Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Summer maxi dress obsession continues... a new navy maxi dress

I talked a few weeks ago about how I'm rediscovering maxi dresses this summer. So easy to put one on and feel cute--effortlessly! In that post I wore a maxi skirt I made in more of a dress shape with a blousy top tucked in, but last week I made myself a proper maxi dress, out of a pattern I hadn't used before.

I had a bunch of this nice 100% cotton knit--kind of a rare find at the big fabric stores, it seems--that I bought for $2.99 at Goodwill aaaages ago. It still had the tag on it and I was surprised to see it had been so cheap when I pulled it off the shelf again! It was yards and yards! Good things happen when you have good luck at the thrift store. ;)

I used Simplicity 1801, which I bought recently when Simplicity was on sale. It's not too different from patterns I already had, no, but it looked pretty and 70's-ey but simple to go together, and versatile. I made the sleeveless maxi version, obviously!

It went together pretty quickly (several episodes of old SNLs on Hulu later...) but, of course, was too big.. darn modern patterns. (See more on modern pattern sizing in a couple of my basic Sewing Circle posts.) When I make new patterns I normally air on the safe side and cut closer to the size the package says I am... but that plan backfired on this one and it was definitely too loose at first. I took it in some and added a zigzagged band of narrow elastic all the way around the bottom of the midriff panel, almost like a little bracing waistband.

No zipper required! Comfy and stretchy, and a little more elegant than my shorts and tees!

Made (or worn) any great maxi dresses lately? ;)


  1. looks great! love the navy color

  2. I made one maxi dress last summer (http://vintagezest.blogspot.com/2013/01/sewing-rewind-my-first-wearable-clothing.html) and I'm most likely going to make another one. I just have to find a good fabric in my stash and probably try out another pattern in my huge collection. :)

  3. i love maxis. i can never find ones that fit right. maybe i just need to learn how to sew.

  4. This looks lovely! Im saving this post in my bookmarks to remind me to buy this pattern ASAP I struggle to find clothes that fit exactly as I want to so I should really make my own! xxx

  5. Love it!

    I'm curious about how you attached the elastic. I'm also making a maxi dress out of jersey and I don't want it to hang too much at the waistband.

  6. I love how the dress looks on you! I haven't worn any maxi dresses yet, but that's just because I'm not the biggest person and a maxi dress makes me look even smaller. But it really suits you and I'm curious for your next one :-)

  7. Great dress and nice color! I love the result!

  8. Zigzag stitch through the elastic from the underside (matching center front, center back, and sides with pins, of course!

  9. Absolutely! So much power in making your own clothes! I have an Evernote note just for my fabric store shopping list, definitely have a few patterns listed on there... ;)

  10. That is super cute, love the bright color and stripe!!!! Great fabric! I know what you mean, I'd love to make another but don't know what fabric or pattern to try next... ;)

  11. Gorgeous pattern and it looks great as a maxi! And, if you get tired of the long look, you can always cut and hem. Presto, new dress!



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