After I did my post on this easy maxi dress at the beginning of the summer, I played around with it a bit to simplify the process and make a couple of improvements. I had bought a ton of really bold patterned fabric over the winter and I wanted to use it up this was definitely my go-to dress for the summer. I used McCalls 6558 as a starting point and you can get all the details about the original dress from the other post or you can follow this post for the new and improved version!
I started off by cutting the dress according to the pattern instructions with a couple of changes. The first dress I made skimmed on my hips but was baggy up top so I cut the bodice pieces two sizes smaller and the skirt pieces one size bigger. I also didn’t like how thin the elastic was at the top of the bodice so I used 3/4″ instead of the 1/4″ that was suggested.
I also made the decision not to put any elastic where the bodice and the skirt meet for a couple of reasons. Since I used different sizes for the bodice and the skirt I knew to match them up I’d have to do some pleating and I didn’t want to add trying to make a casing for the elastic to that. After making the first dress, I also realized that if you’re always going to belt the dress there’s no point to the waist elastic anyways. I matched up the side seams and just draped the pleats in the middle front and back to allow for the extra slack in fabric and pinned in place. I sewed the bodice to the skirt and pressed the seam up toward the bodice. A simple hem along the bottom and I was done, it literally took me less than an hour from start to finish.
I chose a wider bronze belt that was fairly plain so it wouldn’t compete with the busyness of the pattern. I love how this dress turned out, it was so simple but the bold pattern and colors make it stand out!
If you liked these maxi dresses, be sure to also check out my post on a no-pattern caftan dress!