Pleated Maxi Dress

 I did it! I finally broke down and made my first dress. Despite all of the fear and anxiety of making something for myself to actually wear on my body, I did it. I am so happy with how it turned out! I was pleasantly surprised with how short of time it took me and how easy it actually was. I am so excited to share this tutorial with you!! 

Supplies
-Tank Top or T-Shirt
-Roughly 2 Yards of Fabric (enough to wrap 1 1/2 times around your body)
-Roughly 1 Yard of 2" Elastic (enough to wrap around where you want the waist band to sit at)
-Coordinating Thread

 Step 1: Unfold the fabric so it reaches to the floor. Seriously, wrap the fabric around you 1 1/2 times. You may have thought I was kidding, but I really was not. Cut off any excess fabric.
 Step 2: Fold the design side of the fabric together. Sew up the long side.
Step 3: This part is up to you. I wanted my dress to be very flowy.  If you prefer for yours to be more fitted, then you can skip down to Step 8. If you are like me, then we are going to sew some pleats because they are my favorite. Be sure to look at your fabric and decide which side you want to be the top. That is the side we are going to sew the pleats onto.
Step 4: Measure out 6 inches. Take your 6 inch spot and fold the fabric in half from that point.
 Step 5: You are going to start about one inch out from that, and sew just a curve down about 5-6 inches.
Step 6: From that seem, measure 6 inches out and repeat all the way around the top of the skirt.
Step 7: When finished with the pleats your skirt top should look like this. 
 Step 8: Measure out the elastic to wrap around where you want the waist to sit. Cut it about 1-2" shorter than that.
Step 9: Ok, prepare yourself. This is the trickiest part of the whole ordeal. You are going to attach the skirt to the back of the elastic. Turn your skirt inside out. It looks better if you sew this from the front. Be very careful to make sure you are sewing all the way through the fabric as you do this.

Step 10: Here is the trick. You are going to pull the elastic as far stretched out as possible and sew very slowly and carefully all the way around. Once you have started a little bit, it is easier to stretch the elastic because you can pull it straight from both behind the machine and in front as you can see in the picture above. You will notice as you let go of the back that it will start to scrunch up and look like we want it to!

Don't get discouraged on this part. Just take it slowly and carefully.

Step 11: Leave a tiny bit of elastic not attached to the skirt so that it can overlap the elastic where you started. 
 Step 12: Set your machine to do a zig zag stitch. Set your stitch width to the highest setting and the length to the lowest. Do a tight zigzag stitch down the overlapped elastic to secure it.
Your skirt should look like this so far! But now, let's turn it into a dress! 
 Step 13: Based upon where you measured the elastic to sit, you will now measure your tank top
about 1" down from there so you have some space to attach it to the elastic. I placed pins around mine and then cut right below the pins.
 Step 14: Again, sewing from the front, sew the tank top behind the elastic. The easiest way to do this for me was to actually slide the stand of the sewing machine (under the needle) through the neck of the shirt and just go around it as I sewed. I hope that made sense.
You are done!! You did it! Surprisingly easy? I sure hope so. 

If you have any questions about how to do something, then please let me know. I will be more than happy to help in any way that I can. You better believe I will be making a whole lot more dresses and skirts now that I worked through my fears of sewing something for myself. 

I hope you have a great day!

16 comments:

Kitty From A Law Student's Journey said...

I forgot that you are into sewing (all those chi kilts you did!) but I'm serioulsy impressed!! It looks great! Sewing is NOT my thing, so I'm extra impressed with how great it looks!

Etcetorize said...

This is your first dress??? That's amazing. Great job! Thanks for sharing at Etcetorize~

Joka said...

awesome!
I ll share link on my page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Everythingisaboutdetails/133145793424691
xxx

Joka said...

awesome!
I ll share link on my page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Everythingisaboutdetails/133145793424691
xxx

Nevena said...

Cool!

Crafty Cousins said...

Super cute! I love the colors! I'd love for you to link up to Crafty Cousins.
http://crafting-cousins.blogspot.com/2012/03/what-i-wore-sunday-week-10.html

~Natalie @ Crafty Cousins.

Shiloh said...

You did a great job! I love the colors you pulled together.:)

Justine said...

Love it!!! I'm so glad you did a tutorial because I have been wanting to make something exactly like this! Yours turned out sooo cute!!

Carrie @ My Favorite Finds said...

Really, really pretty. I wish I could sew! Thanks for sharing this at Handmade Tuesdays.

Jessica said...

Very neat!!

So happy to stop by your blog, please stop by and say hello at my blog as well and if you are not already a follower, please take the time to become one as well at http://jessicaslilcorner.blogspot.com

Have a blessed day!! :)

cheapcraftymama said...

That is adorable and so creative! I would love for you to share this (and any other creations) at my new linky party "Pin It and Win It Wednesday" at www.cheapcraftymama.com!

Our Delightful Home said...

Awesome idea! The dress is so pretty. I would love for you to link up at my Linky Party via: http://ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com/2012/04/show-me-what-you-got-linky-party-8.htmlto share this awesome idea with my readers

Mrs. Delightful
www.ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com

Jill said...

Lovely dress - and such a nice clear tutorial too! Great job!


Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a fabulous week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success
http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

Danielle said...

I am going to be featuring you tomorrow morning on Blissful and Domestic. Stop by and grab a button.

Danielle
www.blissfulanddomestic.com

Carrie @ My Favorite Finds said...

I'm featuring you next week on Handmade Tuesdays! Thanks for sharing!

Kitty From A Law Student's Journey said...

You were the most visited link this week on tute tuesday!!!
http://threeyearsofdeath.blogspot.com/2012/04/tute-tuesday-link-up-9.html

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