Strapless Maxi Dress – Sewing for Beginners
Here’s the perfect project for a beginner sewist.
Beat the summer heat in this trendy and stylish Strapless Maxi Dress. Learn how to sew a dress with this helpful tutorial and your summer wardrobe will be full of fun maxi dresses!
Lightweight woven fabric 45” wide – enough yardage to cut two dress lengths.
Choose a lightweight fabric as the width of the dress is about 64″ when sewn. If you want less ease just cut your
Chalk or other Marking Pen
1. Determine the length of the dress
Measure from your underarm to the floor (or where you want your dress to end).
Add 3 inches to this measurement for upper casing and hem. This will be the length you cut each rectangle. In this example the dress was cut 50” long.
2. Cut the fabric
Lay your fabric on a large flat surface.
You can use your cutting table, but the floor works just as well.
Cut two rectangles 33″ wide by the length you determined in the step above.
If you want a closer fitting dress this is where you’ll want to cut a narrower rectangle.
If you want a looser fit, cut the rectangle wider.
3. Sew the side seams
With right sides together pin the two large rectangles together along the long edges, which are the side seams.
Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch the side seams.
If desired, finish the seams with a serger, a zigzag stitch, or pinking shears.
Press the seams open.
Optional walking slits: If you want a walking slit, stop sewing the side seam about 18″ from the lower edge on one or both sides. If you do that be sure to turn under and hem those raw edges!
4. Create the casings
Turn under ¼” on the top edge of the dress. Press.
Turn under another ¾” on the top edge. Press.
This is the upper casing of the dress.
Stitch close to the pressed edge forming the casing.
Leave a 1″ opening to insert the elastic.
Turn the dress so the wrong side of the fabric is facing out.
From the top edge of the dress, measure down 9” and mark with chalk or pen.
Continue measuring and marking 9” down from the top edge of the dress until you’ve drawn a solid line around the entire dress. This is the line for the waist casing.
Starting at one side seam, place one edge of the seam binding along the line you just drew.
Pin in place.
Stitch close to both edges of the seam binding. Be sure to leave a 1″ opening at one side seam to insert elastic.
5. Insert the upper casing elastic
Don’t forget to pin the other end of the elastic to the garment or you’ll lose the elastic in the casing when you begin to pull to thread the elastic through.
Once the elastic is all the way through, secure the elastic to the dress by pinning both ends to the dress seam.
Try the dress on to make sure the elastic is tight enough to hold the dress up. Adjust if necessary.
Remove the pins, overlap the two edges of elastic, stitch together securely, and tuck into the casing.
Sew the casing opening closed.
6. Insert the waistline casing elastic
Cut a piece of ½” elastic that fits comfortably around your waist.
Place a safety pin on one end of the elastic and thread it through the waist casing you just created with the seam binding.
Once again, don’t forget to pin the other end of the elastic to the garment.
Overlap the two edges of elastic, stitch together securely and tuck into the casing.
7. Hem the dress
The hem of the dress is created the same way as the upper casing.
Turn under ¼” on the bottom edge of the dress. Press.
Turn under another ¾” on the top edge.
Stitch close to the pressed edge.
Add a belt, some great costume jewelry and go enjoy the compliments you’ll get while wearing your new dress.