15 January 2012

Maxi Skirt…everyone should have one (or five)

I recently posted a picture onto Pinterest.  It’s a Maxi skirt by Splendid.  I commented that I was going to make it, and had the most repins of anything I’ve ever put up.  My concern was that there were going to be some who thought it was a link to a tutorial…and it’s not.  But it is currently on sale for about $40…I’m too cheap for that.

BUT, maxi skirts have got to be close to the easiest things you can throw together so I thought I would put up my own tutorial.  I’ve made 2 so far and they took about a half hour each and 1-2 metres of material.
PLUS, it turns out I’ve got a baby growing in my belly, so these skirts are going to be my stylish, comfortable go-to skirt for the next several months.

This skirt is all about stretchy, so find yourself some nice stretch material…I got mine for $3/metre and it’s light and VERY stretchy
First, decide how big to make the waste (I wear mine around my hips, so that is where I took the measurements) .  It will depend on how stretchy your material is and how big your waste (hips) is.  You can just wrap some around your waste and stretch it a bit so it fits comfortably.  My hips are 39 inches and the waste of the skirt is 32 inches to give you an idea.

I made the waste panel first and decided I wanted it to be pretty long like in the Splendid skirt, and also because of being preggers.  So I cut it 18 inches (it’s going to be folded in half, so keep that in mind, cut yours as long or short as you like).
waste long

I cut mine 18 (long) x 32 (wide) – don’t forget to add seam allowance.  Make sure when you cut, the stretchiest direction (if there is one) is horizontal.  Then  fold so right sides are together (making the fabric 18x16) and stitch.  Then you can fold it in half the other way so wrong sides are together. 
I put it on at this point where I was going to wear it and measured from the bottom of the material to the floor to figure out how long to make the skirt panels.  Again, don’t forget seam allowance and hem if you intend on doing a hem (I didn’t do a hem).

Next I cut my panels for the skirt…you’ll need two
skirt panels

Make the top of the panel the same as your waist.  So because you have two panels, each panel will be half the measurement of your waist.  I also wanted the back panel to be more full so I cut it into more of an ‘A’ shape.

The front panel measured 16 inches at the top, 35 inches long and about 20 at the bottom, the back panel was 16 at the top and about 31 at the bottom…add as much or as little fullness as you want to the front and back (plus seam allowance).  Then put the two panels together right sides facing and stitch both sides.  
Now it’s time to finish it off.
put together

Put the skirt panels inside the waste (right sides together).  In the above photo I have the waist unfolded, but you’ll want to have it folded (wrong sides together) and pin in place (lining up seams).  Make sure when you stitch this part you use a stretch stitch or at least a zigzag stitch…and stitch away.   YOUR DONE.  You can wear these skirts as a dress as well…my only problem with that is I’ve got very full hips, but a small bust so it’s a bit loose on top as a dress…

I made the pink top as well, it’s very simple as well…if you are interested in a tutorial let me know…or I might just do one anyways!
I would live in these skirts if it wasn’t so hot at the moment!!


vikkib said...

Looks great Shawna! Can you tell me if you used a normal machine or an overlocker? I have tried sewing stretch on my machine using a zigzag stitch but it never quite looks right. Does it have to be a really long stitch? I always worry it will come undone if it is too long.
Anyway great work, sewing for yourself saves a load of money and is so much fun (once you've ironed out the bugs in the pattern). I'm going to give your pattern a go. I bought a stretch skirt in a size to fit me the other day, it is similar but the top part comes down in a V shape front & back and then the botton fits into the spaces left by the V. Looks great but I only bought it because it was on sale at $39.95 there is no way I would have paid the $126 it was originally. Might make a nice change using the same material.

Shawna said...

I just used my sewing machine (still dreaming about owning an overlocker)but I've got a zigzag stretch stitch on my machine that works really well. I think if you use a regular zigzag you make it fairly spread out. Your best bet would probably be (if you don't have a stretch stitch on your machine) to try a few different size zigzags at different widths on some extra fabric and see what it does with it.

Twyla Gariepy said...

Great skirt! I'd love to see how you made the top.

Tatiana said...

Nice top, please post a tutorial as well! I loved the skirt!

Unknown said...

I dont get the end of ur tute for the maxi skirt ? where is it that you stitch to join it all together....is it my brain...I HAVE TO MAKE THIS :)

Thank you so much


Shawna said...

Hi Marilyn, I'm sure it's not your brain :) Some things are hard to explain just by writing them down, but I'll do my best. If you've got the 2 skirt panels sewn together and you've got the waist done, just make sure you've got the waist folded in half (in my example the waist would then be 9x32 - wrong sides together) so you've got a double thickness. Then you need the raw edges of the waist to line up with the top of the skirt. To do this you put the skirt inside the waist (imagine if you put a finished skirt on and then folded the waist down over the skirt). So your waist is upside down while you sew. After you stitch you should be able to pull the waist up to right side up and the stitching you did will be on the inside of the skirt.

I hope this helps! If you are still confused just start the skirt and you will probably be able to figure it out when you have the pieces in front of you!

Let me know when you get it finished or let me know if you need further help because these skirts are awesome and I'd hate for someone to have to go without!

Sara Nass said...

Thanks for this super simple tutorial! I made one for myself and am currently working on one for my friend! Love it!

Shawna said...

That's great Sara! I'm glad you found it easy to understand!