Maxi Dress is the Leggings of Summer

So let me say that I love freshly shaved legs…. but sometimes the process is just too much… And in winter, well no one knows. But summer, oh beautiful summer, with your cute shorts and tank tops, well everyone knows everything.

Que the maxi dress!

Some of you might think this would be hot, or not mobile enough with littles… Let me tell you fabric choice is everything. I’ll just jump to my favorite and save a discussion of pros and cons of different fabric bases for another post that I will have to edit and link up later. So where should you start… light weight ITY. Like most fabrics there are different weights so just be sure your getting a light weight one. Its perfect for a maxi, light weight, feels cool, drapes beautifully and its super flowy (aka easy to move around in with your littles).

I’ve made several maxi dresses mixing different fabric types (using a CL, FT, anything really) for the top bodice but ITY is hands down is my favorite for the skirt portion.

In my opinion the only thing that can make a maxi dress better then leggings is when the bodice is also a bra. This means in the morning all I have to pick out is which dress and undies I want to wear, throw it on and BOOM! I’m off trying to dress the little (I’ll let you guess how long that takes -sigh). The best way to do this is with support in the bodice. I LOVE using supplex from Phee fabrics. Its soft, stretchy and has great recovery for the extra support needed.

The two patterns I’ve started with (and LOVE) are the Brazi by SUAT as the bodice and Mama Adeline by M4M as the maxi skirt.

I like to fold my fabric in half length wise, then the other way so I can cut both skirt pieces at the same time. Take your time with this step, ITY is slippery and can be annoying to work with, but having the fabric laid out nicely really helps the rest of the steps go smoothly.

Sometimes my fabric isn’t wide enough, I just fold my pattern pieces so that the go as far to the edge as they can and adjust the curve….. remember when I said I’m all about “good enough” versus having things go perfectly – this is one of those moments (and it isn’t noticeable when its on).

I usually take the scraps leftover from cutting out the main pieces of the skirt and use those to cut out the pocket pieces too. Then I follow the directions according to the pattern for assembling the skirt. Once the skirt is done, thats when you would likely want to hem it -if you were going to hem- honestly I don’t #goodenough because it just drags along the floor anyways and therefore isn’t very noticeable.

Now time for the bodice. I like to fold my pattern pieces when I’m hacking them because I’m kinda lazy and tracing new one just seems like more work. So with the front piece you will want to fold over one side so its angled slightly to almost a point at the end of the strap.

And the back piece you will want to fold over the straps completely. Then measure this folded piece and make a separate pattern piece of double this length by 2″. This will be the pieces that are scrappy in the back. When you cut your back pieces mark where the back piece is folded (see where I have those black dots?) thats where you will want to connect your straps.

Now measure the piece thats folded.  You want to double that because the straps go up and down. Mine is 4.5 so I will make my strappy pieces 10 (added seam allowance). I recommend 1.5-2 inch width.

With right sides together match your lining and main front bodice pieces. Sew  them  all the way, including the ends of your straps. Do not sew the side seams.

Turn right side out.  I love using my bodkin for these things. If you don’t have one yet, do yourself a favor and get one! Its super cheap and makes turning things SO much easier.

Now fold over the ends of the strap making a small hole to insert your strappy pieces through.

Sew your strappy pieces along the long line. Then turn right side out. (Get your bodkin, I’m telling you!) Then thread 1/4 elastic through, make sure to keep the seams on the same side. Your elastic should be cut to the same length. Be sure to baste the ends to hold the elastic in place!

Next thread your strappy pieces through your front bodice straps. Be sure your bodice straps are crossed and the seams are showing on the wrong (lining) side.

Now place your back main bodice right side up and upside down. You want the straps to come up from the bottom and line them up on your markers along the top edge.

Then place your lining fabric on top, right side down. Sew along the straight edge.

Now match up your side seams of your bodice (main to main, and lining to lining) and sew. This should complete the bodice, next up is attaching the elastic and skirt!

Now cut one of each front, back, and band of your main and lining fabric. Then cut two strips of your main fabric (and two pieces of  1 inch knit elastic because its softer but woven will give more structure for those of you who are “well endowed”). Place the elastic close to one of the sides, so when you fold it, it will be towards the top. I feel like this helps to hold up the skirt and also makes the bra more supportive. ***Note I also like cutting my band in two parts that way the seams line up with the sides of the bra*** If you want some tips of adding elastic into a band so it won’t roll you can check out my other blog post here Elastic Band in a Snap

You’ll have to move fabric out of the way for each of these but with right sides together attach the main fabric band to the main fabric bra, then -again be careful about right sides together- attach the lining fabric band to the lining fabric bra.

LAST STEP!!! Now smooth your bodice so its right side out. Clip both main and lining bands together, and *with the skirt inside out* place the bodice inside the skirt and attach.

And Voila! Your done! A super fab, super comfy outfit thats easy to wear while your #momminghard

*style note* I love to tie a little knot in mine if I know I’m going to be walking a lot so that way it doesn’t get caught under my feet…. (because yes I do throw on sneakers in a maxi dress and walk my dog when needed)

4 thoughts on “Maxi Dress is the Leggings of Summer

  1. I LOVE this!! 💕You are so motivating! Way to go! I LOVE maxis- I totally agree with everything this blog says about em. I always wear comfy shoes and I always wear dresses and I LOVE only needing to put on two garments!!!!! You’re beautiful! Woohoo!!!


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