Sunday, June 21, 2015

Scarves to Maxi Dress DIY Tutorial

I know I spend an insane amount of time making maxi dresses, but I can't seem to help myself.  This one is very simple - you're essentially sewing the sides of 3 scarves (or 3 fabric squares together) and adding straps.  See below for steps!

3-Scarf Maxi Dress DIY

Difficulty: Very Easy

Time: ~1 hour

Pattern:  None - use 3 squares

Materials:
  • 3 square scarves OR cut 3 squares out of lightweight fabric - I'd recommend something silky
    • For maxi length - I'd recommend 34.5" squares so that the diagonal running from shoulder to hem is 48" (keep in mind to adjust if you're taller!)
    • Because I used grid fabric, I had to follow the pattern for my squares and wound up with 37.5" squares - hence the floor sweeping length
  • Strap material - I used black bias tape, but you can use fabric, leather, etc.  Braided straps would be SO cute
Steps:
1.)  You're going to need a person or dress form for this, but position 1 scarf point at each shoulder and pin where these meet for the placement of your neckline


2.)  Place 1 point of your 3rd scarf at the center back right at the base of the neck


 3.) Pin under the arms where the front meets the back

4.) Play with strap placement and mark with chalk (I didn't actually go with the one shown below, but it was fun to experiment)

5.)  Sew down the center front from your pinned neckline all the way down the edge.

6.)  Sew down each side from the underarm pin all the way down the edge.

7.)  Pin your strap placements and carefully try on your dress.  Make sure straps fit comfortably and make length adjustments as needed.  Sew straps in place.

And you're finished!

Questions?  Please feel free to leave me a comment below or send me an email!  :)
Finished Scarf Maxi Dress

49 comments:

  1. I like it. I like it! It looks versatile, too, since you can wear it with a belt. Hope you're doing well :)

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    1. Thank you my dear! I hope you and darling Mini are doing fabulously - I enjoy seeing little snippets on IG :)

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  2. I'm sorry for the following comment; please don't take offense as I'll just try to "rip off the bandaid" rather than sugarcoat it. Big voluminous dresses that you love and make all the time aren't giving the illusion that you're small or petite (which according to you, you are). Whoever told you that they're flattering on you was telling a nice white lie to you. Please just dress for your shape. I read your post about your weight gain; it's not discernible. All these maxi dresses you seem to be hoarding all make you look pregnant or that you're trying desperately to hide something big. Dress for yourself, not your insecurity. Okay, I'm off the soapbox. Do what you will with my comment. I won't be offended anyway.

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    1. Hello and thank you for the constructive criticism! Please don’t be sorry as I did not take offense – I appreciate that you took the time to write. I realize that wearing puffy items and being short in stature can make for a decidedly unflattering / frumpy silhouette, but I love the flow / comfort, the fabric print, and the relatively low effort construction. That said, I hadn't realized that I was falling into a rut so I’ll try to better keep proportion in mind with comfort next time :)

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    2. It also take confidence to dress in whatever you like or make you feel pretty. If SewPetiteGal likes wearing big voluminous dresses then she is dressing for herself. Why is it an insecure thing to dress how you want? I dont see her trying to hide anything or any insecurity.She's just having fun with clothes.

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    3. I'm new to this forum and just getting the hang of comments. What ever happened to if someone (That means you anonymous beast , has nothing nice to say just mind your own business
      I loved your maxi! no matter what our size we all want to feel good In what we make.

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    4. You look gorgeous! This is the first dress I've actually felt that I could make. I am a total sewing newbie. Thankyou so much for sharing how you make it. :-)

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    5. Hello to the Unknowns above on 9/19 and 10/6 - thank you for your kind comments!!

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    6. "Anonymous" is CRAZY!!!.. You look great in that maxi. I don't see anything "frumpy" about you. SMH Perhaps they need to get their eyes examined. They are obviously seeing things that are not there. Kudos to your response and how you handled ignorance.

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    7. To Unknown on 11/30 - you are sweet, thank you :)

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    8. Wow, that was rude, no matter how well (?) it was meant. Two-year-olds blurt out whatever is going through their minds at any given moment; adults should have more self-control. If you don't like the dress, don't make it!
      Personally, I like it very much, though it would unfortunately take more than three scarves to cover me decently ;-) Garments do not have to be skin-tight to be attractive, and it's nice to see some people who are confident enough to understand that. Best wishes!

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    9. Thank you, Anonymous on 1/25! :)

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  3. Could you do a tutorial on a kimono?

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    1. Hi! As in a top or a maxi with kimono-type sleeves? For the maxi version, here's a cute tutorial: http://sweet-verbena.blogspot.com/2011/07/boho-maxi-dress-tutorial.html For the top, here's another tutorial: http://www.elleapparelblog.com/2013/09/kimono-cool-tutorial.html

      Good luck!

