Sewing: Stripe Maxi Dress


I loved the way the Renfrew worked with my circle dress, I had to make a maxi dress to add to my wardrobe too! I used the modified top and sketched out the remaining pattern based on my hip and leg span measurements. And it worked out perfectly. My biggest mistake was not pre-washing the fabric.

I swear on my own grave I pre-washed, but it shrank. Not that much, though. It could’ve been the difference between our old washer and dryer set and the new one. Th new washer and dryer gives me sparkling clean, toasty clothes now.


I didn’t want to stress the bottom hem of the dress a whole lot with my movement, so I made sure the bottom was extra roomy. I believe the final sewn circumference of the bottom is somewhere around 60″.


I  made this right before a wedding reception two weeks ago. When I say right before, Chris found me in my underwear putting the finishing touches on the dress when he came into the sewing room to tell me we needed to go. I worked like a maniac getting this done in under 2 hours.

It’s just like sewing a tee; but a really, really long one. The hem of the dress took me the longest amount of time, and I’ll still have to fix it as it rolls up even after I press it.


I thought I’d try to be cool and tie a knot at the bottom of my skirt for some pictures. I like the picture it took, but it does not translate well to moving around. It feels like I have a massive dangling growth hitting my knee all the time. I wonder if fashion bloggers actually have their skirts like this all day or if it’s just a styling thing for pictures. I’m inclined to think the latter.


I forgot to take any pictures of the side seams! I matched up the pattern perfectly on both sides. You get a subtle v where all of the black stripes match up. Probably my proudest moment.


The neckline bunches here because of my forward sloping shoulders in the picture. Normally it all lays flat.

  • Outfit details:
  • necklace: handmade
  • belt: thrifted
  • dress: handmade
  • shoes: hand-me-down from Sarah

This dress is already a summer staple in my wardrobe. What’s your summer staple?


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    1. Wow! This dress looks amazing! And nice work on getting the side seams to match up with the stripes. That’s so hard to do! Thanks for sharing!!

    2. Kristin says:

      Looks marvelous! Matched stripes on side seams makes me giddy. It’s a lost art in the ready-to-wear world. So sad, since items look so much better when the seams line up.

    3. Krista says:

      SOOO cute! I’d buy that dress in a heartbeat! Nice job on the side seams!

    4. Lindsay says:

      It looks great! I love that the collar and sleeve cuffs contrast. I’d love to make a maxi dress, since the ones in the stores are getting ridiculously expensive — especially for a simple knit dress.

    5. kristin says:

      It looks so comfy! nice work on those stripes too, srsly impressive.

    6. Merrick says:

      Perfect for summer! Love this!

    7. Its awesome! Sewing with stripes seems really difficult. This looks like something from ASOS!!!
      Guess what? I’ve started sewing some clothes for my 7 year old daughter! To my horror there are almost no clothes available in my area after size 5 that are tolerable. If they are they are skirts that will be too short for her. Her school has a strick dress code (a public school) that does not even allow sleeveless shirts. The styles even for children are becoming increasingly sheer so that is problematic and she’s hard to fit because she is VERY tall. I’ve been sewing her some circle skirts for a start. Can you point me in the direction of any free or low cost pdf patterns? ;)

    8. juliette says:

      I think this is my favorite garment you made lately! it’s great with the red lipstick : )
      You are getting quite thin to be able to wear horizontal stripes and still look long and lean…

    9. Elizabeth says:

      I love this. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I found it by google image searching because it is exactly what I have been looking for. In all seriousness, could I pay you to make me one? This dress is absolutely perfect.

    10. Heidi says:

      This post hit my funny bone for some reason, you are silly. Anyways, I’m digging the contrasting stripes on the neckline and arm bands! I need a maxi so bad right now and it kind of a bummer that all the ones in stores have teeny little spaghetti straps–not really my thing. This is a really great solution. And the possibilities for styling are endless with the black and white!

    11. Bonny says:

      Melissa, do you have a go-to online fabric store for knit fabric? Thanks!

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