Maxi dresses are perfect for transitional weather, when you are not ready to commit to tights yet, but you don’t want to expose too much leg as it gets chillier outside. So, as you’ve probably already guessed, we are going to show you how to turn your Sheona dress into a maxi dress with an optional side slit.
What you’re going to need:
-your Sheona dress pattern
-a large piece of paper
-a measuring tape and a straight ruler
-a pen or a pencil and a pair of scissors
-a sewing machine and/or overlocker and your basic sewing tools
The first thing you want to do is to determine how much length you will have to add to the Sheona dress. Take the front pattern piece and hold it in front of your body. Measure from the end of the pattern piece all the way down to desired length. Add 2 cm (1″) for hem allowance and write down this number. We are going to call this measurement number X.
Now take the front piece and stick a piece of paper below the hem, making sure that the paper is big enough to fit the lengthened piece. Extend the center fold line by the X amount. Measuring down from the original hem, make a mark for the X point and draw the new hem, perpendicular to the center fold line.
To lengthen the side seams, we recommend redrawing them into an A-line shape. So start a few centimeters above your original hem and extend the side seam moving a bit outwards until you meed the new hem line. Cut out your new pattern piece and repeat the same process for the back piece.
Cut out your fabric following the instructions in your Sheona booklet. When cutting, snip a notch at the side seam, at the point where you want the slit to start.
Sew up the dress following the instructions in your Sheona booklet, until you reach the step of sewing the side seams. If you want a slit on both sides on your dress, you will follow the steps we will mention in the next step. If you want a slit on one side only, determine which side this will be and sew up the other side following the Sheona instructions. You can of course omit the slit entirely. In that case, just ignore the next steps and move on to the stage where we sew the side seams.
On the side(s) where the slit will be, pin the side seam from the sleeve hem all the way down to the slit notch, making sure you match the underarm seam. Using the zigzag stitch on your sewing machine, stitch with 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance from the sleeve hem down to the slit notch. Press the seam allowances open.
While you are at your iron, at the slit part you are also going to press the slit 1 cm (3/8″) towards the inside, wrong sides together.
Now go ahead and stitch the folded slit in place using a wider zigzag stitch and created a Π shape at the top of the slit, when moving from one side to the other. Give it a good press.
Try your dress on and if you want to make it more fitted in some places, you can taper in the side seams a little bit.
And now it’s time for hemming. To hem your dress’s raw edges, press the sleeve and dress hems up by 2 cm (wrong sides together) and stitch in place using either a wider stitch on your sewing machine, a twin needle or your coverstitch machine.
Give everything a final press and that’s it! You created a maxi dress using the Sheona dress sewing pattern. You can wear it loose or make a separate tie belt (there’s a free pattern piece for it available here).
We hope you enjoyed this Sheona hack! If you give it a go, make sure you share it and tag us on IG @akpatterns or use the hashtag #aksheona so we can all admire your make!
The beautiful jersey fabric used in this tutorial is cotton jersey blend from Girl Charlee.