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  4. I love how easy & versatile this dress is, I'm thinking to maybe make it with 3 different but complementary scarves/squares for more of a Boho/Gypsy look what do you think?
    Thank you for sharing your designs & talent with us :)

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    1. Thank you, Claire - that is very, very kind of you to say - I greatly appreciate it :)

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    2. Oh and yes, I think a Boho / Gypsy look would be lovely!

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  5. I LOVE this fabric and the maxi dress pattern so much! I think you need to post more of your sewing projects on your blog. ;)

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    1. Hi Sara - thank you for your kind comment! I need to get back in the swing of blogging :)

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  6. This is fabulous. As a beginner its really easy to make and I love this style of dress. As some who can sew but was a little daunted by the idea of making a dress, as some of the pattern are really scary, this has helped a lot. Thank You!!! I love it :-)

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    1. Thank you, Kaz! Best of luck in sewing dresses!

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  7. I love the choice of fabric color and pattern, the max dress is quite simple yet ravishing in a way. Not to mention that is seems to be very easy to make.

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  8. I love this SewPetiteGal! Thanks for sharing. You look fabulous in the dress and I love it with or without the belt. It's so versatile. A mini version could make an awesome top too. Off now to fire up my Singer! Love and light. Sara X

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    1. Thanks Sarah! I never thought of doing a top version, but that sounds like a fantastic idea - good luck with your project!

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  9. Would this work for bigger girls, is that enough fabric or should I add up the size of the squares. It looks voluptuous enough though, but have to check ya know. thanks for any info you can provide.

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    1. Hmm, I am (ahem) very flat-chested, so don't have much experience there. My thought is that you might have to adjust where the 2 front scarves meet and make sure that the length still provides enough coverage for you. I'm not sure that's very helpful, but let me know if you have other questions!

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  10. Went on your site and found it to be a treasure trove of diy information. Sorry you got trolled by that person; under those circumstances you smile sweetly and tell them you'll take their advice under consideration then drop it in file 13. I liked your shift made from printed fabtic. Wouldn't it be nice to reproduce a letter from someone dear to you and put it in fabric. You could wear their love.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! And yes, I agree, a letter from a loved one would make for a beautiful piece! Hmm, if only my husband had better penmanship - haha!

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  11. This is absolutely beautiful simple comfortable very stylish it could be dressed up or down for any occasion .I'm a fashion designer myself and there are no real rules in fashion. Fashion is really about the persons inner personality it's about having fun and letting who you are shine through with your individual Style. And with that being said guess what I'm wearing to my daughter's summer Garden wedding in Colorado;)

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    1. How wonderful! Congratulations on your daughter's upcoming wedding! Best wishes!

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  12. I'm curious as to sewing the sides. I'm new at this. After you pin under the arm, how do you match up the edges to sew and still have a fit?

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    1. Eek, sorry for the late reply! When pinning under the arm, make sure that the edges line up - as in the length from the pinned area to the far edge of the fabric should be the same on the front and back. Then double-check that both under arm pinnings are also symmetrical. This should help you get both fit and symmetrical match-up. Hope that helps!

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  13. Love this and I am definitely going to try it! So I basically just sew the scarf edges together once I have lined everything up as to where I want it? You look gorgeous in it! So excited to try this!

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    1. Exactly! You got it - best of luck with this and thank you for your kind words! :)

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  14. This is so adorable and easy! Thanks!

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  15. This is so adorable and easy! Thanks!

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  16. This is a cool dress! I will definately sew it. Pls could show us more dressess and blouse. U are a kind person. May God bless your talent.

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  17. This is a cool dress! I will definately sew it. Pls could show us more dressess and blouse. U are a kind person. May God bless your talent.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Josephine! I'd like to start blogging again once things calm down :)

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  18. Hello,
    Your post about Maxi Dresses is too good and informative. I got a best tutorial for making a maxi dress. Very nice post. Thank you too much.......

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  19. First of all, Anonymous June 22, 2015 at 3:09 PM needs some lesson in online blog etiquette! Second, how is it that you are hiding anything? You are showing pics with and without the belt! I think "Anonymous" is the one that is insecure and prob described her post to herself! Sad but some people like to troll online, this is an example of one! I love this dress, not only does it look so adorable on you, but it looks easy to make and so many options to think of! Kudos to you for showing your DYI ideas! I love people who are creative in any form, either musically, artist, or sewing! Keep up the good work SewPetiteGal... You owned it!

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  20. This is a brilliant writing and very pleased to find this site. I couldn’t discover to much different information on your blog. I will surely be back again to look at some other important posts that you have in future.
    Bridesmaid dress/es

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  21. I really like maxi dress pattern,not only beautiful but also sexy!! red color is so pretty good!and recently i found a good site to see more.maybe you can also have a look~~~
    www.gearbest.com/maxi-dress-pattern-_gear/

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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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