DIY Kimono Sleeve Maxi Dress

Sewing, Tutorial

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Fact: It’s September, yet Phoenix weather is still ridiculous.

Fact: I’m pregnant and not yet cutely so.

Ergo, flowy dresses for the win!  When I realized that I couldn’t make it through the week without wearing one particular knit dress more than 3 times, I decided it was time to make something that felt like pajamas but looked just slightly more upscale.  What with all the loose 70’s top and dress trends right now, it’s a GREAT time to be chubby!


You’ll need:

2-2.5 yards of 60″ flowy woven fabric
1 yard of 1″ bias tape (or additional fabric to make your own for the neckline)

Cut your fabric in half width wise so that you’re left with two long rectangles measuring 60″ x 1 yard.   Fold each in half length wise and cut out a front and back piece according to the following illustration.  I’ve included some rough measurements of my dress because it’s flowy, easy to sew and wear and is basically one-size-fits-all!


I cut the front piece into a soft V-neck but a round neck would work great too.  If you want to add side slits at the bottom, turn in the raw edges of the sides and hem (my side slits were about 18″ long).  I used a double-fold hem but you could also serge the raw edges and turn in once.

With right sides together, sew your shoulder seams together and your side/underarm seams, stopping at your hemmed slits.  Hem your sleeves and skirt bottom with a double-fold hem.



The neckline was the only semi-tricky part.  The first time I tried it with a facing out of the same fabric, it stretched out so badly that it looked terrible.  So I tore that out and made a 1″ facing out of a sturdier polyester fabric.  Then I followed this fantastic tutorial from Grainline Studio.  I’ve done this before but it sure was a life saver on this tricky fabric.  Love that ninja-like power of mastering a frustrating neckline!



I plan on belting it over the belly when I get bigger and then at my natural waist when I have one again.  I might even try a shorter version at the knee or a tunic length for wearing with leggings when the weather dips below 90!

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  • Reply
    September 11, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Your dress looks fantastic! I love the fabric, did you dye it?
    I don’t know how you have the energy to sew and blog about it. Just the thought of being a pregnant mom of 7 children is exhausting. Brava!

    • Reply
      September 11, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Haha! You’re too sweet! I am often exhausted ? I forgot to add that the fabric was purchased at my local Joann Fabrics. Pretty fab colors, huh? I keep meaning to try my hand at dyeing!

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    Suzanne Hanks
    September 22, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Now THAT is a dress I could live in!! And…make! Thank you for sharing the pattern! Score!

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      September 23, 2016 at 8:45 am

      You are more than welcome!

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    Susan Herman
    November 7, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Did you mention what size this is supposed to be? I did not see it. Thanks for a great pattern, though! I can’t wait to make it. I live in Florida so we have lots of hot weather too. Susan

    • Reply
      November 7, 2019 at 8:44 pm

      Good question! I was wearing about a size Large (10/12 dress) at the time and this fit me very loosely. Hope that helps!

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