On today’s bill is a maxi dress refashion. I’m always up for a good refashion, and maxi dresses have a lot going for them.
Mostly a whole lotta fabric, both in width and length. This makes an old maxi dress that’s hanging out in your closet a GREAT candidate for refashioning.
On the refashion scale, this asymmetric top is a little harder than other refashions. This is mostly because of the asymmetric cut. We’ll walk through it, and I’ll show you how to miter a hem, and make a neckband for a sleeveless raglan.
Supplies for your maxi dress refashion
Cutting your maxi dress refashion
First things first, cut off the top part of your maxi dress. See how it’s all bunchy bunchy from where the top gathered bit is sewn into the empire waist? Let’s get rid of it and save it for something else.
Cut the front for your maxi dress refashion
Next, grab your raglan pattern. Fold the skirt together at the side seams and smooth everything out. The new folds are your center front and center back.
Layout your front and back pattern pieces.
Next, use a ruler +chalk to extend the front side seam down to the hem. We want to use the full width available from the maxi dress here because #drama!
After that, cut through both layers of fabric up the chalk line and around your front pattern piece.
Now for the asymmetric bit: flip the folded piece to the other side, and cut through the top layer only along the hem and straight down 1″ away from center front. Instead of a true right angle, curve the line between the hem and the straight vertical extension.
Cutting the back for your maxi dress refashion
For the back piece, lay the front piece over the back pattern piece. Use the front as your cutting guideline for the side seam extension. Take it off when you get to the back pattern tissue. Continuing cutting around the back pattern piece through both layers of fabric.
To finish up cutting the back, open up the back and lay the front cutout right sides together. Cut away the jersey from the back. You should now have two mirror images like this:
Cut the armhole binding and neckband
The last things we need to cut for this maxi dress refashion are the armhole and neck bindings.
Because this is a refashion, I’m going to assume that you don’t have enough leftover jersey to cut either without piecing. Don’t worry about that. We’ll hide the seams in the shoulders, and you won’t see any seams on the armholes.
With that in mind, cut 2 neckband pieces so that the stretch goes around the neck. You might want to cut yours wider than a typical neckband. I made mine 3″ wide. Make sure to add a seam allowance on one end since you won’t be cutting this on the fold.
Cut 4 pieces of armhole binding, again making sure the stretch goes around the body. Honestly, just guess at how long this needs to be. You can cut them the same length as the neckband–you won’t need that much, but it’s always better to have extra. Don’t sweat it here!
Now on to the sewing!
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.