Maxi Madness-Part 2

DIY: How to Sew a Maxi Skirt

How hard is it to make your own maxi skirt? Relatively easy. Whether you want to learn to make one yourself because you can’t find any that fit your body correctly, don’t like the fabrics in the stores, or just because you want to try something new, this tutorial will guide you through the basic steps. I will first show you a beginner level maxi skirt design and a second  design with the added difficulty of sewing in pockets. Whether you are new to sewing or more experienced, this guide will be helpful not only for sewing maxi skirts but also for working with knit fabrics.

Before beginning this tutorial, go to the store and choose your fabric. I prefer using knit fabrics for maxi skirts because they’re comfy, prevent wrinkling, and drape beautifully. However, the project can also be done with a lightweight woven fabric.

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Project 1: Simple, straight maxi skirt with an elastic waistband

Materials:

  • 1 3/4 yards of knit 60″ fashion fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Water soluble pen for marking
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing Machine/ Serger
  • 1″ elastic
  • Maxi skirt pattern

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Begin with the sketches we created in yesterday’s tutorial, Maxi Madness- Part 1. This will serve as the inspiration for your project.

To start the project, you will need to record your measurements. If you need tips for taking accurate measurements see my Sewing 101 guide in Resources. The waist measurement is the most important in this project as it is the basis for creating your size. To get a pattern for a maxi skirt, you can simply buy a pattern or you can access the exact pattern I drafted in my Patterns Tab. You will be able to see the measurements and shapes I used to create the same pattern for your body!

Layout the pattern pieces strategically on the fabric and make sure the grain lines are parallel to the salvage. I find it helpful to pin the pattern pieces onto the fabric to avoid shifting. Cut out all of the pieces from the fabric you chose. In this project, you should have a waistband and two skirt pieces. When cutting, be sure to cut any notches and transfer any marking. This pattern is fairly straightforward and you likely won’t need any notches or markings.

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Step 1

The first step in the sewing process is to start with the two skirt pieces and sew down each side. There is no back or front on this style but be sure you are sewing with right sides of the fabric together (meaning the seam is on the inside). I used a serger sewing machine to create an overlock stitch. Serging works best for knit fabrics because it prevents the stitches from breaking and the fabric from stretching out. This type of stitch will allow the garment to move and stretch naturally. A serger also cuts, stitches, and finishes the seams all in one stroke.

If you do not have a serger, I would recommend using a ball point needle on a regular sewing machine. A regular needle for woven fabrics will pierce through your jersey fabric and create tears. I would also recommend using a zig-zag stitch to finish the edges.

Step 2

Take the waistband piece and sew the end together. Then, measure a piece of elastic an inch shorter than the waistband so that it will stretch and stay up tightly on the body. Sew the ends of the elastic together.

Step 3

Fold the waist band in half with the seam on the inside. Put the elastic inside the folded waistband and match up the seams. Make sure you put the elastic right up to the top of the folded edge and leave excess seam allowance at the bottom where it will be attached to the skirt.

collar

Step 4

Match the edge of the folded waistband (with the elastic inside) with the top edge of the skirt and match up seams. Pin in place if needed. Sew the waist band all the way around the skirt, stretching the elastic as you go to evenly ease in the extra fabric on the waistband. If you do not stretch it, puckers and gathers will be created and it will look messy. Also, be careful not to catch the elastic in the sewing machine as that will prevent it from stretching properly.

waisyband

The finished waistband should look smooth from the right side of the garment.

hem

Step 5

Hem your skirt to cover the raw edge and to make it the correct height for your body. The picture above, is a coverstitch made on a serger, one inch from the bottom edge.

If you do not have a serger, there are several options for finishing the hem. A twin needle for a regular sewing machine will copycat this look. Another option is to slipstitch the hem it by hand using a hand sewing needle. Lastly, a single needle, simple sewing machine hem with the same ballpoint needle will easily do the trick.

Step 6

Press the hem, waistband, and seams flat. Be careful not to set the iron setting too high as knit fabric has synthetic materials in it and can be fragile.

Project 2: Circle maxi skirt with elastic waistband and pockets.

Materials:

  • 6 yards of knit 60″ fashion fabric (this a minimum amount, as the yardage will depend on your height and waist measurement)
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Water soluble pen for marking
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing Machine/ Serger
  • 1″ elastic
  • Maxi skirt pattern

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Again, you will need to record your measurements. If you need tips for taking accurate measurements see my Sewing 101 guide in Resources. The waist measurement is the most important in this project as it is the basis for creating your size. To get a pattern for a full circle maxi skirt, you can simply buy a pattern or you can access the exact pattern I drafted in my Patterns Tab. You will be able to see the measurements and shapes I used to create your own pattern.

Layout the pattern pieces and cut out all of the pieces from the fabric you chose. In this project, you should have a waistband, two skirt pieces, and 4 pocket pieces. When cutting, be sure to cut any notches and transfer any marking, especially for the pocket pieces on this project.

Step 1

Straight stitch one pocket piece to the side of the skirt with right sides together, matching the notches. Do the same with the mirrored piece. This will create one pocket.

Repeat to create the second pocket.  There are a total of four sides and four pocket pieces.

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Step 2

Line up two pocket pieces that mirror each other as closely as you can, matching the seams. Stitch along the whole edge of the pocket with right sides together.

Repeat for the second pocket.

Step 3

Once the pockets are finished, match up the side seams of the skirt. Stitch from the top of the pocket, with the seams matched, all the way up to the top. Stitch from the bottom of the pocket all the way down to the bottom. The area of the pocket will be left open.

Repeat for the second side seam. You have just finished creating hidden pockets! The pockets will add so much versatility to the garment.

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Follow the techniques in steps 2-6 from the first project to finish the garment.

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This the inside of the garment with all of the finishing touches completed.

Congrats! You’ve completed your first sewing tutorial! You should have one or both skirts completed now! Were you able to follow along? The final step of this tutorial is to wear it! I would love to hear read comments and feedback about this project.

Stayed tuned tomorrow, for Maxi Madness- Part 3, to check out how I styled my maxi skirt! Learn my style tips and tricks for wearing maxi skirts in the fall season.

XOXO

 

 

3 thoughts on “Maxi Madness-Part 2

    1. I really appreciate your feed back! I’d be happy to answer any questions if you decide to try one. Also, I love your blog and personal style!

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