DIY, sewing

The Floral Maxi Dress – M7081

Happy Saturday Guys,

Today’s post features a maxi dress that I sewed for the spring Atlanta Sewing Style photo shoot.

We sewed two looks, and this is the first one that I am featuring on the blog.The theme this look follows is Springing Florals.

I used Mccalls 7081, view D for the bodice and self drafted my inverted pleated maxi skirt using stylesewme’s “Easy Box Pleated Skirt (No Math Required)” Tutorial.


I was inspired by one of my favorite designers, Carolina Herrera. I feel like she designs the most AMAZING shirt dress style gowns.


I purchased this floral African print fabric from a local vender that I love doing business with, This print was part of her Big Florals Print Collection. It’s a 45″ large print polished cotton.


Pattern Description:
Dresses have collar band, close-fitting, front pleated, surplice bodice, waistband, flared skirt cut on crosswise grain and side zipper.I sewed the bodice for view D.

PatternSizing:.. My pattern went up to a size 14 so I made a size 14 with a 2inch increase at the waistline.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Close, except for the fact that I added a selfdrafted inverted pleated floor length skirt.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. This was my first time sewing this style of neck opening. I relied heavily upon the instructions particularly for this part of the construction process. I thought they were clear and it turned out great.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love that this pleated bodice style accomodates a slightly fuller bustline….so no FBA was needed. However keep in mind that if you opt not to do an adjustment at the bustline, you will lose the depth of your pleats. The pleats may not be as defined.

Fabric Used: Waxed African Print Floral purchased from local vender

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 1) My usual shortwaist adjustment. 2) My bustline sits slightly low so I sewed a 3/8 seamline to the top of the waistband. 3) I eliminated the tabs for the sleeves. 4) As mentioned earlier I added my own self drafted skirt with inverted 4″ pleats using Stylesewme’s “Easy Box Pleated, No Math Required” You Tube Tutorial…

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I won’t make this again for myself BUT, I definitely recommend it.


Like I mentioned in an earlier post, pleats make me crazy so I was excited to find Stylesewme’s tutorial. (Click Here)

If you are like me and you prefer to draft your own pleated skirt without a pattern, this tutorial is for you.Erin is an excellent instructor and her instructions are clear, simple and right to the point. The tutorial is less than 22 minutes.


  • Because I didn’t want to interrupt the pattern design I opted for a dress design with a side zipper opening. I made 2 seperate skirt panels following Erin’s tutorial.
  • Erin demonstrates creating box pleats but my skirt features inverted pleats. The process is the same. To get the inverted pleats, just flip the skirt panel over.
  • I left a 2 inch seam allowance on both sides of each panel just incase I needed additional to accomodate the bodice and inseam pocket placement.
  • My dress waistband measured 34 inches so I went with 4″ pleats for my two skirt panels. If your waistline is significantly smaller (under 32), I suggest you go with 3″ pleats or less.


Because the print of this fabric is huge with very little clear space, I ended up having to focus on pleasing random pattern placement as opposed to pattern matching. My favorite pattern placement is the purple foliage that drips down the back of my shoulder.

It took almost every inch of the 6 yards that I had to make this dress.

Although a maxi dress, this is completely wearable in real life with a pair of wedges sans the under skirt.

8 thoughts on “The Floral Maxi Dress – M7081”

  1. Breath taking!!!! Both you and this dress!! I love your work. My mother sewed like this and made many clothes for me growing up. I wished I had learned then. You are super talented and I also love Carolina Herrera fashion. Classic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ty. I really appreciate you.😍 It’s never too late to learn. My mom sewed as well. Of her 3 daughters I am the only one to take up sewing. When we lost her a few years ago, I actually took comfort in sewing..Its a great hobby.


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