Sunday, March 6, 2011

Easy, Draped Maxi Dress DIY Tutorial

One of my resolutions this year was to try draping a garment (a la Project Runway) rather than using a commercial pattern.  This is my first try with it and it seemed relatively simple so I thought I'd share a tutorial on it too :)  The dress I made is a very basic Grecian-inspired, draped maxi using a super soft jersey material.  The best thing about it is that you only have to sew 2 lines - one side seam and the hem.

 
Draped Maxi Dress DIY
(I know I need to shorten the hem, but I'm still trying to decide if I want to add drawstrings up the side to adjust the dress length as I choose)

See full tutorial after the jump:


What You'll Need:
  • 2-3 yards of 60" jersey (I used a stretchy 100% Rayon from Joann's)
  • Matching thread
  • A belt
1.  On a dress form / model / yourself, center fabric against body vertically (the fold in the fabric from being on the bolt should line up against your side from underarms to ankles) and tie the ends once.

Photo of tied ends

2.  Tie it one more time so you wind up with kind of a fancy looking danish

3.  Tuck the ends inside and pin.  You'll hand tack these down when you're ready to sew.

4.  Pin right underneath your underarms and also at your ankles.  

5.  Carefully cut excess fabric from the bottom at the length you want it (maxi, below knee, at knee, etc.) but don't forget to leave a little excess for hemming.

6.  Remove dress from dress form / model / self and sew down the side from where you pinned at the underarm and ankles.  Hem your dress.

7. Voila!  You're finished!  The great thing about jersey is that it will not fray so you can leave the ends unfinished if you prefer.  Hence, I left the entire neckline with a raw edge.  You'll most likely want to wear this dress with a belt of some sort either at your waist line or right underneath your bust.


39 comments:

  1. OMG beautiful!!! I love this style of dress, the whole greek goddness thing is something I adore. You did an amazing job, it's gorgeous!

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  2. The dress is so beautiful. You're very talented. I love the teal color too. You did such a great job! Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

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  3. Do you know how much I love grecian dresses?! This is AMAZING. My favorite DIY of yours to date! The shoulder strap detailing is the best part. Please don't add a drawstring. The dress is perfect as is!

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  4. This is hands down absolutely 100% one of my favorite (if not THE favorite) things you've done on here. Stunning, I love the color, and I"m such a sucker for Grecian dresses.

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  5. OMG & WOW! this is absolutely stunning! so pretty and just an amazing job as usual.

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  6. OMG it's gorgeous!! One of my fave DIYs from you <3 You should really start selling your pieces.. I love this dress!

    xx The Little Dust Princess

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  7. the final product looks amazing!!! I can't believe you said there's only two sew line!

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  8. Elaine - Thank you so much! I've been a fan of the whole goddess style too :)

    Sydney - Thank you! I hope this tutorial inspires a non-sewer to give it a shot :)

    Cee - You are too sweet - thank you so much! And thanks also for the advice on the drawstring. I very much trust your judgement :)

    Ruth Ann - Awww, thanks love! It'll work for maternity too - you should give it a shot - or just drive your butt down here and visit me ;)

    Ping - Thank you for the super kind words!!

    Jessy - Aww, thanks so much!! I'm still not confident enough in my abilities to sell the clothing but I appreciate your vote of confidence!!

    Gracie - Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Just 2 lines of sewing - very simple :)

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  9. This is SO pretty! You should go into business girl :)

    I'd love for you to checkout the giveaway I am hosting this week.

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  10. Very impressive SPG! I love the draping! You look like a goddess. :)

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  11. Wow..amazing! Seriously how do you do it? You are so talented- I just am in awe!!!:D

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  12. wow, this dress is so beautiful!! i love the color of the fabric and the draping is so elegant.

    cute and little

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  13. omg you are so talented! the dress is gorgeous.. it drapes beautifully! and i really love the color you chose for the dress too!

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  14. Happy I found you!! Your jewelry is amazing. I can't wait to check out the rest of the blog.

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  15. Laura - Thanks so much! I'll come check out your giveaway after this :)

    Hi Jen! You are too sweet - thank you for your kind words!

    Annie - You always make my day by saying the nicest things - thank you!

