Easy DIY Maxi Dress in Fifteen Minutes or Less

Ah, the maxi dress.

So comfy!

So cute!

Here’s a maxi dress you can make in less than fifteen minutes.

I had previously used the bottom of this thrift store shirt for some ruffles.

Now I can use the top.

The fabric was a lightweight knit from Joann Fabrics.

After refitting the bodice and the sleeves, sew sleeves back in sleeve casing, being sure to sew right sides together.

I measured from under my bust to the floor and added an inch to get the length I wanted for the skirt.

I’m 5’4″ and I measured 44 inches. This is a perfect length if I’m wearing flats.

My fabric was a lightweight knit and 60 inches wide so I just used it all and sewed the seam down the selvage edge.

Since this fabric had a pattern, I was also careful to match the pattern.

I put the seam down the back of the dress.

Stretch and cut a piece of quarter inch elastic under your bust to a comfortable length. Don’t make it too tight, just enough to gather in your dress nicely.

And now you have a fun, inexpensive summer maxi dress in less than fifteen minutes.

My “fashion photographer” (aka youngest son, Cooper) was experimenting with this photo. I kind of like it…..

You might also like:







About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
This entry was posted in DIY, Sewing, Tutorial and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to Easy DIY Maxi Dress in Fifteen Minutes or Less

  1. Such and easy way to make a new dress for a nice change in wardrobe. Great job. Thank you. Oh, and Cooper’s photographic skills are admirable.

  2. amysworlds says:

    That’s brilliant – I only ever wear maxi dresses and they usuall cost me between £40-£65! This is good as well because I could find a top I liked the sleeves on and ‘extend’ it to make a dress….ahh the possibilities!

  3. This is so great too… I have lots of tops that could be re~vamped like this. I so need to get to sewing. I have nominated you for the Very inspiring and One lovely blog award and thought you may want to check it out. Have a great day!

  4. A Beautiful Creation – thanks for sharing:) Have a Great Day!

  5. Mother Deer says:

    Very nice! I love your fabric choice. You have a real talent for altering and fitting garments, as well as making some really attractive restyles. Your garments always fit you well and are flattering. Your work looks very professional, and this sets your blog apart from many other sites.

    • Oh my, thank you so much for all this encouragement! Necessity truly is the mother of invention. Finding clothing that fit was always such a source of frustration for me. So last December, I set out on a mission to learn how to sew clothing for my body. In addition, I’ve learned how to use my “new to me” camera, Photoshop, and how to blog. Huge learning curve happening here, but I guess it keeps the ol’ brain cells fit. Thanks again for all of your nice comments. It really means so much to me!
      Enjoy your week!

  6. kirinjirafa says:

    Oh wow- what a great idea! Thanks for the post; I love this.

  7. kirinjirafa says:

    Reblogged this on Kirinjirafa's Blog and commented:
    I’m wrapped in a family visit and thus not taking to post, but when I saw this I just had to reblog it. Love, love love! I need to blogroll chic envelopments. She comes up with such cool, easy project ideas!

  8. Karen Schulz says:

    This is awesome. I follow you blog heaps as I am into reusing, upcycling etc for clothes as well as home. Great tutorials.Karen – http://www.madewithmytwohands.blogspot.com

  9. artclubblog says:

    Love maxi dresses. This one looks fabulous!

  10. Amazing, your inventiveness is awesome!

  11. Hi Beth! Please check my post on “Time for me to give”. I have shared 2 awards with you. All the best

  12. joybrewed says:

    You are so talented!! ;-)

  13. Hi Beth, can you email me your home address for the swap/ Thanks rachel.

  14. Tish says:

    I love your posts and refashions! It seems we have very similar tastes in style, so I’m always eager to see what new creation you’ve made because they always appeal to me, too. (Plus, it seems we have same body shape, so I can kind of “cheat” to see how a style looks on you first, ha ha!) I am just getting into refashioning so I learn alot from your tutorials, too. I do have one question, though? When you do a refashion involving the sleeves, you always say you “cut off the sleeves.” Do you actually cut them off, or just unpick the existing seams and then cut material off from the sleeve itself? May sound like a dumb question, but I’m thinking it could make a difference in the end result! And I also have to say, I’m envious of you having such a great place to thrift shop. Thrift stores around me aren’t that great, it’s hit or miss at best….mostly miss! Still looking for that great thrift store like you obviously have! :) Thanks for taking time to respond to your comments and posting all your tutorials!

