The most downloaded pattern from So Sew Easy is the Wrap Dress. It came second in the Craftsy best pattern award for 2014 and at the time of writing has been downloaded more than 52,000 times! If I had a dollar for each one….. 😉
So when I wanted to sew a tropical maxi dress, this pattern immediately sprung to mind. Sometimes you just don't need to mess with a good thing! I bought this amazing ITY knit print from Fabric Mart (sadly now sold out) and it's just perfect for island life. But I wanted to make just a few changes:
- Maxi dress rather than knee length
- Enough room to walk properly in the longer skirt
- Loose flutter sleeves
We looked before at skirts when we made the Perfect Maxi Skirt. If you take a straight skirt which is hip width and then simply entend it down to the floor, you won't be able to walk properly, you'll only be able to move your legs as wide as your hips. This works OK in a knee length skirt but not in a maxi.
At the same time, we don't necessarily want to add a lot of volume to the skirt all over so there is more fabric at waist and hip to be gathered in. So I used the same idea on the Perfect Maxi Skirt to extend and increase the flare slightly on the Wrap Dress skirt. I also made sure to use the whole width of my fabric too.
I changed the shape of the sleeves to give them a looser more summery look too. Both are very simple changes you can make to this, or any pattern, to change up the look. I'll show you how to do these simple pattern hacks in the video below.
The video below covers the two different pattern hacks to convert the wrap dress into a maxi with flutter sleeves, and also has the full sewing step by step too. So if you've not yet made the original wrap dress, there are some pointers here that might be useful. It's a very quick and easy to sew dress, has optional elastic at the waist and I'll be wearing mine everywhere!
Pattern hacking the Wrap Dress into a Maxi Dress Pattern
- All about that knit stay tape
- The original wrap dress
- Using a twin needle on knit hems
- Pattern drafting paper (Amazon US here and UK here)
- All about knit fabrics
If you want to see the step by step sewing instructions in word and picture format, these are included in the pattern download and are also in the original article about the wrap dress here.
Give this one a try, I think you'll like it. Or start out with the original Wrap Dress too. Either way, please do come share what you sew in our sewing chat group on Facebook. 24hr sewing chat, inspiration and sharing – on all sorts of sewing activities! We can't wait to see what fabric you use for your maxi dress.