Monday 10 February 2020

How To: Layered, Gathered Hem Maxi Dress with Ruffle Details

It's so bizarre how life sometimes just works out. This layered/gathered hem detail had a 50/50 chance of being a total failure. And somehow it just worked, just like that, first attempt. No fixing, no adjusting. And became one of my favourite dresses I've ever sewn. 

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Flowy fabric (I used 100% cotton), 3 m  |  Scissors  |  Pins  |  Thread & Sewing machine

I. The first pieces I cut definitely looked the weirdest.. Back piece on the left, front piece on the right.
I took placed them right sides facing and pinned & sewed the shoulders and the sides. Also did a double fold along the hem.
II. Then I cut an extension piece for the front, about 1.5 times as wide as the the hem distance it needed to cover..
.. And gathered the piece to match where it needed to fit..
.. And pinned and sewed in place. I pinned the piece about 3.5 cm up from the hem of the top piece.
At this point I was still quite sceptical about how this was going to turn out.. But here you see how I attached the hem piece.
III. I needed one more extension piece for the hem. For my ankle length these were my measurements I cut 2 of these, sewed the edges together, and gathered the upper curved edge.
.. Same deal, pinned the last hem piece in place and sewed. When I tried it on I discovered I go them hem measurements right on the first try! Crazy considering what a total experiment this was. Then I just added sleeves..
.. And I felt it still needed a bit of something, so I cut 2 circular ruffles and attached them to the front. Last I finished the neckline with some bias I cut from the same fabric.
Like so:)



  1. This is so cute! So versatile as well!

  2. I love the style and you did a very nice job.

  3. I am curious if you think you could achieve the same look with an aline skirt, and adding ruffles like you did to the top? I LOVE the design, but worry about my skill level :) haha.

  4. I think for sure yes! Another way to get more fullness to the skirt part, but skip the crazy reverse U shape cutting I did, would be to do a basic tiered skirt where you add a ruffle to the tiers, kind of like I did with this dress: (the ruffles I used are scalloped but you could just do a normal ruffle.


I would love to hear what you think and learn about your DIY adventures! If you use one of my tutorials, tag me on social @contour_affair, I'd love to see!


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