What’s up fellow makers?!
Do you love boho maxi dresses? I sure do! They are so flattering and they come in a wide range of lengths. My favorite thing about flowy bohemian maxi dresses is that they can be worn with many different accessories to either dress them up or down. In this blog post, I am going to share my DIY tiered maxi dress sewing pattern and tutorial with you.
This project is beginner level, so even those who are new to sewing should be able to follow along. The best part about this dress is that it’s fully customizable, meaning it can fit any person of any size! All of the measurements for the pattern pieces were created based on my own measurements (a size 6) but I will explain in the tutorial how to adjust for your own custom size.
I’m 5′ 7″ for reference on the sizing.
This maxi dress is long and flowy, which makes it perfect for spring, summer or fall. The best part about this pattern? You can wear this dress with different accessories to make it look fancier or you can just throw on a wide-brimmed hat and some sneakers! This tiered maxi dress pattern would work great for casual days at the park or even date night. It’s an easy way to take your wardrobe up a notch without having to spend a lot of money.
So without further ado, let’s jump in to the tutorial!
Tiered Maxi Dress Sewing Pattern | Sew A Maxi Dress
Easy Maxi Dress Pattern Supplies
If you’ve been searching “boho maxi dress pattern free” or “how to sew a maxi dress“, this blog post is for you!
I created this design by piggy-backing off of one of my previous tutorials, the DIY crop top pattern. I loved the fit of the crop, and so I used that pattern as the baseline for the bodice of this dress. Check out that post for another variation on the bodice!
The skirt is made up of three panels in increasing widths to make for a super full & flowy dress. I’m in love with the patchwork print on this rayon challis fabric that I bought on Amazon. It’s super soft and the black & taupe coloring of the pattern is GORGEOUS. I might order more of this fabric and make a flowy kimono… I’m super duper digging the vibes.
This is a very full and flowy dress so it uses up a good 4 yards of fabric with very little waste.
Below I’ve drawn out a rough cutting plan for your 4 yards of fabric. It is not drawn to scale; the skirt panel 2 & 3 pieces will be way longer than pictured below compared to the skirt panel 1 pieces.
I made this beautiful graphic in a Word document. LOL go easy on me.
Cut out two rectangles that are 14″ by 24″ (these are the bodice pieces pictured above). Because this top has a corset-style back, it’s a one-size-fits-most situation. I would say that if you typically wear a dress size anywhere between 4 through 12, you can cut the rectangles this size. If you’re a little smaller than that, shave an inch or two off the top and sides, and if you’re a little larger, add an inch or two to the top and sides. You’ll see how this all plays out as you follow along with the pattern!
Take one rectangle and fold it in half hamburger-style (so that it’s 14″ by 12″).
Mark the point that is 5″ out from the fold at the top. Mark the point that is 9″ up on the side (opposite from the fold), and cut a straight line between the two points.
Repeat for the second rectangle so you have two identical bodice pieces.
Cut out a strip of fabric that is 1.5″ wide by 18″ long.
Fold in half longways right sides together and stitch closed with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Using a safety pin, turn right side out to make an 18″ cord.
Cut the cord into six 3″ pieces.
Make another cord this same way by cutting out two strips of fabric that are each 1.5″ by 60″ long. Sew them together on one end and press the seam flat. Then fold together longways, right sides together and stitch. Turn inside out. This will be the cord to lace up the back of the dress (set this piece aside for now).
Place the two bodice pieces right sides together. Make three loops on each side and pin them facing the inside between each bodice piece (right sides together).
Stitch up one side, across the top, and down the opposite side (leaving the bottom open). Turn right side out.
Pin the top down 1/2 inch and stitch. This will form the casing that the neck strap will loop through.
Cut out a strip of fabric that is 1.5″ by 60″. Fold in half right sides together and sew shut with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn right side out with a safety pin. Loop the cord through the casing.
Cut out the first two skirt panels that are 13″ by 60″.
Cut out 4 pocket pieces. I like big pockets, so mine are about 6″ by 8″.
Lay one skirt piece right side up, and line up one pocket piece along the seam. I placed my pocket about 3″ from the top.
Sew the pocket down along the side.
Repeat on the other side of the fabric and the second skirt piece.
Lay the two skirt pieces right sides together with pockets facing outward, and sew along the edges.
Overlock stitch along the edges.
Sew an ease stitch all the way around the top of the skirt panels. Do not backstitch at the beginning or the end.
Pull the fabric along the ease stitch to create gathers around the whole skirt. Because these skirt panels are so wide, you’ll need to make lots of gathers!
Measure around your bust at the fullest part, and gather the skirt to about a circumference of that same size. This is to make sure that the opening is wide enough to pull the dress on over your head/torso.
Insert the bodice into the skirt right sides together, lining it up so that the pockets are evenly on each side.
Sew the bodice to the skirt.
Lace up the cord you made through the loops. Try on what you have so far at this point to determine how much elastic you will need for the back. Measure the distance between each side of the bodice on your back, and cut two pieces of elastic that same length.
Stitch the ends of the elastic down on each side. Fold the top of the skirt over, and sew the casing shut.
You should leave about 1/4 inch seam allowance of the fabric on the elastic casing. Once you are done sewing the elastic and casing, sew an overlock stitch all the way around on the raw edge to prevent fraying.
Cut out two of the second tier skirt panels. These should be 13″ by 75″.
Lay right sides together and sew the side seams shut. Overlock stitch.
Sew an ease stitch around the top and make gathers. You won’t need nearly as many gathers for this tier.
Line it up with the first skirt tier inserted, right sides together and seams matching up. Sew together. Overlock stitch.
Repeat with the final third tier skirt panels. These will be cut at 13″ by 90″ each.
Once the third tier is sewn onto the dress, hem the bottom (unless you need to shorten the dress first – shorten as needed and then hem). I like to do a simple hem by folding over the fabric twice, about 1/4 inch, and stitching along the edge.
Now try that baby on for size!!
I am honestly so pleased with how this tiered maxi dress pattern turned out!
Boho Maxi Dress Pattern Free
Tiered Maxi Dress Pattern
If you tried this tiered maxi dress sewing pattern out for yourself, comment below and let me know! I love hearing how patterns turn out for other people.
Stay tuned for more fun patterns!
Free Maxi Dress Pattern
This pattern might be for you if you’re looking for any of the below!
- Simple Maxi Dress Pattern
- Homemade Maxi Dress Pattern
- Bohemian Maxi Dress Pattern
- Halter Maxi Dress Pattern
- A Line Maxi Dress Pattern