5 Trendy Cruise Wear Outfits You Can Sew (Or Buy) Plus One Extra Piece

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Women’s Clothes For Cruises Don’t Have To Be Expensive — Just Look Expensive

Packing for a cruise vacation requires some cruise outfit essentials. You need several bathing suits, cover ups, a cocktail dress, and perhaps something for formal nights (if your ship has one). But you also need chic and fun cruise clothes — maxi dresses, tank dresses, cute pants, and wearable skirts in your cruise wear wardrobe.

You want to be feeling good as you enjoy shore excursions, casual dinner night, and hitting the casino. You can create a wide range of trendy cruise wear using patterns you may already have in your stash. I’ve assembled some inspirational pieces to give you ideas on how you can easily transform everyday commercial patterns into stunning cruise wear.

You’ve planned your cruise vacation, now you need to plan your cruise outfits!

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1. Cruise Wear — Maxi Knit T-Shirt Maxi Dress

Cozy and stylish, long cotton knit T-shirt dresses are perfect to pack for your next cruise ship wardrobe.

Inspirational Fashion Trend

Cruise Wear
Anna T-Shirt Maxi Dress

All Saints Anna T-Shirt Maxi Dress from Nordstrom has everything you want in a bright, summertime casual dress. The side slit makes walking on all your tours comfy. It is also an area for air circulation. Perfect with dressy sandals or functional sneakers, the maxi T-shirt dress is a cruise wear staple.

Sew The Maxi Knit T-Shirt Maxi Dress

True Bias Pattern
Rio Ringer T-Shirt & Dress with Simplicity 8377 Jacket

The jumping off point for our inspired version is the Rio Ringer Tee from True Bias. By simply lengthening the dress and adding side slits, we have a beautiful and trendy maxi dress ready for a day of exploring or a casual dinner on board.

It will be the best T-shirt pattern you have in your pattern stash.

The Sewing Class

You can view my step by step Rio Ringer T-Shirt Sew Along on Minerva TV.

2. Cruise Wear — Flowy Wide Leg Pants

You don’t have to be tall to wear flowy wide leg pants. As long as the proportion is correct, anyone can pull off this cruise wear trent.

Inspirational Fashion Trend

cruise wear
Wide Leg Silk Pants by Valentino Garavani

These stunning Wide Leg Silk Pants by Valentino Garavani might eat up all of your cruise wear budget at $2,200. Isn’t that why we sew. Garanani’s pants have a wide elastic waist for easy wear.

Sew The Floaty Wide Leg Pants

Simplicity Pattern

From Simplicity 9789, I made the knit, wide leg pants – they are like wearing secret pajamas. Floaty and fun, these beauties will take you out to lunch on a shore excursion or dinner on the ship. You will love the way they move – perfect cruise clothes.

The Sewing Class

View the Sew Along, Simplicity 9789 to make these quick and comfy wide leg pants for everyday, formal nights, and general cruise wear.

3. Cruise Wear — Gathered Skirt

Long skirts with gathering details are fun and trendy. You want your cruise outfits to be fashionable, but they don’t have to be expensive.

Inspirational Fashion Trend

cruise wear
Limani Ruched Midi Skirt

Veronica Beard’s Limani Ruched Midi Skirt offers some interesting style detail amping up the design instead of a simple midi skirt. It has elastane for stretch, making it comfy to wear.

Sew The Gathered Skirt

Simplicity Patterns

Our inspired piece is from Simplicity Pattern 9788 made in an affordable apple green brushed cotton. When you are on vacation, especially a cruise, you need to have clothing that will absorb some of that extra eating and still look great. The tummy ruching is the perfect camouflage.

The Sewing Class

Pop over to my Simplicity Skirt Sew Along where I go over how to make this cute ruched skirt.

4. Cruise Wear — Faux Wrap Dress

I have made two faux wrap dresses already. I do love this dress style, it can go dressy or casual giving it lots of versatility. The faux wrap dress is a great cut for most body types and looks fabulous on many women.

Inspirational Fashion Trend

cruise wear
Faux Wrap Sheath Dress from Kay Unger

I like the idea of this Faux Wrap Sheath Dress from Kay Unger. With a traditional wrap dress I struggle with the front gaping and the ties shifting. With the faux wrap, everything stays put. The surplice front and high back offer coverage and a chic style.

I did eliminate the ruffle on my version, it would be easy to add in, it’s just not in my style book.

Sew The Faux Wrap Dress

My first version was inspired by the deep purple of the ready-to-wear version. I love the peacock feathers and the rayon fabric makes the dress soft and drape beautifully.

The second version is made with a crisp linen, perfect for tropical cruise wear. It is fully lined making it an easy choice for touring or dinner with new friends. This version is fully lined, learn how to ditch the facings with the Add A Lining Pattern Hack.

The Sewing Class

Learn how to eliminate facings and fully line your dress with this Sew Along.

5. Cruise Wear — Casual Pants With Side Slit

Jeans are heavy and hot, not the best option for a beach vacation. When I wear pants, I prefer something light and cool. A pair of pants that can be worn all day and still feel good.

Inspirational Fashion Trend

Stitch Fix

I think a split hem/side slit pant is fun for a warm weather vacation. It’s something out of the ordinary. The inspiration piece for these pants is a pair of striped linen pants from Sanctuary. I got them in one of my Stitch Fix deliveries.

You can get $25 off your first Stitch Fix order through my link — Click here for your discount!

Sew The Casual Pants With Side Slit

Simplicity Pattern

I pretty much replicated the pants out of an affordable lightweight twill from Mood and Simplicity 9785. They didn’t take much work so it’s okay to have them waiting as only cruise wear.

The Sewing Class

To learn how to replicate the split hem, visit my Trendy Side slit video.

Extra Cruise Outfit Piece — Long Shirt

On a recent visit to the French Riviera, women were wearing soft knit, tank top maxi dresses covered with long button down blouses. I fell in love with the ease of wearing these casual and chic outfits. It is easy to create similar items, and you will save some dollars in the process.

Inspirational Fashion Trend

You can sneak a peek into the fashionista style in this How French Women Dress article.

Sew A Long Shirt

It is a simple process to take a tried and true blouse pattern and hack it into a long cover up. Besides looking current and vacation trendy, made out of a natural fiber like this beautiful linen will be cool while keeping the sun off your arms and neck.

The Sewing Class

You can follow along in my how to video to recreate this look for yourself.

Casual Cruise Wear Outfits

I never pack light — I like beautiful dresses and lots of options. From flip flops and a pair of summer shorts to dress shoes and a little black dress, I want to have plenty of choices when I get dressed in the morning, noon, and night. My belief is your vacation suitcase should be packed full of casual cruise wear outfits — options are essential to enjoying your getaway.

I hope your head is spinning with cruise wear ideas, trying to figure out which outfit or outfits will make an appearance hanging in your stateroom closet. Ladies, start your sewing machine engines, save a little cash by designing your own cruise outfits inspired by expensive designer garments. You will be the cutest cruiser on the ship!

Happy Sewing,



Cruise wear


Here is what I know about fashion. Everyone’s taste is different. The opinions expressed here are mine alone. I’m just a girl who loves to sew. Here is a list of some of my favorite tools, techniques, and sources.

21 Tips To Take Your DIY Garment From Homemade To High End

Barrett’s Custom Design YouTube Sew Alongs, tips, tricks, and a few laughs

Sewing With Sandi Etsy Shop filled with patterns and other sewing items

Bernette 38 Sewing Machine

Rowenta Steam Iron for the best finishes

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