the shoulder seams. Pin around the neckline and sew using a stretch stitch, serger, or zig zag stitch.
- Flip the layered bodice out, so that it is on the external of the dress and the neckline is enclosed in between the dress and the layered bodice.
- Using a ruler and a pen (fabric marker preferred), find where your natural waist would be on the dress. Move that line to 3″ down from the natural waist, and draw a line across the dress from left to right – on both the front and back of the wrong side of the dress.
- Cut a piece of elastic the same length as your natural waist measurement. Sew the ends together using a zig zag stitch, creating a loop of the elastic.
- Pin the elastic to the inside of the dress, at both sides and the front and back of the dress along the drawn line. Sew the elastic onto the dress, pulling the elastic as you sew, using a zig zag stitch.
- Add a faux waistband tie to the front center of the dress, directly on top of the elastic.
You are finished!
As you noticed, I didn’t bother hemming the dress or finishing the armcyces – I left the knit fabric unfinished instead. I wanted to keep this dress as simple as possible, and knit fabric does not fray. It still looks great! But of course, you can always finish these edges on your own for a more finished look.
And now I am off to the fabric store to buy more knit fabric in e-v-e-r-y color! Lol
For more sundress DIY ideas, and to enter an awesome giveaway, be sure to hop on over to Melly Sews HERE.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…