So I have been wanting to make a bohemian maxi dress for quite some time now. I have struggled to find the right lace or sheer fabric I wanted to work with. This is partly due to the fact that I am still learning about different fabrics and I find it a little hard to imagine what it would look like in a garment. Secondly, all the fabrics I love are generally $70 a yard. With most long dress patterns calling for 4 or more yards of fabric that is not something, I want to commit to. I have just started sewing and my success rate is not all that high just yet lol!
On my trip to the thrift store to find some men’s shirts to refashion into a shirt dress, I found this white long flowy skirt. I figured I could refashion it into the maxi dress of my dreams… Or my sewing capabilities should I say lol!
Here are a few maxi dresses I am drawing my inspiration from:
Looking at this theme pallet it tells me that:
- I like the cinched waist. (Pretty sure I like it more on the model and not myself because I am thick waisted lol)
- I want to incorporate sheer fabrics with layers of opacity.
- A waist belt accentuates the design.
- A fitted bodice.
- Fun flirty sleeves.
The Skirt Before:
The first thing I need to think about is how am I going to get in and out of this dress?
I started playing with the lining and thought I could make it a top. My aim was to have it a loose fit that could be cinched in at the waist by a belt.
I put the skirt on with the lining hanging out. I looked at how I wanted it to drape on my body. I decided I wanted to go with the natural lines so I made the top a v neck.
I marked the spot where I would like my v neck to end and then simply used my rotary cutter and mat to cut a straight diagonal line.
Use a pattern of a top you like or a sewing pattern that fits you well. I used the top from the Simplicity Amazing Fit 8543. I like the middle section of the princess seams. Then I simply drew the arm line and left the natural width of the lining to create a loose form.
Repeat this on the back with a back pattern.
Cut out your pattern pieces and baste along with the necklines on the back and front of the top.
Clean up your neckline by using bias tape. I placed double-sided bias tape and sewed it on the front v neck to give a nice seam
From here I decided to go back into draping the top. I wanted to work with the fall of the fabric. I loved the way I could simply tie the top up in bows. I could not commit to the bows as I have to cover my shoulders. I did love the way it gathered. So I decided to pleat the shoulders to get the bulk of the fabric in and the same draping lines as below.
Time to tailor! From here I took the waist in slightly as there was too much fabric. This will depend on your size and the size of the dress you are altering. As you can see I did not take it in tight. I still have a nice amount of room to move.
I removed the waistband. You may or may not have one of these depending on the dress you picked up.
Sew the tops of the shoulders together and finish the armholes with a small hem.
Remove the two bottom layers of the skirt. I used the fabric to create a trim on the shoulder and front of the v neck.
Jazz it up. I went to hobby lobby and purchased a few trims and started to strategically place them and sew the trims onto the dress.
Here is the final result! What do you think? Are you going to try it?