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Topic: Sail Away Maxi Dress Tutorial  (Read 14727 times)
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Vibrant Designs
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« on: June 28, 2011 05:54:29 PM »

The last few weeks I've been on the hunt for great maxi dress tutorials.  There aren't that many out there.  I've made three.  This is the second one I made that I like to call the Sail Away Maxi Dress.  I adore how the sleeves turned out!  It's like a split sleeve so there's coverage but it's still VERY breezy and cool.  I first made the dress without the ruffles along the hem but after wearing it once, I decided it needed a little excitement.  I chose to add three layers of ruffles along the skirt and I really like how it turned out.  I used a jersey knit purple material that has real pretty sheen to it.  You didn't really notice that sheen until it's worn.  Anyway, you could use any flowy material.  It does not have to be stretchy, however I did not hem the sleeves or the bottom because it's knit.  Obviously you would have to alter the tutorial to add hemming if you used a different type of material.  

Materials needed:
1 1/2 -2 yards of jersey knit cotton (or any flowy fabric--does NOT have to be stretchy)
matching thread
measuring tape

Take some measurements!  
Measure from one shoulder across to the other shoulder.
We'll call it x.  
x +7" /4 = y

Now determine how long you want your dress.  Measure from the top of your shoulders to...wherever. Smiley This will be L.  You will be cutting your fabric on the fold.  So you need two pieces cut on the fold that measure Y by L.  If you prefer a larger circumference at the bottom of the dress (ease in walking), you'll want to cut 2 pieces that are more of an A-line shape as apposed to a rectangle.  Slanting from the top to the bottom

To get an idea of how wide you want the skirt of your dress, take a step that would be as long as you might walk, then measure how long that is. Mine is roughly 32" so I would double that to get my skirt circumference.

With right sides together pin down each long side.  Measure from the top of your shoulder to under your arm.  Add a half inch for ease.  If you underarm measurement is 10", then make a mark on each side of the dress that is 10" down from the top corner.  Sew down each side starting at the 10" mark you made.

Creating your shoulder straps

Measure in 2" from each outside corner along the top of your dress.  You'll be sewing a seam that is 1 1/2" long.  You'll begin sewing at the 2" mark and sew in towards the nexk.  Do this on both sides.

Cut 3 3" wide ruffles that are twice as long as the circumference of the bottom of your dress.  To create my ruffles, I ran a basting stitch down the CENTER of each ruffle strip, then gathered each strip until it matched the circumference of the dress bottom.  Pin the ruffles to the dress.  Sew in place by sewing over top of the same basting stitch.  This creates a double layer ruffle.  

At this point, the dress is basically done.  If you want to fit it a bit more to your body, try it on inside out and pin along the contours of your body, between your bust and hips.  Sew along the lines of your pins.

As you can see in the photos, I purchased a scarf with purple and teal in it, and tied it around my hips.  You can also add a highwasted belt to this.  Sorry I don't have any photos of that.  Thanks for looking! I would love to know what you think and especially if you try and make this.  I had used another person's tutorial to start, but wasn't happy with the turnout so I completely altered the dress.  I may have missed a step since this isn't exactly how I made my dress.  It is how i would make it if I were to do it again.  

Thanks! C and C welcome!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011 04:54:57 AM by b2j2fitz » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2011 12:21:17 AM »

I'm a bit confused, I love your dress and I fancy making it but your formula doesn't make sense: it gives me a dress that is 6 inches wide!

Heres how I followed it: width of my shoulders 17inches (I assumed inches)
x +7" /4 = y

17 +7=24
Should it have been multiplied by 4 instead?

Look twice, buy once. Nooooo
Look twice, decide I can make one instead.
Vibrant Designs
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2011 04:46:48 AM »

No, the formula is right.  You are cutting on the fold so you have to use a measurement that is a fourth of the actual measurement. You will end up with two pieces of fabric that are your measurement +7 divided by 2. The 7 is for the drape across the neck which I allow 3 inches for, and the sleeves, which I allow 4 inches for.  The dress is baggy.  I took mine in on the sides a total of 6" roughly but you have to have that width in order to achieve the look in the sleeves and the neckline. 

Hope that clears it up for you. Smiley Let me know if you have any other questions.

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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011 05:41:27 AM »

I'm sorry, but I'm having the same problem thinking this through.

If my shoulder measurement (X) is say, 21", then (21+7)/4 = 28/4 = 7 (Y).  If I cut a front and a back piece on the fold that is Y x L, then unfolded, they're both going to be 14" wide.  That's not wide enough for a dress!

I suggest that what it's supposed to be is (x+7)/2, not /4.  That would make my hypothetical front and back pieces 28" wide, which is the original X+7, which makes sense to me.  You only have to divide by two if you're cutting on the fold.

ETA:  I went to your blog and found the tutorial you had posted there for a similar dress, and I see where the confusion is.  The other tutorial is based on the bust measurement, which you would divide by four to get the width of two pieces cut on the fold.  However, here you instructed us to use our shoulder-to-shoulder measurement, which would be half, or less, of the bust measurement, so it should only be divided by two.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2011 08:22:22 AM by Avrienne » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2011 08:15:45 PM »

Avrienne and Antidigger

You guys are so right!  I haven't been on craftster in a long time and I missed Avrienne's response.  In the words of Aladdin, "I feel sheepish!"  LOL  Yup, I had that formula stuck in my head from my first maxi tutorial, thinking if I'm cutting on the fold then obviously my measurement needs to be divided by 4.  I TOTALLY forgot I was only measuring from shoulder to shoulder (instead of all the way around the shoulders). 

So yea, if you want to make this dress, the formula IS x+7/ 2.  I hope I didn't come off wrong...I really thought it was right...so as I said before, sheepish.

Would still love to see if anyone does this dress Smiley

« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2011 03:20:30 PM »

Beautiful! I love the ruffle detail and the style of sleeves.
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