DIY 1 Hour Maxi Dress

DIY 1 Hour Maxi Dress

Dress: available here
Bag- Cole Haan
Sandals- Alexander McQueen found here
Shades- Ralph Lauren
Earrings: DIY

When it comes to maxi dresses they are most definitely a summer staple for me, but I encounter an issue that a lot of women over 5’9″ have and that’s the length.  A properly fitting maxi dress should hit pass your ankle and for me I like for it to drag the floor slightly.  This maxi dress takes literally 1 hour to drape and sew.  Using this  jersey fabric from Mood I did the following:

1.  Measure your chest and subtract 3 inches, determine the length you would like the top of the dress to be and measure from your chest to that point.  Cut one piece of fabric and double the length.
ex: your chest measures 34″ and the length from the top of your chest (where the top of the dress would hit) and your waist is 7″ cut one piece of fabric 62″x7″

2. Fold the fabric in half length wise on the wrong side, pin close and and sew two of the three sides closed making a tube.  Turn the fabric wright side out and sew the tube closed.  Top stitch the upper half of the tube.

3.  Measure the length you would like your skirt and add two inches, measure your hips and and 15 inches.
ex: your length is 60 inches and your hips are 38 cut the fabric 53″x62″

4.  Pin the skirt to the top creating pleats as you go, you can determine how large you want the pleats based on how much fabric you have left to attach the skirt to the top.  Create pleats around the entire top.

FYI: I used about 1 1/2 yards



  1. Anonymous
    May 13, 2013 / 12:46 pm

    So cute, I love this !

  2. Carly
    May 13, 2013 / 12:51 pm

    I have been looking for a maxi that's cute and long enough lol love this tut. Going to try it this weekend.

    • May 16, 2013 / 12:47 am

      Thank you Carly, the beauty of making it yourself is the ability to make it as long or short as you need it.

  3. May 13, 2013 / 1:38 pm

    Your maxi is perfect! I definitely feel you on the length. I'd never find a maxi long enough in a store.

    • May 16, 2013 / 12:51 am

      Thank you Erica…the things tall women have to contend with lol

    • May 16, 2013 / 1:03 am

      Thank you Adrienne

  4. May 14, 2013 / 8:10 am

    Aha.This is my weekend project. I love the simplicity of it. I normally always think of using gathers for fast maxi projects. Will definitely try pleats.

    • May 16, 2013 / 1:13 am

      Thank you, I like to think pleats give a more tailored look 🙂

  5. May 15, 2013 / 7:02 pm

    I have never commented before but I had to today because while I love everything you make that dress is just effortlessly fabulous. Love it!

    • May 16, 2013 / 1:18 am

      Thank you, and I must say it is very comfy.

  6. May 15, 2013 / 7:05 pm

    I have never commented before but I had to today because while I love everything you make that dress is just effortlessly fabulous. Love it!

    • May 22, 2013 / 11:54 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

  7. May 22, 2013 / 2:21 pm

    THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!! I have been looking EVERYWHERE for a tutorial to make a maxi with a tube top like yours! This is great, and it looks great! Thanks soooo much for sharing!!!! 🙂

    • May 22, 2013 / 11:54 pm

      Your very welcome Mandy 🙂

  8. Anonymous
    May 30, 2013 / 10:51 pm

    Hello Nikki,

    First of all i love your blog…it is very inspiring.
    And i love this dress, and i want to make it asap.

    However i was wondering, is it possible that you made a mistake with the measurements from the top..ex. you say to double the length….and when i check the measurements to me the breast measurements are double. i think it should be 31"x 14".
    If i am wrong than i appologize, but it is just that i read it over and over and even try with materials but it is coming out weird.

    Thanks again for sharing it is lovely.

  9. May 31, 2013 / 1:03 pm

    Thank you so much!

    That's a great question, the bodice measurement is accurate and heres why. Because your using a jersey material and you want the top to fit snug across your chest, you need to cut it a bit smaller so if your normally a 34", in order for the top not to fit loose you need to cut a 31". To give it even more stabilty, you want to double the fabric which will give you a side seam and that's where the 62" comes from. This may be a bit confusing because normally in order to double the fabric, someone would double the width, not the length but doing this causes the top to roll making it lose some stability which is why you often see people constantly pulling up their top when they have on a jersey dress. I hope this helps 🙂


  10. July 14, 2013 / 4:45 pm

    I want to thank you! I made this dress last night in 3hrs. I love it so much!

  11. July 14, 2013 / 7:02 pm

    Congratulations Nikki, I would love to see it.

  12. LaJoyce
    September 1, 2013 / 2:08 am

    I just made this dress today. It was a breeze and it looks great on. Merci, Beaute' J'adore!!!

  13. Anonymous
    March 26, 2014 / 6:24 pm

    Thank you soooo much! I have spent tbe last week searching online fot a dress that is actually long enough!

  14. May 27, 2014 / 2:09 am

    I love it! You make it sound sooooo easy to put together. I'm going to give it a go. Question, high bust measurement or full bust?

  15. Anonymous
    June 25, 2014 / 4:19 pm

    You have inspired me!! I will be making one for all the girls in my family. Keep up the good work!!!

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