I really really love wearing maxi skirts. Anything that looks sorta fancy or put together, but feels like I could wear it to bed, is great in my book. (Yes, that means I wear yoga pants a lot more often than I ought to.)
Really, I can’t believe how much maxi skirts can cost in stores, because this skirt only took me about twenty minutes to complete and was really easy. All the seams are easy seams, and the shape is pretty simple. I found this fabric at a thrift store for fifty cents! It was the perfect material for this project… It has enough stretch to be comfortable, but no so much that it’s hard to sew. I recommend finding a cotton fabric with a little spandex or lycra in it. Usually, cotton jersey fabrics will do the trick. If you buy fabric online, usually the description will tell you if the fabric has some stretch. Just be aware, if you buy fabric that is really, really stretchy, it’s hard to sew without some ruching occurring.
- 1 1/2 to 2 yards of stretch cotton fabric
- coordinating colored thread
- sewing machine
- bodycon skirt for tracing shape
Begin by laying your fabric flat on the floor, doubled up. I find that instead of trying to measure with a measuring tape and adding a half inch and whatnot, it’s easiest to use a skirt that I already know fits well to trace the shape of. I used a bodycon skirt because I wanted my maxi skirt to be slightly curve-hugging. So, using a thigh length bodycon skirt, I laid it on top of the doubled up fabric with the top of the skirt matching up with the top edge of the fabric. You can use chalk to trace your shape on before cutting, but I was feeling brave and went straight for my scissors. I cut about a half to three quarters of an inch on either side of the bodycon skirt, and cut an ‘A’ shape so that the skirt would slightly flare out from the hips down. I laid down on top of the fabric to see how long it needed to be. Really. This is how I taught myself how to sew when I was a kid. I’ve only used an actual pattern twice, and found it terrible confusing. Make sure you reserve enough fabric to be able to make two pieces of fabric that are 7 inches wide and half the length around your waist plus an inch.
Once the fabric is cut, fold the bottom hem over and sew a seam about a half inch from the edge. Do this for both the front and back halves of the skirt.
Lay the fabric so that the patterned side of each half face each other. Line up the finished bottom hems and pin the sides. Sew along the edge, leaving about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch along the edge. At this point, I like to slide the skirt on and make sure it fits me in the hips. It’s easier to make adjustments before the waistband is sewn on.
Using the fabric remaining, cut two pieces of fabric that are 7 inches wide and half the length around your waist plus an inch. Fold each piece of the fabric the long way (hot dog style- thanks elementary school for specifying folds as either ‘hot-dog’ or ‘hamburger’ style), pattern side in. Sew along the raw edges so that you create a flattened tube.
Turn these tubes right side out, and lay one on top of the other, matching the raw seams on the ends. Sew the raw seams on the ends, about 1/4 to a 1/2 inch along the edge. Try this waist band on, making sure it will fit tightly enough to keep your skirt up. My waist is a bit smaller than my hips, so I had to adjust mine a few times, and actually sew a diagonal seam so that the fabric would be tighter on top than on bottom.
Once your waistband fits comfortably, trim the excess fabric, about a half inch from the seam.
This is the hardest part of the whole skirt. Turn the skirt pattern side out. Turn the waistband inside out. Tuck the waistband down inside the skirt about an inch. If you had to sew a diagonal seam to better fit the waistband to your waist, the wider part of the waistband should be on top. Pin the skirt to the waistband. At this point, I tried it on to make sure the length would be right. You can see that I had to pull the skirt up higher to shorten the overall length of the skirt. Once the waistband is pinned inside the skirt, sew waistband into the skirt. You should only have about an inch of the waistband tucked inside the skirt. If you have any excess fabric from the skirt that you didn’t trim off before attaching the waistband, do so now.
Trim excess threads…. Wear and enjoy!!