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Desert Boho Maxi Dress

Hello there! I’m Ilah from @cocomayboutique

I’m so excited to be joining the Minerva Makers team with my very first blog post!

I’m here in sunny Arizona and the summers are very long! I’m glad I have another piece to add to my summer wardrobe.

The Fabric

As I scrolled through pages of gorgeous fabrics, the choice was clear when this Abstract Floral Print Chiffon Fabric caught my eye. I knew it was the one! I also knew good and well I’ve never sewn with chiffon before, but I wasn’t going to let this stop me. I was up for the challenge. I usually sew with cotton or linen, but I wanted my first make with Minerva fabrics to be one that would push me out of my comfort zone. This fabric is beautiful and can we just talk about the crinkle texture it has? I really think it’s a great starter fabric for anyone wanting to sew with chiffon but is a little leery. I really believe the crinkle helped it be more nonslip when cutting out and sewing. It’s pretty forgiving! The fabric is a little sheer so I wore a full black slip dress underneath.

The Pattern

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make at first until I stumbled upon an ad for a ready-to-wear dress on Instagram. It would be the inspiration for my Desert Boho maxi dress! I didn’t want to go out and buy another pattern so I searched through my stash to use what I already had. The winner was McCall’s 7943 a Learn To Sew For Fun pattern. This was a perfect choice seeing as this was my first time using chiffon and a little intimidated by it. Choosing a pattern designed for the beginner like me was a perfect choice in the matter, and it definitely was an easy make. Just take your time and enjoy the process, with all the added width, there was lots of gathering to be done.

I chose to make size medium as it was the biggest size included in the pattern. I wish I had the larger size pattern because I really wanted a very full and flowing dress. So I made due and just added more length and width where needed.

The Process/Modifications

First things first, I washed and dried the fabric and it held up beautifully with little fraying.

I cut the fabric on my mat using pattern weights along with a  rotary cutter. It didn’t move as much as I thought a chiffon would, I guess it’s because of the crinkle texture, it didn’t slip and slide around too much. Fine sharp pins were a must as well as Microtex 70/10 needles.

I made View B with modifications below:

Added 2 inches to both front and back bodice (pieces #1 & 2) and I cut the length at the AB dress version mark

Added 3 additional ruffles/tiers to the bottom instead of just the one (pieces #4 & 5)

Added 3/8 inch to front ruffle/tier (piece #4)

Added 2 inches to back ruffle/tier (piece #5)

At step 1 I made a flat felled seam below the large circle

At steps 13-15 and all remaining ruffles/tiers I made French seams

At step 19 and at each gathered tier I serged the raw edges to keep from fraying

I omitted the side slit

Instead of turning up a 5/8 inch hem, I folded the last ruffle/tier in half lengthwise so that the bottom is the fold, perfect for an easy no-sew hem.

The bottom tier was made in solid blue chiffon that I had in my stash since I was running low on the original fabric. What a happy accident, I love how it turned out!


This dress screamed desert boho so I styled accordingly. Hat, ankle boots, bag and big jewelry photographed in a desert setting. So in love with this summer maxi! I could also see this as resort wear strolling down the beach with flip flops and simple accessories. It’s very versatile, you could dress it up with heels or dress it down with a jean jacket and sneakers. I hope you make this dress and use this fabric, they’re both winners!

Thanks for reading my first blog. Thanks to all of my sew sisters that gave me great advice along the way and a big thank you to Minerva for the wonderful opportunity to create with beautiful fabrics!

Find me on Instagram @cocomayboutique


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