Summer is when I do the most sewing for myself. That’s because I always want new skirts and dresses when it starts to warm up, and both of those are generally easier to sew than, say, jeans and jackets. Last summer I made a maxi dress using my free easy tee pattern – it was super easy to sew and very comfortable, so it got quite a lot of wear time. A few of you asked if I had tried a dress like this with a woven (non-stretchy fabric), so when started getting warm this spring that’s what I did.
I stuck pretty close to the easy tee maxi dress tutorial, with just a few changes to accommodate the woven fabric, since the tutorial was written for use with a knit. First, I made the dress hit just below the knee instead of maxi length – with no stretch in the skirt it might have been hard to walk in at maxi length.
Next, I added a placket in the front to make sure there would be plenty of room to get it over my head. In retrospect, I think the neckline is roomy enough as is that I could have skipped this step. But it’s kind of fun to leave the placket unbuttoned and wear it open for a little variety:
NOTE: I used this great tutorial from Melly Sews to sew in the front placket, and that was the first thing I did once I cut out the fabric.
The third change I made was to cut the sleeves a little longer and roomier, and the top of the dress a little looser. I just wanted to make sure the dress would still be plenty roomy even without a stretchy fabric. This is how it looked when I used the easy tee pattern to cut out the pieces (red dots show my cut lines):
A little extra room, and enough length to turn the shirt into a dress. I cut two pieces of what you see above (both on the fold) – one for the front of the dress and one for the back.
Other than that, I sewed up the dress just like you see in the easy tee maxi dress tutorial. With one more little change – instead of making a casing to run elastic through to cinch the waistline, I just sewed elastic right to the dress from the inside at the waist.
If you give this a try, be sure to use a lightweight fabric that’s quite flowy – that way it will drape well and be cool and comfortable in the summer weather!
Find all the other easy tee top and dress tutorials here and get the free pattern here!
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