I am ridiculously picky about the length of certain clothing items.  Shirts can’t be too long, but they need to hit at a just-above-hip length, depending on the style, of course.

I think it’s probably safe to say we all have specific lengths and fits that make us say, “yes! This one is perfect.”

When it comes to maxi dresses, however, I am uber picky.

It needs to be longer than my ankles.
It needs to not drag on the floor.
It needs to brush the tops of my feet.

And goodness I sound super high maintenance.  Eeks. 

I promise I’m not, I just know how I like my maxi dresses to fit!

This maxi is one of my absolute favorites.  Its thick material isn’t see-through, it’s a flattering fit, and when do I not love navy?  The only problem is that it is just too short.  I tried to put off washing it as long as possible, but well, I didn’t want people to start smelling me before they saw me, if you know what I mean.  Even after letting it hang to dry and stretch a bit, I still found it hitting such an awkward length.

Sadness. Sadness.  Sadness. 

max dress length

This problem can be easily fixed, so I thought I’d show you a quick and easy way to lengthen that maxi hanging in your closet because of the dang length.


*My maxi is a jersey fabric throughout, so I chose a light blue jersey for a color blocked look for my dress.  You can choose to stay consistent with your dress fabric –choosing jersey with jersey, cotton weave with cotton weave– or you can mix and match.  I thought about adding a patterned navy cotton fabric to the bottom of this dress, but opted for this light blue jersey I had on hand instead. 

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1|| Measure and cut the lengthening fabric.  Be sure to add about 1.5-2″ extra for your seams and hem.  Measure the bottom circumference of your dress, being careful not to stretch it as you measure.  My dress was wider at the bottom than the width of my fabric, so I ended up needing an additional 8 inch panel.

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2|| Seam together your lengthening fabric to match circumferences, and pin right sides together.

*You can choose to let out the hem of your dress, if you’d like.  I opted to leave mine in for a couple of reasons: 1) in case I give this dress to someone who needs the shorter length–it’ll be a quick fix, 2) I wanted the additional weight that the gives.  I guess I should have added that to my list of maxi dress requirements…I love when a dress has a night weight to the bottom hem, so it moves well as I walk.*

It’s the little things.

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3|| Sew the bottom seam with at least a 5/8″ seam allowance — I opted to do about a 1″ seam allowance.  We will be top stitching the seam to give it more of a professional and finished look, so we want our seam allowance to be large enough to catch.

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4|| Press your seams towards the bottom of your dress, and top stitch around circumference.  I chose to use a contrasting thread –navy — for this step, but you can choose a coordinating thread if you’d like!

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5|| This step might require a little bit of help, as it’s difficult to measure the correct length needed while also wearing your maxi dress!  Put your dress on and mark where you will hem for the new maxi dress length.  Measure and pin.  Sew hem.

I used jersey, which doesn’t fray much, so I didn’t worry about finishing that interior edge.  To give your dress an even more polished look, fold and press a 1/4″ hem and sew.  Now fold over and press again to your desired length.  Sew hem.

*I used a contrasting thread for this hem as well, but if I was doing it again, I would coordinate the thread, so that this seam doesn’t show much.  I might rip it up and sew it again…I’ll let you know!*

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6|| Finally get that dress out of retirement, and start wearing it!  I’ll share photos of it soon — the weather hasn’t exactly been cooperating for photos of this spring maxi dress, but I am loving the new length!

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Andy and Harlow surprised me at the airport last night to pick me up, so I didn’t have to take a cab home.  Goodness, she grew up like crazy, it seems, and I was only gone for 4 days!

Happy last day of Winter!! Think Spring will get the memo that it’s finally time to show up!?


I was sent the Brother Designio DZ3000 to test and review and was compensated for this tutorial post.  All opinions, ideas, and projects are my own.

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