    • Hi Tish,
      I’m so happy that you are finding these posts helpful. I love having this community of people who are interested in doing the same things. It makes it even more fun to do!
      As far as the sleeves go, yes, I just cut them off leaving a little room for a seam allowance if need be. I’m usually working with clothes that are too big so this works fine for that since you have to get rid of some of the excess fabric anyway. If the garment fit you and you were just trying to change the style of the sleeve, then you might want to unpick the seam.
      I keep hearing how lucky I am to have a thrift store like mine. I do so appreciate them and I don’t know what I’d do if they ever closed their business. The other thrift stores in town are WAY too expensive.
      Have a great day and I’d love to see some of your refashion projects some time!


  15. Cul de Sac says:

    Man I wish dresses would look as good on me than it does on you… Great refashion!

    • Thank you! I usually can’t wear Ready to Wear dresses because I am a different size on top than on the bottom. So this refashioning thing allows me to make it to fit my body as is!!
      Perfect solution for a hard to fit body!!!

  16. Loving this dress, great tutorial!!

    Also wanted to let you know that I featured your awesomeness on my blog!
    Feel free to come check it out :)

  17. Julie Snow says:

    Such a cute tutorial! I am a new follower! Love your blog – can’t wait to finish scrolling through for more fun things! Feel free to visit me at http://LoveItSewMuch.blogspot.com

  18. El says:

    I LOVE this dress! So practical and chic. I think I must have a few of these to wear this fall. Thanks for the tutorial.

  19. ourlegacy says:

    I admire your bravery with knits, I don’t know why they have always intimidated me! You have great ideas…
    You also look great in all your creations!
    Thank you for sharing,

    • Hey Chrissy,
      Thanks for your kind words of encouragement!
      I think knits are the best to work with. I love they way they hang and they never fray. Perfect for refashioning. Using cheap thrift store clothes makes it so much easier to just dive right in, take risks and just cutting.
      Enjoy your day!

  20. Pingback: One Thrift Store Dress+One Refashion=Three New Looks | The Renegade Seamstress

  21. traditionis says:

    congratulations!!! your blog is full of good ideas!!

  22. Crystal says:

    This looks so easy and comfortable, I have to try it out. Probably more than once. I am loving your blog!

  23. LanaMS says:

    I recently pinned the cutest maxi dress from t-shirt tutorial to make for my 3 girls (6, 4, 20 mths), then I got to thinking…I wonder if I could make me one too? Thanks so much for sharing! I haven’t done much sewing in the past few years, but I’m going to give this a try. :0)

  24. Pingback: 5 Maxi Skirt Tutorials for Beginning Sewers | You Put It On

  25. Pingback: Up-Cycled Fashion | A Homeschool Mom

  26. Reblogged this on Your Favorite Mistake Life & Photography and commented:
    This is so my next project!

  27. Anonymous says:

    being near 6 ft can have em to lenght ~~~~ thanks a bunch!

  28. Nivedita says:

    Can this be done in fabric other than knit ? I have 2 yards of very soft cotton ( probably a mix but feels very soft and has a good fall). The fabric width is 56″, my waist measures 34″. How much fabric do I use for the skirt? I am a novice. Your refashions are so classy. Love them all. Keep inspiring us. Thank u :)

  29. zibergirl says:

    Hi! I need a new button from your site. Can you pass along the code? I am also using Theme Twenty Ten like you, but can’t seem to get any more of my buttons on the side bar. There’s also an optional side bar. I can’t get that to work either. Any tips? Babara

  30. Anonymous says:

    How much yardage was your knit?

  31. Natasha Hernandez says:

    Love it, thanks. Just walked my 14 yo how to make a maxi shirt. This will b our next project. Thanks.

  32. Yes! I have the same question as Anonymous – how many yards did you use for the knit fabric?

Your comments make me happy!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s