    Kileen - Thanks so much! Getting a color comment from you means a lot :)

    Lisa - Thank you! You should give it a shot :)

    Aubrey - Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting such kind things!

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  16. I've been meaning to tell you that I absolutely love what you did... and it looks amazing on you! Definitely Project Runway worthy :)

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  17. Wow that's amazing. Looks so easy, too. Do you think this will work on satin? :P

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  18. Hi Lei! Thank you! Since satin is a pretty structured / stiff fabric, I'm afraid the draping won't look quite right. Plus, there's always an issue of puckering at the seams when you're dealing with satin, I would stick to a knit of some sort for this tutorial. Hope this helps!

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  19. You are very talented! This dress is amazing! Great work! Please keep the great posts coming!

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  20. hey this is super pretty :D
    about the drawstring thing, is it actually possible to make the length adjustable? because would be perfect for me! can you post a tutorial if it is possible?

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  21. alittlepetite - Thank you for your kind words!

    Anonymous - Thanks so much! Theoretically, the drawstring would allow you to adjust the length but I never did wind up putting one in. I'll post a tutorial on it if I ever do though :)

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  22. Love it :)

    I made a list of Maxi dress tutorials on my blog <3
    You're in it (twice actually) , hope thats okay :)
    http://crafterlifebyme.blogspot.com/2012/02/list-of-diy-maxi-dresses.html

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  23. What this still be long enough to be a floor-length dress for a tall, 5'10" girl like myself? I'm new to sewing, and am hoping to tackle this project (with a little assistance) today! Absolutely adore it!

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    Replies
    1. **WOULD this still be long enought... :)

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    2. Thank you! I think it will be long enough - I had quite a bit of fabric to trim off of the bottom! Hope your dress turns out well :)

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  24. Do you think this would work with a satin (not stretch) type fabric? I need to make three bridesmaid dresses for my daughter's three adult bridesmaids and daughter has fallen in love with a glossy, fairly heavy, satin fabric. I know I'd have to hem all round the top so the neckline doesn't fray. Also, sorry .... so many questions ....... but bearing in mind the three bridesmaids range from almost 6ft tall to just over 5ft and one about 5ft 5", very roughly, how many metres of fabric would I need to order. The satin fabric is 60" wide. You are very clever. This style is just what we were looking for.

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    1. Hello! I think this dress works best with soft, lightweight fabrics like jerseys or maybe silky types. In my experience, working with satin (especially the glossy kind since the shine can be unkind to body lumps and bumps) can be difficult because it is such a stiff fabric and doesn't drape very well. I am also a homegrown sew-er who is far from an expert, so take my advice with a grain of salt. Regarding how much fabric needed, you'll probably need about 2 yards per dress since the width is 60". This will give you 72" in length with a little extra to do a facing at the top (if you decide to go that route). I hope this helps!

      Let me know if you have any other questions :)

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  25. It's work beautifully with chiffon fabric! I just finished mines!

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, thanks for info, Nikki! I'll have to give it a try with chiffon too :)

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  26. Yours looks more graceful than the one that inspired you! Beautiful work.

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    Replies
    1. That is so kind of you to say - thank you very much!

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  27. Thanks so much for this tutorial! As if it wasn't quick and easy enough, I actually made a short-cut version: I skipped sewing the side seam and made sort of a wrap dress by overlapping the sides a little and using a belt to make sure it stayed. (I used lightweight jersey.) It worked well and looked great!

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, sounds pretty! May have to try that myself - thanks for sharing!

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  28. I was hoping to have some real sewing with this dress. I don't like the idea of a big knot on my shoulder. Can you create a design when there is a should seam? The top of the dress could just be tucked in so you don't have a raw edge, but that knot has to go. Sorry.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback! You could gather the shoulder and sew it, but I fear this particular design would have too much fabric to adequately sew down. The knotting was partially for the ornate design but also for the ease. I have another maxi dress tutorial here with normal shoulders: http://sewpetitegal.blogspot.com/2011/08/make-your-own-stripes-colorblocked-maxi.html or you can do cap sleeves here: http://sewpetitegal.blogspot.com/2013/07/easy-shift-dress-diy-tutorial.html

      Hope that helps!

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I'm the type of gal who gets giddy when I receive mail - it's no different with comments! I really appreciate the feedback and love hearing from you :)

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