Bow Front Maxi Dress

I’ve wanted a maxi dress for awhile now.  I love the longer length skirts. They’re so much more practical when you have kids sitting on your lap.  Riding up isn’t such a problem when the skirt starts out near your ankles instead of your knees. This dress features a bow at the bodice and a halter top.

I saw this skirt on pinterest a while back, and it was in the back of my mind as I was creating this dress. It was originally going to be a maxi skirt, but that was a complete fail that evolved into this.

I started with a yard and a half of knit fabric, and used pretty much all of it. I’m pretty tall, and I wanted it long, so you may not need quite so much.

First I cut a piece to the length I wanted the skirt.  This is the entire width of the fabric folded in half.  Cut it along the fold line so that you have two pieces.

Fold the two pieces in half so that you have four layers of fabric. Measure your waist where you want the skirt to sit. Divide that by four, then add 1/2 inch for seam allowances.

This is how wide you want the top of your fabric to be. Draw a line {I used yarn} from the top, angling down to the bottom of your fabric. Make sure you are NOT cutting on the side the fold is on.

Cut along the line.  This will give you two skirt pieces.

Now cut your bodice.  You want this to be really tight so that it stays up. I just pulled the fabric tight around me to see how wide it should be. Cut it double the height you want it to end up.  The bodice below is shown folded.

Cut the bodice in half.  You should have two pieces folded at the top, like this:

Cut two more pieces the same width as the bodice pieces, and slightly more than half the height. In the picture below, the two bodice pieces are folded on the left; the pieces on the right are stacked, but not folded. These are the bow pieces.

With right sides together, stitch the bow pieces along the top and the bottom.

Cut a small rectangle out of your fabric.

Fold it in half with right sides together and stitch along the long raw edge.

Turn the bow piece and the small piece right sides out and press.

Place the bow on top of one of the {still folded} bodice pieces. Sew along the sides, as shown in the picture.

Wrap the small piece around the bow to gather the middle of the bow.

Hand-stitch the small piece together at the ends. Also make sure to secure it to the bow so that it doesn’t slide around.

This is the bow sewn onto one of the bodice pieces. You can secure the bow to the bodice by handstitching the underside of the bow to the bodice.

Lay the other bodice piece on top of the front bodice and bow. Stitch along the side seams.

Now the bodice is done.

Sew the skirt up the side seams with right sides together.

My skirt ended up being way wider than I intended, so I sewed some darts into it.  You could also gather it. Or just cut it the right size the first time, unlike me.

Turn the skirt right side out and insert it into the bodice.  The raw edges of the bodice should line up with the raw edges of the skirt. Stitch the bodice to the skirt, making sure you go through all layers, but don’t catch the bow.

I also added a quick halter strap. Sew a strip of fabric right sides together.

Turn right sides out and press.

Then just stitch it to the bodice and you’re done!


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