Sunday, June 12, 2011

Asymmetrical Maxi Dress Easy DIY Tutorial

Can you sew a straight line and fold fabric into a rectangle?  If so, you can sew your own maxi dress!  This is my second foray of using my dress form to make a dress rather than a pattern.  Interested in the 1st foray?  Click here for the Easy, Draped Maxi Dress Tutorial.

This asymmetrical maxi dress features a draped arm opening and off-the-shoulder sleeve.

And if you were interested in seeing what a 6-month pregnant lady looks like in it:

Want to dig into the tutorial?  It's right after the jump :)

What you'll need:

  • ~2 yards of 60" wide jersey fabric
  • Trim for braid (optional)
  • Coordinating belt / accessories

1.  Arrange your fabric so that it's folded in half the long way (like a book) with the wrong side of the fabric facing out.  Pin the top open corner together to keep your position in place.

2.  Slip your fabric on (or put it on a dress form).  On the folded side, approximately 10" from the edge, pinch both edges of the fabric and pin.  This is your arm hole (step A in the first tutorial photo) - make sure this comfortable - not too tight and not too drapey.

3.  On the opposite side, just past the shoulder, pin the top all the way until the edge.  Mine turned out to be approximately 8" from the edge.  This is Step B from the 1st tutorial picture.

4.  Leave about 14" open for the "sleeve".  Pin right after 14".  You will sew right down the side all the way to the bottom.  This is Step C from the 1st tutorial photo.

5.  Take your dress off and sew in all your pinned areas.  Then hem your dress.  Make sure it's not too long or too short.  This is Step D from the 1st tutorial photo.

6.  (Optional)  Add some braided trim to the open shoulder.  I used red grosgrain ribbon, braided it and sewed it in place.  This is Step E in the 1st tutorial photo.

You are done!  I left all my edges raw except the hem since jersey doesn't fray but you can also choose to finish them.  

Now wear it, belt it, accessorize and rock it!  :)


  1. Wow wow! I definitely want to try this- especially since you made yours with red stripes *love nautical stuff*!

  2. you did an awesome job :) one day i will try to sew and follow one of your tutorials!

  3. You're so awesome. : ) I need to start learning this stuff! And yes I can sew!! So that's a start :D

  4. This is amazing. I say this about all your DIYs, but I'm so in love with the draping of this dress and the braided strap! Great attention to detail, SPG!

  5. Another great one! You look good in it, too :)

  6. I'll try to show it to my mother in law: let's see if she can do it form me!
    You look great for a 6 months pregnant!!!
    I was like a big fat ball....

  7. LOVE!! the red nautical stripes are so cute i imagine you wearing this with a navy blue cardigan! hehehe i love your DIY's!

    haha thank you.. i actually am not that great with nail polish either.. it's actually super easy to do.. i just paint the green on the bottem and then the pink from the tips of the nails to the middle.. and then i just take a clear nail polish and smudge it.. and then paint clear sparkly nail polish on top.. so it doesn't have to look good because you do so many layers.. hehe

    i never paint my toe nails either.. my toe nails are so blech hahah.

  8. Nope, can't sew in a straight line yet!! Bwahaha. I'm so bad! I'm gonna save this project on my Things to Sew list! Thanks!

  9. I am liking the red nautical stripes...its a nice change from the navy and white:) I like how you are so detailed in your DIY cool:D

    You look so good in this dress and your baby hump:D

  10. キャセヂ姫 - Thank you so much! I am also a HUGE fan of nautical style - so classic! :)

    Purses and Puppies - Thank you! Oh I hope you do try one day - it can be quite fun :)

    Jessy - Aww, you are so sweet! I'd love to see any of your sewing creations!!

    Cee - Thanks so much!! I, myself, just love the little things :) I just need to think of more and more ideas to implement!

    Gigi - Thank you very much!

    Francesca - You would look fabulous in anything so I'd love to see it if your MIL does make one for you! Thank you dear!! :) I feel like a big ball. Yesterday, someone told me I looked like I was "ready to pop". I told her I had 3 months left :(

    Lisa - Thanks so much! I'm pretty sure I'd still mess up the nail polish LOL :D

    LePetiteLemon - Aww, I'm so honored to be added to your Sew List!! Thanks!

    T - Thanks so much!

    Annie - Thank you doll! I still do love navy and white but this was more readily available locally :D

  11. Super cute, and you look adorable in it! I love that fabric, and I think the drape over the drape over the shoulders is so fun!

  12. I love this! It looks so cute with your baby bump too! New follower here :)

    Amanda @

  13. Love the dress, I did a similar design years ago, Thanks for the reminder.

  14. Made the dress & love it! Only concern was step 4 of the tutorial, the whole side of my torso was exposed so had to put a tank top on-we were on a trip & I wasn't aware of this! I get lots of compliments on it & will be making more!

  15. Rachel - Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a kind comment!

    Amanda - Thanks so much for following and commenting!

    Angelia - I'd love to see your version!

    PA Honeybee - Whoops, I never even thought of that because my fabric is a little sheer so that I always have something underneath. Sorry about that but I'm glad it worked out!

  16. I could not believe how easy this was! It was my first real sewing project since home economics. It only took an hour and looks great. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. I am so glad it turned out well!! Thanks for coming back to share your experience :)

  17. My sister and I are planning to make this for an upcoming summer wedding! Were super excited! My only worry was the same another had... being able to see my torso through my "sleeve." More so on my sister since shes 13 but, for me as well. I just wanted feedback from those who have made the dress on possibly making the sleeve opening less than 14. And how much without losing the look... 12? 10?
    Thanks again for the dress!

    1. Hi Krystal! You could try making the sleeve opening narrow at the ends and gradually get wider. This would give you a dolman effect that hopefully will still give you the drapey look without exposing your torso. The other option would be to wear a tube top or cami underneath. Good luck!

  18. i love how you showed this also being maternity! its so hard finding cute dresses at 7 months pregnant and i cant wait to make this


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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