By craft contributor Lauren
I want to marry the person that designed and made maxi skirts trendy (sorry husband). These skirts are the most comfortable thing I have ever worn. They can be dressed up or down, be worn in the summer or winter, and come in just about any color or pattern you can imagine. I probably have a few too many, but when you find something you like and feel great in… run with it!
For a long time I’ve been wanting to experiment with making my own skirts. With one seam and a quick stitch to add some elastic, it seemed like the perfect project for an impatient crafter (me!). We have a vacation planned for Mexico soon too and I wanted to start early and prep some comfy cover ups for our trip. So here is a quick and easy tutorial to sew one of your very own…
Supplies: KNIT fabric (will share how to get your measurements below), a ruler, preferably one with a 90 degree angle to make getting your rectangle pattern easier for you, pencil, scissors, elastic and a sewing machine.
You will also need a large space where you can lay your fabric out flat. Our pool table gets much more crafting action than pool playing.
You will be creating one (or two) large rectangles to create your maxi. Since I was using white fabric, I lined my skirt. So I just made 2 skirts and sewed them together. If you are using a darker color, you will most likely be able to skip this step. So to get your measurements for 1 rectangle do the following:
1. Measure your hips, or where you want your skirt to sit. Multiply that measurement by 1.5. Add 1″ to that measurement for seam allowance. This will be your waistband. For example, If your hip measurement is 35″, multiply by 1.5 getting a measurement of 52.5″, then add 1″ resulting in a final measurement of 53.5″ for the top of your skirt.
2. Measure from your hips (or where you want your skirt to sit) to the floor. Add 1″ to that measurement for seam allowance. For example, from your hip to the floor is 39″, add 1″ resulting in a final measurement of 40″ for the length of your skirt.
With the example measurements I used above, we would be cutting a rectangle piece of fabric that is 52.5″ x 40″. If you are using a light fabric and want to line your skirt, cut 2 rectangles in this size.
Fold your fabric in half as shown above, lengthwise. Then stitch together the back seam (this would be the 40″ sides in example listed above)
If you are lining your skirt, put one layer inside the other and line up the center back seams as shown below. Attach the 2 layers with a stitch at the top of your skirt. This will allow you to better control both layers when creating the space for the elastic in the next step.
Once you have attached your layers, fold the top of your skirt over about 1/2″ to the inside. This will create the “tunnel” or waistband where you will encase the elastic. Sew about 1/2″ down from the fold on the top so you have room to insert and string through your elastic. I used 3/8″ elastic, but if you use bigger/smaller, you can adjust your fold depth accordingly.
After you have made your way around the skirt, stop before you meet the beginning of your first stitch. You need an opening to insert and string through the elastic in the casing. To measure how much elastic you need, wrap a piece tightly around your hips and cut leaving about 1/2″ to sew the ends together. Remember you want this to be tight as it will have to hold the weight of your fabric skirt up. Then, run the elastic through the casing your created.
Using a safety pin is the easiest way to run the elastic through the “tunnel” and all the way around the waistband of the skirt.
When you have both ends through and your waistband is scrunched up as below. Attach the ends of your elastic
Use several strong stitches as this will have a lot of stress on it. You definitely don’t want the stitch on the elastic breaking!
After you finish the elastic, try your skirt on before you sew up the hole where you have access to the elastic. My fabric ended up being VERY heavy with 2 layers, so I went back in and cut out about 3″ of elastic to create a tighter fit around my hips. Once you have the elastic perfectly tailored to the fit you want, sew up that opening you left on the inside of the waistband.
Since you are using a knit fabric, there is no need to hem the bottom, YAY!! You can lay your skirt flat and trim any uneven parts at the bottom.
I have pretty much worn this skirt every day since I made it. Choose the right fabric and you will too, I promise! (ps. if it’s still cold where you are, add some tights underneath… no one will ever know!)
copyright 2013 liz stanley // all rights reserved
Hi there! I'm Liz Stanley. Born and raised a New Yorker, plus a few newlywed years in charming Hoboken, I now live in the fairytale city of San Francisco with my husband and son. This blog is a collection of simple ideas for making your home and life more crafty and stylish. MORE >>>