Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Poppy Fields Maxi Dress Sewing Tutorial

Dress Sewing Tutorial: Poppy Field Maxi Dress

I made this maxi dress for myself a few weeks back and have been wondering why I didn't make more of these ever since. This is just so comfortable ( like PJs), and feels so stylish and trendy ( unlike PJS). So I have been wearing this often and  really enjoying it. Since it was refashioned from three ready-to-wear clothes from my stash, I guess there's no point giving the exact tutorial - because you may/may not have the exact pieces in your stash. Instead, I have decided to write some basic construction notes, so you can create a maxi dress with whatever you have on hand, or sew one from scratch. Going by the fact that I have updated almost every thing in the clothes I used, it won't be too hard to sew one from scratch.


One Tshirt - your size or upto two size larger than you.
One Tiered Dress - Your size or larger
co-ordinating knit fabric - I used the flutter sleeves and body of a top.


This is the spaghetti dress I started out with. It was two sizes too big, but the jersey fabric and the tiered skirt seemed so comfortable. So I cut off the bodice part of the dress and used the skirt.

I cut off the bottom of another two sizes big Tshirt so that it sat just below my bust. I also chopped off the sleeves to make it half sleeved. I also took in about an inch from both sides to get the fit better on my chest.

sewing a maxi with tshirt and skirt

Gather the top of the skirt such that it becomes equal to the bottom of the shirt. Sew with right sides together.
I tried the dress on and found out the following issues with the fit:
1. The neck was looking too..well..tshirty. I needed to perk it up a bit.
2. The sleeves were too long and looking matronly
3. Needed a better fit at the waistline too.

Cut the neck off to make it V-shaped and get rid of the Tshirty feel.

To finish the neckline. I sewed along these flutter sleeves from another top. These double layered sleeves had a beautiful trim. I think they are the one detail that really made the dress.Sew them along the neckline ( wrong side of neck with right side of sleeves), when one sleeve ended, I just overlapped the other one a bit and kept going. Once the neckline was done, I kept sewing the sleeves( now collar) on the bodice to give a faux kimono bodice look.

Turned the collar outside, topstitched close to the edge. I was actually going for a kimono bodice look, but the final neckline looks like I have wrapped a scarf around..but I like it even more this way. A very cool and laid back vibe. Very me, I think.

To help define the waistline better, I added a grosgrain ribbon at the front. I sewed along the upper and lower edges of the ribbon only in the front. And left a good amount of it at the back to be used as waist ties.

Also hemmed the sleeves, they are now about as short as they can be without making the dress sleeveless.

Tried the dress, one more time. Fit was great, The new neckline - check! The only issue. The upper and lower patterns were too distinct, they looked like they had nothing to do with each other - which they actually didn't until a few hours ago - but we can't let that knowledge become public, right? Right!

So I added a cheerful wide orange polka dot ribbon at the hem.

There! Much better! but needs just a little more cheer. Nothing that a bouquet of blazing, blooming poppies can't fix. Here's how I made these fabric flowers

I tacked on some big, bold fabric flowers. Tried the thing on one more time. And oh! its perfect.

Poppy Fields Maxi Dress. Done!

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