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Bohemian Breeze Maxi Dress Tutorial

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Learn how to sew a maxi dress with this super simple tutorial!  No pattern to cut out- just elastic and rectangles (can’t get any easier than that.)

Bohemian Breeze Maxi Dress Tutorial from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom. With no pattern or time consuming pieces to cut out, you will have this dress sewn in a very short amount of time!

I’ve had this pretty Ikat themed gauze fabric in my stash for a while.  Originally, it was intended for a summer maxi dress for me, but that dress never got made (no surprise really as I’ve got a lot of fabric like that…)  

As I’ve been going through my fabric stash, I’ve been earmarking fabric to give away and fabric to hurry up and use (or else it will be given away!)

I’m happy to say this dress came out super cute and so easy to make.  Even better, I still have enough fabric leftover to make a new swim suit cover up for our upcoming beach vacation!

how to sew a maxi dress

No printable pattern for this dress, it’s definitely not needed since the dress is just 4 rectangles of fabric and wide elastic. (Or 3 rectangles if you are making a smaller size…)

free maxi dress pattern

I’m loving how this lightweight gauze fabric floats in the wind!  (I definitely recommend a lightweight fabric for this dress. Cotton or knit will work.

maxi dress tutorial

She could not wait to get down to the creek, we have tadpoles galore!


Ready to get started?

Bohemian Breeze Maxi Dress Tutorial

Save this project by pinning here:     

Materials needed:

  • Fabric  (depending on the width of your fabric, you could need up to 2.25 yards for a size 10.  My fabric was 44 inches wide and I needed 1 1/4 yards for a size 7.)
  • 1.5 inch elastic
  • Basic sewing supplies

Sewing Instructions:

Step 1:  Get your measurements (or use chart below) and cut pattern pieces.

*For a custom fit, I recommend you use your own measurements.  Otherwise use chart below, based on industry standard measurements.  (click to see it larger.)

bohemian breeze size chart


  • For the elastic around chest: Measure around child’s chest, add 2.5 to that number.  Cut piece of elastic to length of final number
  • For straps: Wait until dress is assembled for perfect fit.
    • For top dress tier length:  (A little math- basically top tier is twice as tall as bottom tier, plus seam allowance and minus elastic width.)
      Measure from armpit to desired length.
      Desired dress length = A
      A / 3 = B
      B* 2 = C
      C – .75 =  Top dress tier length
  • Top tier width:  Elastic strap measurement * 1.5.
  • Bottom dress tier length:  B + .75
  • Bottom tier width:  Top tier width * 1.5.

Cut out top and bottom tiers.  (keep in mind you may need to cut 2 pieces to achieve desired width.  If so, don’t forget to add in and extra 1/2 inch for the extra seam allowance.)

Step 2:  Dress assembly.

If you have two pieces for the top dress tier, sew these two pieces together on one side (so you have 1 long piece,) using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Finish this seam with your favorite seam finishing method.  (zig zag, serger or pinking shears)

Sew the two bottom tier pieces together on one side (so you have 1 long strip,) using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Finish this seam with your favorite seam finishing method.

Sew a gathering stitch (1/4 inch from edge) along the top of the bottom tier and gather the bottom tier so it is the same width as the top tier.



Right sides together, line up the gathered edge of the bottom tier with the bottom edge of the top tier. Pin together and sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Finish this seam.


Hem the bottom tier with a 1/4 inch hem.  (Fold 1/4 inch, press, fold over another 1/4 inch, press and sew.)



Line up the side seams of the dress and sew together.  Finish this seam.

If your dress needs to be lined, sew together a rectangle of fabric that is the same width as the top tier of the dress and whatever length you desire.

Place the lining inside the skirt, wrong sides together, pin and baste in place.  Finish the top seam with your favorite seam finishing method.

If you are not lining the skirt, just finish the top edge of the dress.

Step 3:  Adding elastic chest band and straps.

Fold the chest band elastic in half and sew ends together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Fold the elastic ends over as shewn and sew a small rectangle around the edges to hold in place.

Divide the elastic in 8 equal sections (mark with a pin or disappearing ink marker.)  Divide the top of the dress into 8 equal sections and mark.  Line up the marked spots.  The elastic should overlap the skirt top by 1/2 inch. (The elastic sits on the outside of the skirt.)   Pin the elastic and dress together on these spots.

Using a slightly longer straight stitch length, sew the elastic onto the skirt, stretching the elastic from pin to pin.  (Be careful to keep everything lined up and not to stretch the main dress fabric as you sew.


Have child try on dress and measure length needed for straps and mark desired placement.  Sew in place with a small rectangle and trim excess elastic.

Trim all strings, reinforce with fray check and you are done!  Have your princess try on the dress and snap some pictures!  (The come back and share your pics on my facebook page or tag me on instagram!)

Pin the project here:     

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  1. I love this maxi dress but am having some trouble visualising through the steps (I’m a visual learner…) Would you be making a video tutorial for this anytime soon? Thanks a million ??

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      I made this dress 5ish years ago, so probably not. Sorry

  2. orgeron rose marie says:

    bonjour j aime beaucoup ce modele mais je n arrive pas à traduire les mesures en français pourriez vous m aider merci à bientot

  3. Wow, this is beautiful! I love the fabric and your daughter is GORGEOUS.

  4. Kimberly Lewis says:

    Oh my! Super cute! Pinned and tweeted. Please join us tonight at 7 pm, and party with us. I can’t wait to see your new masterpieces or amazing classics! Lou Lou Girls

  5. Very sweet dress and beautiful photographs!

  6. I love this dress! It's the perfect dress for summer. My daughter would love it 🙂

  7. Natasha In Oz says:

    What a gorgeous dress and I LOVE your photos too, Jamie. Another successful project for sure!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  8. Jennifer Devers says:

    Another AMAZING post!. Thank you so much for sharing your patterns and how to make them into beautiful things for our children;).. I can't wait to make this for my girls.