DIY Ruched Tank Maxi Dress

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This dress is so easy to make, it doesn’t warrant a tutorial, but sharing pictures of the process is fun. Reading the words is completely optional…

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Fold your fabric in half. I used Sew Classic Knits Solid Interlock in the color Sangria. Figure out how long your maxi dress needs to be plus one inch and position your existing tank top as high up on the fabric as needed. (I overlaid a dress on top so I could trace the hip area as well.) Trace the shape of the front of the tank top. From the bottom of the tank top or dress, draw a line down to finish the shape of the maxi dress. Dot in the seam allowances – 1/2 in at the neckline and arm holes and 3/8 in down the side. Cut out the front piece.

Repeat the above but trace the shape of the back of the tank top. The back neckline is usually higher.

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For both the front and back pieces, fold in the seam allowances of the neckline and armholes and hem with a straight stitch.

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Pin the side of the dress that won’t be ruched and sew down the side, as close to the edge of the fabric as possible, with a zig-zag stitch.

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Cut a piece of thin elastic the length from just beneath your waist to where you want the slit of the dress to start. Place the elastic on the side of the dress that needs to be ruched where your waist would be and stretch the elastic taut. Mark that spot.

Pin that side of the dress and sew down to the mark you made.

Place the elastic on top of that seam at where your waist would be and run a few zig-zag stitches forward and reverse to lock it in place. Then slowly, stretch taut and sew the elastic down a little at a time until it reaches the mark you made earlier aka it can’t stretch anymore.

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And then, that’s it, you’re done! It took me a little more than three hours since I was multitasking but I like the result. The dress is super comfortable and casual though the ruching on one side gives it a little special touch. I wore this multiple times while on vacation. 🙂

A fun way for me to encourage myself to sew is to set a goal to sew something for each bigger (out-of-state) vacation I take. So far, I’m one for one! But I’ve also started tracing a pattern for my next project. Until then!

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