I'll walk you through my process of making two maxi dresses this week with lots of different tips. I used a free shirt pattern that I have used multiple times and is not available anymore. Luckily, ICandy Handmade has a similar free shirt pattern that you can use. I cut out my top and sewed the shoulder seams, put it over my head, and found where it hit my waist. I added 1" for seam allowance, and then cut off some of the bottom so it would hit me at my waist. I cut off about 8", and I have a long torso so you might need to cut off more. I also cut out another shirt piece so I could double my fabric; I dislike semi-transparent shirts. Then I cut out three flared skirt pieces because that's how I could fit the pieces onto the fabric I had left.
Here I have five pieces: two shirt pieces and three skirt pieces.
Then I cut out my skirt.
Later today I'll post a mini fabric tutorial in case you wanted a printed fabric and couldn't find one!Good luck cutting out your dress!