The most downloaded free sewing pattern from So Sew Easy is the Wrap Dress. So when I wanted to sew a tropical maxi dress, this pattern immediately sprung to mind. Sometimes you just don’t need to mess with a good thing! I bought this amazing ITY knit in a tropical print and it’s just perfect for island life. But I wanted to make just a few changes to the original pattern:
- Maxi dress rather than knee length
- Enough room to walk properly in the longer length skirt
- Loose flutter sleeves
We looked before at skirts when we made the Perfect Maxi Skirt. If you take a straight skirt which is hip width and then simply extend it down to the floor, you won’t be able to walk properly, you’ll only be able to move your legs as wide as your hips. This works OK in a knee length skirt but not in a maxi.
At the same time, we don’t necessarily want to add a lot of volume to the skirt all over so there is more fabric at waist and hip to be gathered in. So I used the same idea on the Perfect Maxi Skirt to extend and increase the flare slightly on the Wrap Dress skirt. I also made sure to use the whole width of my fabric too.
I changed the shape of the sleeves to give them a looser more summery look too. Both are very simple changes you can make to this, or any pattern, to change up the look. I’ll show you how to do these simple pattern hacks in the video here.
The video below covers the two different pattern hacks to convert the wrap dress into a maxi with flutter sleeves, and also has the full sewing step by step too. So if you’ve not yet made the original wrap dress, there are some pointers here that might be useful. It’s a very quick and easy to sew dress, has optional elastic at the waist and I’ll be wearing mine everywhere!
- All about that knit stay tape
- The original wrap dress - download the original pattern here
- Using a twin needle on knit hems
- Pattern drafting paper (Amazon US here and UK here)
- All about knit fabrics
If you want to see the step by step sewing instructions in word and picture format, these are included in the pattern download and are also in the original article about the wrap dress.