Tie Dye Sallie Maxi Dress

It’s sort of become a tradition for me to sew myself a dress for my birthday. By sort of, I mean I do it about every other year. With a big party out of the question this year, I didn’t even think about sewing a dress until just a few days before my birthday. It just so happened that I had this awesome tie dye knit fabric in my stash (courtesy of @melizzamakes) that was perfect for sewing up a quick Closet Core Patterns Sallie Maxi Dress!



Closet Core Patterns Sallie Maxi Dress


Fabric scored at a Seattle Sews Fabric swap (back when we could do that sort of thing)!

Size traced and sewn

Graded from a size 12 at the bust to a size 14 at the hips.


  • Lengthened bodice by 1″

Construction Notes

The Sallie Maxi Dress is a pretty quick and easy make with a few fiddly bits, like sewing the elastic to the neckline of the tank. There was a sweet spot with how much to stretch the elastic as I sewed and what width zig zag stitch to use. I found that stretching the elastic too little caused the neckline to gape, too much and it bunched up. I also found that the zig zag stitch needed to be wide enough so that the elastic didn’t get sucked up into the machine. This is where it paid off to be patient and practice on a scrap first. Otherwise, the construction of this pattern was pretty straightforward.


This fabric is on the thinner side and has lot of drape, so I was worried it might not be appropriate for this pattern. The fabric was free, I had a lot of it, and I thought the tie dye effect was perfect, so I had nothing to lose by trying it but my time. It actually worked out fine once it was all together. Sometimes you just gotta have faith. This is definitely not a dress I will hang in the closet though, as I fear it might stretch, so this one gets folded and put in a drawer. When I wear it I feel like I am in secret pajamas. I just have to make sure I don’t trip over it.

I also maybe didn’t need to lengthen the bodice. When the elastic is sitting at my natural waist there is excess fabric, but maybe that is the style. What do you think?

Final Thoughts

Aside from a bridesmaid dress I once wore, I don’t typically go for maxi dresses. Since I had so much of this fabric, I decided to make the maxi dress and if I didn’t like it, I would shorten it. I think I do like it though! There is something about the length that makes it feel more dressy and glamorous, so wearing it made my birthday feel a little bit more special this year. This is the perfect summertime dress and I already have plans to make another one, shorter this time!

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