How To Sew A Summer Maxi Dress Without A Pattern (Video)

I love maxi dresses! You slip one on, you look dressed up. They’re so easy to wear…and this one is easy to make! In this video, I walk you through how to make a maxi dress without a pattern. (Side note: You could easily make a maxi skirt without a pattern instead; just sew on a wider elastic at the waist.)

For this video, I teamed up with the lovely Christina Dennis, The DIY Mommy. If you aren’t already following The DIY Mommy on Facebook, Insta, and YouTube, do so NOW! She’s super talented and her projects are amazing! While I did this maxi dress how-to video, Christina also recorded a how-to-sew-a-summer-dress video. Hers is a cute chambray peasant dress that can be worn as a boatneck or off the shoulder. Once you’re finished watching my summer dress tutorial, be sure to watch Christina’s video.

Start here…


For this dress, you’ll need printed chiffon, lining if the fabric is see-through, a flexible measuring tape, narrow elastic (cut to 8″ less than your waist measurement), and a tank top. I bought mine for $7.

Measure from your waist to the ground, and cut two pieces of the printed chiffon fabric to that length. My measurement is 41″.

Cut your lining to the same length.

As a side note, the width of the fabric I’m using is about two times my waist measurement, and the width of my lining is about one and a half times my waist measurement.

Sew or serge the two printed chiffon pieces together down one side, creating one large skirt piece.

Baste the printed chiffon across the top edge, and do the same for the lining.

Gather across the baste stitch of both fabric pieces until they are the same length as the elastic when it is fully stretched out.

Find the centres and various mid-points of your elastic, printed chiffon, and lining, and pin them together.  Make sure the fabric and liningextendd above the elastic by about 1/2″.

Sew the elastic to the printed chiffon using a zigzag stitch.

You’ll want to use both hands to stretch the elastic out as you sew. (Just make sure you’re not pushing or pulling the fabric. Allow it to feed through the machine on its own.

When you’re done, it’ll look like this from the right side (don’t forget to pull out your basting stitches), and this from the wrong side.

Serge that top edge to finish it off.

Then serge your lining hem, cutting off about 2″

Serge the side of the skirt closed, going from top to bottom through all thicknesses.

And this is what the base of your dress will look like.

Decide how much fabric you want to cut off the bottom of your tank top. I want to cut 4.5″ off, so I’ll trim down 4″ and that last 1/2″ will be used in my seam allowance.

Turn your 1/2″ seam allowance up on the wrong side of your tank top and pin it in place.

Attach your skirt to the seam allowance right sides together and continue pinning.

When you flip your garment right-side-out, your pins will look like this, and you’ll be attaching the pieces using a zigzag stitch.

Finish the dress using any hemming technique.

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