Bandeau Maxi Dress

Bandeau Maxi Dress

Crafting Time:
  • 1-2 Hours
Skill Level:
  • Intermediate
Project Courtesy of: Fabric Traditions
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Additional Information


• 53" shirred rayon dress fabric. Note: Measure chest or bust at the fullest point. Subtract 2" to determine the amount needed in inches.
• 1/4 yd. coordinating nylon/spandex knit fabric
• 1 package single fold bias tape to match fabric
• 18 to 24 pony beads
• Sewing Machine
• Iron and pressing surface
• Basic sewing supplies

1. Determine the amount of fabric needed to go around body so the dress will fit snuggly in the waist area but will stretch comfortably over the bust. There are two side seams on this dress so it is possible to take in the waistline later if needed. Add 2" for seam allowance. Straighten both edges before beginning. Cut the fabric into two pieces perpendicular to the top and bottom edge to make a dress front and a dress.
2. Cut across the back about 2 1/2" above the bottom of the shirring cutting halfway between two rows of stitching.
3. Cut two lengths of bias tape so that each piece is a little wider than the skirt portion of the dress back. Press open one fold on the bias tape pieces. With right sides together match the fold to the shirred edges of the back top and bottom pieces. The fold should be just below the stitching. Stretch out the shirring and sew the bias tape to the back top and bottom pieces of dress a little bit at a time. Hold the fabric in front and behind the presser foot to stretch it.
4. Fold the bias tape to the wrong side and lightly press it along the seamline. Stitch along the bottom edge of the tape again stretching the fabric and tape as you sew.
5. Cut a 2 1/2" by 3" strip of nylon/spandex fabric. Fold it in half lengthwise with right sides together. Stitch 1/4" from the raw edges. Turn right side out.
6. Gather the center of the top back by making 4 small pleats. Sew them in place by hand.  
7. Wrap the fabric strip around the center. Trim the ends so they overlap 1/4" on the wrong side. Sew the top edge in place by hand.
8. Pin the top and bottom back to the front along the side edges, with right sides together. Match the rows of shirring at the side seams. Stitch the backs to the front 1/2" from the edge.
9. Cut a piece of nylon/spandex fabric wide enough to go across the front bodice as shown in the photo by 9" long. Measure down 1" from the top edge and draw a line. Measure and mark lines for the fringe that are 3/8" apart and parallel to the side edges. Cut along the lines for the fringe.
10. Match the line at the top of the fringe to the center front along the top row of shirring. Stretch the dress slightly and pin the fringe in place. Do not stretch the fringe. Stitch along the line. Trim the solid top close to the stitching.
11. Press the ruffle above the fringe to the wrong side. Stitch it in place without catching the fringe in the seam.
12. Cut two halter straps 27" by 1-1/2". Fold it in half lengthwise with right sides together. Stitch 3/8" from the raw edges. Turn right side out using a safety pin.
13. Place one 1 1/2" of each strap under the top edge of the dress at the sides of the fringe. Stitch the straps in place along the stitching of the fringe and again along the second row of shirring. Knot the ends of the straps.
14. Starting at the center place a bead on the fringe and knot the fringe twice. Trim the end below the knot. Continue working out toward the side making each bead a little higher to create a v-shaped fringe.
15. Try on the dress and mark the desired length. Add 2" for the hem and cut off the excess fabric. Press 1/2" to the wrong side along the lower edge. Fold up 1-1/2" for the hem.  Stitch along the upper edge of the hem.