Sep. 2012 12

Long Sleeve – High Slit Maxi Dress

AKA The Aztec dress (because of the fabric)

I love sewing so much in part because it is very much a building block skill set. You learn how to do a skirt, a top, and then you combine the two to make a dress. I like to think of the tutorials I do as kinda the same thing. I do a lot of t-shirt pattern dresses because they are great for beginners. Then once you have that mastered, you use that as a base and build up from it.

This dress looks complicated, and to some extent it is. But trust me when I say it is totally doable, even if you aren’t a master seamstress. If you’ve followed any of my posts, you’ve seen all the pieces of this dress before:


Skirt: Almost identical to the Kimono Dress skirt

Top: Almost identical to the top on the Winter Wrap Dress. (with a couple adjustments)

Sleeves: Exactly like every sleeve I’ve ever done.


Seriously, it’s easier than it looks. Yes, it is a lot of steps. And no, you cannot make it in 10 minutes or even an hour. But sometimes, don’t you want to look like your clothes took a little more craftsmanship than that? Don’t get me wrong, I love a fast project as much as the next person, but the problem with most of those projects is they look like they were done fast. So carve out some time for this dress, or do it in small intervals, trust me it’s totally worth it and you’ll be happy you did.


You’ll need about 3 yards for this (give yourself more incase you need to re-cut anything)



The Skirt:

1. Measure your natural waist, hips, and the distance in between the two. Measure from your natural waist to the floor.

2. For the back, cut one of the following:

3. For the front: take your natural waist and hip measurements and multiply by 0.4375, cut 1:

4. Take your natural waist and hip measurements and multiply by 0.25, cut 1:

5. Sew side panels to back piece.

6. Finish straight edge on side panels by folding back 1” and stitching




1. Measure from your shoulder to your natural waist.

2. Measure the front half of your chest (from armpit to armpit on only the front half of your body.

3. Cut 2 as follows:

4. Measure the distance between your shoulders (like where the seams on your shirts sits)

5. Measure (on your back) from your shoulders to natural waist. This will be different than it was on the front half because you don’t have boobs on your back (at least I hope not).

6. Cut 1 As follows

7. Sew fronts and backs together at shoulder seams.



1. Take the top that you sewed together in step 7 above and open up. Trace this opening, and then add 0.5”

2. Decide on a sleeve length. Cut 2 as follows:

3. Sew sleeves down side seams

4. Finish hem by rolling up 1”, stitch using zigzag to lightning bolt (so it can stretch)




1. You can skip this next part if you don’t want to include the ring detail.

-I took an old broach that was a simple silver circle to use for my ring. I broke off the pin with pliers.

-Cut 2 of the following shape:

-Sew together along top and bottom seams

-Pin to right side panel.

2. Sew front and back together along side seam.

3. Finish raw edge by folding to the back 0.5”, stitch

4. Attach sleeves to top.

5.  Pin top closed at bottom seam. If you are opting to add the ring, leave a 1/4 portion of the left side out as well as the addition flap on the right side.

6. Pin closed the skirt portion of the dress at top. Then pin top and bottom halves of the dress together. Stitch using lightning bolt or zigzag. If desired you can use elastic thread here too.

7. Take flaps and loops through ring, hand stitch in place.

8. Put the dress on, decide how far up you want the slit to be able to go. Maybe you want it the whole way, that’s fine. But when I sat down in this, I quickly realized I needed to stitch up a portion of it. Stitch along the seam that you made to finish the edges, that way you won’t be able to tell it is even there.

9. Hem the bottom and you’re done!



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2 Responses to “Long Sleeve – High Slit Maxi Dress”

  1. May 19th

    I can’t believe you don’t have any comments on how stunning this dress is! I just found your blog and have been greatly enjoying reading through your posts. I love so many of your projects, and I especially love the way you give your instructions – I don’t have to figure out how to resize it for my…um…generous figure. One of these days I’m going to make this dress for myself!

  2. joanie
    July 28th

    Love this dress and the tutorial is so good.  This is going to be on me soon.  

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