Ruffled Maxi Dress Tutorial

Want a super cute, super comfy maxi dress, custom to you?  Whip yourself up a Ruffled Maxi Dress with this Tutorial – don’t worry, it’s a beginner sewer type of project, and ruffle fabric is very forgiving!

Ruffled Maxi Dress Tutorial
I was sent the fabric from  They’re amazing.  And so is Ruffle Fabric.  If you’ve never worked with it, what are you waiting for!  It’s preruffled and is super stretchy.  It doesn’t fray so you don’t even have to hem things – how’s that for easy!  I used the new “Ruffles &Ridges” line in Nectar.  I enjoy how there are Ruffles AND Ridges (hence the name!) and I think it is a more sophisticated look.  It helps a whole maxi dress not to be overwhelming.
On to the tutorial – – 
This first part depends on your size.  I am smaller, so I can fold the fabric in half lengthwise and still have it fit around my body.  So I only need one piece of fabric, cut to my height.  If that doesn’t work for you, you’ll just need 2 pieces of fabric, one for the front and one for the back, cut to your height.
Lay it out and grab a photographer:

Then see how tall you are and cut it at your shoulder (I added a couple of inches just in case)

Next, put right sides together and sew up that seam.  It’ll be one seam, running up the back.  If you used 2 pieces of fabric, you’ll have 2 seams, running up each side.

Line up the seam in the middle of the back, and then sew along the top edge (this will be the shoulder seam) – 

At this point I wanted to try a hippish style where you just cut a slit in the top and the 2 sides for your head and arms, and wear it like that.

 I did that but thought it needed more shape.  So I improvised.  I’m sure there is a better way to do this.  But ruffle fabric is super forgiving, so it worked.

I cut off the top half to form a bodice, so cut it around my high waist.  Then cut the sides of that chunk open. Then I cut a slit straight up the front, til the seam of the shoulders.  I then cut a circle so there would be a scoop neckline in the back – next time I won’t make it quite so scooped.  Here is that piece opened up – the slit will be the front:

Fold the slit area down and arrange it like you want it.  I wanted the bodice to cross over and slant slightly for interest.  I have to fold under some of the slit.

Pin it together in the front and cut off any excess – since I slanted the front, the back was wider than the front.  I just cut that off since I wanted a more fitted dress.  I also evened up the bottom, again because of the slanted front pieces:

At this point, turn under and sew along the neckline and slanted V edge.  I forgot to take a picture of that.  You just want the edge to look nice.  Then, turn it inside out and make the sleeves a little more defined.  You might want to try the bodice on to see what works best on your body.  Sew that seam.   Here’s how mine looked at first, then I brought the side seam in a little more.

Then turn under your sleeve and sew it just like you did the neckline:

For the final step, lay your skirt piece out right-side out.  Turn your bodice wrong-side out and slide it onto the skirt up-side down at the top of the skirt.  It’s hard to tell in this picture:

You are going to sew along that top seam, all the way around the skirt.  My skirt was larger than my bodice (because the bodice was more fitted) so I stretched the bodice fabric as I sewed.

To hem it, just cut the fabric under one of the ruffles all the way along the bottom edge.  You don’t need to turn it under or anything.  So easy!

It’s really versatile — here’s with my boots and a brown belt, for sure a fall look.  (side note – I could never be a fashion blogger – taking “meaningful” gazing-off shots was too weird)

And then a more brighter, carefree look with a bloom belt from Pleated Poppy – I thought it was perfect for the dress:

Don’t you just love The Pleated Poppy?!  I even got to browse her items in person at the Queen Bee Market at SNAP.    Stay tuned later today for an exclusive discount and giveaway to The Pleated Poppy – eek!

And be sure to check out – you need more ruffles in your life!

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    • says

      You’ll need to measure yourself. If you can fold the fabric in half lengthwise and it’ll still fit, then you’ll just need to measure from your shoulder to the ground. If you need it to be wider, you’ll need the length from your shoulder to the ground times 2. I’m pretty short so I might need as much fabric as someone else. Good Luck~

  1. says

    I’ll be featuring YOU tomorrow morning. You were the most viewed link from last week’s party. Thank you so much for linking up to {wow me} wednesday at

    Ginger :)

  2. says

    Hi there Love this dress…Question….is the fabric breathable? I see it is spandex Polyester. I live in Arizona like heat. Just curious. Thanks! Jana


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