Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog: Maxi Dress Fabric


Maxi Dress Fabric

The key to a summer maxi dress is lightweight fabric in either knit or woven.

  1. Knit fabrics that will work well for lightweight summer dresses are interlock knit and jersey knit. Jersey is a lighter weight fabric and has less stretch then interlock. Interlock is t-shirt fabric. Don't get a ponte knit or a double knit. These are stiffer knits.
  2. Woven fabrics that will work should be really lightweight like batiste, challis, cotton lawn, or voile. Because this is a summer dress, you'll probably want cotton for breath-ability more than a synthetic fiber.

If you're buying fabric at a store and can touch it, then the most important thing is that the fabric feels soft and lightweight and that you like it. This is more important than the name of the fabric. Don't get anything stiff. You want your dress to be soft and flowy.
If you're buying fabric online, then be sure to read the description of the fabric and look for the word "light" or "lightweight." The description will usually tell you what kind of garments you can use the fabric for also. You could be extra careful and order a swatch if you wanted. (I'm usually too impatient and just order fabric, hoping it works.)

The cons of buying fabric in a store are:

  • Usually there is a small selection of fabric in a fabric store, unless you live near a fabric district or something.
  • It is more expensive.
The pros of buying fabric in a store are:
  • You might be able to use a coupon for a better price.
  • You can touch and feel the fabric.
  • You can see the actual color.
The cons of buying fabric online are:
  • You have to pay for shipping.
  • You can't touch the fabric.
  • You don't know the actual color.
The pros of buying fabric online are:
  • Sometimes you can get a better price.
  • There is a large selection.
Tomorrow I'll talk about patterns and amount of fabric you'll need. Good luck finding some fabric! (If you want to refashion something to make it a maxi dress, you can sew-along with us too and add it to the link party next week.)


  1. I'm excited to learn some good tips this week for maxi dresses/skirts, since I'm pregnant and knit seems to be the easiest thing to wear :) Where do you buy fabric online? Any favorite sites you're willing to share? Also, any tips for adapting a maxi dress for maternity (does it need adapting?)? Thanks!

  2. Same here. My wife is expecting and I need to buy some garments for her and your suggestions are just too good. Great tips.

  3. This is very helpful. Thank you!

  4. Thanks for the very helpful info!I would have never guessed that interlock knit was okay! I'm excited about this upcoming sew-along, I need to make myself maxi dresses!

  5. Comfortable fabric is very important in a dress. I really love the color as well as the designs of your fabric.


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