DIY African Print Maxi Dress | Thriftanista in the City


DIY African Print Maxi Dress

I love my vintage Sears lounging dress so much that I had to duplicate it. I made a simple maxi dress that's perfect for the heat.  It comes together super fast too. In fact, I made two. One for me and wee one for Violet. Violet's has my favorite side split and ties at each shoulder. Mine has pockets, ties at the back and a super wide flow.

diy african print maxi dress

Violet's dress is patterned after a dress from her closet too. If you don't have a maxi dress to use as a pattern, use a basic tee for the neckline and freehand the bottom half.

I chose a cheery yellow dashiki print fabric for the dress. It has beautiful bright colors and the print makes it very easy to cut fabric accurately.

mommy and daughter matching dashiki maxi dresses

The dashiki print maxi dress is simple with no pattern, zippers, buttons, or complicated techniques. Even if you have basic sewing skills, you will find it very easy to do.

no pattern dress tutorial

DIY Summer Maxi Dress

Supplies Needed:
2-3 yards fabric
matching thread
sewing machine


1. CUT fabric for front and back of dress. This dress is really easy. You basically need a triangle for the front and a triangle for the back. I used the vintage dress as my guide because it was exactly the shape I wanted.

diy maxi dress

If you're using a dress from your closet, fold the fabric in half and cut the fabric about an inch away from dress. Be sure to capture curve of armhole.

2. Cut 4 pockets. Again, I used a dress from my closet as a pattern. You can trace around your hand as at template. This is not a dress that needs total cutting perfection. There's a lot of wiggle room. Once you cut one, use it as a pattern for 3 more.

maxi dress pockets
3. Mark pocket placements 11" from underarm and mark again 7" below the first. Mark back opening 8" from top.

4. Cut one of the fabric pieces in half lengthwise. Cut 2 rectangles measuring 27" x 1" for straps.

maxi dress with pockets tutorial

SEW fabric using ¼" seam allowance.

5. Sew back of dress together until you reach back opening mark.

pockets for african print dress
6. Sew pockets to front and back dress pieces with right sides facing. Open out pockets.

7. Sew front and back pieces together with right sides facing. Be sure to sew around the pocket.

sewing dress tutorial
8. Turn armholes in and sew to finish raw edge.

shoulder tie maxi dress diy
9. Sew a casing for the neckline front and the two neckline edges in back.

10. Sew the straps together at one edge to make one long strap. Fold strap in half lengthwise with right sides facing. Sew length close to raw edge.

11. Turn fabric to right side. NOTE: This can be a bear to do. I have a loop turner and it was still painfully long. I would recommend YouTubing different methods to find one that works for you.

12. Insert strap through front casing and then through each back piece. Tie. Finish bottom hem.

diy ankara dress

african print dress diy

What's on your summer sewing list?

diy dashiki dress
What I Wore: dashiki print maxi dress (diy) - Steve Madden sandals (Amazon) - jewelry (made in Kenya)

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