How to Make a Pleated Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses are a popular item in the summer because they are comfortable but always stylish. You can dress it up or dress it down for a casual look. In this tutorial I will show you how to make your own maxi dress out of cotton jersey.

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Materials

Video

Instructions

Step 1: Pin & cut the pattern

Fold the fabric in half. Line up the center of the skirt pattern to the fold line. Pin around the pattern and cut.

Fold the remaining fabric over about 10 inches.
Pin the front top to the fold line and cut. Fold the fabric over again and repeat for the back top pattern.  Remove the pins from the skirt pattern and unfold.


Step 2: Pleat the skirt

Starting 1″ in from the side, make a 1″ pleat and pin.  Continue this all the way across leaving 1″ at the end.  Space the pleats about 2″ apart from each other.  In total you should have 12 pleats.

Once the pleats are pinned, baste stitch across with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  The settings on your machine should be set at 5 mm in length and 4 mm in width.  A baste stitch is a straight loose stitch to help keep the fabric in place.  Back stitching is not necessary for this stitch.


Step 3: Sew the top

Before you start sewing, make sure you are using a ballpoint needle.  This needle is made to work with stretch knit fabrics.  Remove the pins from the pattern pieces.

Pin one side of the front to one side of the back and zigzag stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Your machine should be set at 2.5 mm in width and 3 mm in length.  From the bottom, start a 1/2″ in and leave 1″ at the end.  The zigzag stitch will help the thread stretch with the fabric. Back stitch at the beginning and the end, leaving the other side open.


Step 4: Attach the top to the skirt

Pin the bottom of the top to the skirt with the right sides facing each other. Zigzag stitch with a ½” seam allowance. Back stitch at the beginning and the end.


Step 5: Sew the side seam

Line up the side seam with the right sides facing each other. The dress should be inside out.

Pin from top to bottom and zigzag stitch with a ½” seam allowance. Start 1″ in and leave 2″ at the bottom. Back stitch at the beginning and the end.


Step 6: Finish the top

Starting from the side seam, fold the fabric over ½” twice and pin. Then straight stitch along the front and back with a ½” seam allowance. For this stitch, make sure the width is 4 mm and the length is 5 mm. Back stitch at the beginning and the end.


Step 7: Hem the bottom

Starting at the seam, fold the fabric over 1″ twice and pin. Continue this until you’ve reached the end. Then stitch with a ¾” seam allowance. Back stitch at the beginning and the end. The maxi dress is now complete!


Want to make one of your own? Check out our selection of apparel fabric!


Questions & Comments

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How to make a Plus Size Pattern for a maxi dress? Do I keep adding one (1) inch at a time to each sides of the Maxi dress?
MaryAnne S on Apr 14, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Here's a couple ways you can resize the pattern: www.onlinefabricstore.net/makersmill/three-pattern-grading-methods/