Today, I’ll be sharing my maxi skirt tutorial!
Since you’re using a jersey or knit material for your skirt. I would highly recommend practicing with some of the scraps. When you feel comfortable with the fabric, keep practicing a little bit more. When I was sewing my skirt, the fabric got stuck under the throat plate – multiple times. Let’s just say that I am now a pro when it comes to removing jammed fabric… as well as taking apart/putting my machine back together again.
I’m not saying that last bit to scare you, but to be completely honest with you. At the same time, it’s not something to be nervous about or get discouraged by. If anything, I actually know more about my sewing machine now and feel more comfortable using it for different projects. I’m already trying to figure out which fabrics to order for my next skirts! These maxi skirts are a great starter project for clothing because they are very forgiving. Even though I botched up the sides a little bit, you’d never know once I’ve put on the skirt and I’m walking about.
Step 1: You’ll first need to cut the fabric to your size. I bought 2 yards so I had enough, plus some extra for another skirt, but you should be okay with that amount as well (you can buy more or less depending on your height as I’m only 5’2″). The easiest way to get the size for the skirt portion is to use another maxi skirt as a template. If you don’t already own one, you can easily figure out what size these pieces need to be.
You will need two pieces for the skirt and two pieces for the band. For the length of the skirt, measure from about an inch below your belly button (or where you’d like your skirt to sit) down to the floor, and then add an inch or two – This will be the length of your skirt. If you’re nervous about the skirt being long enough, make the skirt as long as you want – you can always cut off the excess when you get to step 6. For the top of the skirt, this should your hips (where you want the skirt to sit), divide that number by two, and add one. For the bottom of your skirt, you can go two directions. The first is a less flowy skirt by adding 5 inches to the top of the skirt measurement while the second is adding 10+ inches to the top of the skirt measurement for an option with more flare. I went with the more flare option. For the band width, take your waist measurement, divide by two, and then subtract two inches (otherwise it’ll be too loose). I made my band 10″ long because you end up folding the fabric in half.
Step 2: Sew along the two sides of the skirt. If you have a serger, you can use that. I used the stretch overlock stitch (#16 on my machine), but I also think that a straight stitch would work fine, too. If you’re nervous, you can always go back and do a second stitch next to the first.
Step 3: You’re going to start on the band now. Fold each of the pieces in half (if you’ve used the same measurements as me, the bands should now be 5″ x 10.5″). Once they’re folded, stack them on top of each other and sew along both sides. You’ll now have a wonderful band ready to go! It’s going to look a bit small, so feel free to try it on
Step 4: Attach the band to the top of the skirt. I would highly suggest you pin the band to the stop of the skirt to keep the side seams aligned. The seams for the band should be on the inside of the skirt where the side seams are.
Step 5: If you’ve used a serger for this, then go to step 6. If you haven’t, then you may want to use fold over the extra material to make the band look a little bit neater. I used a single stitch for this so it wouldn’t be so obvious (you can see what I did at the top of the folded band below).
Step 6: Hem the bottom of the skirt and enjoy :)
Some Tips to Remember:
- Pre-wash the fabric before you start using it to avoid shrinking.
- Cut your fabric so that it stretches horizontally. When you pull on the fabric, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
- If the fabric jams in the machine, stay calm and remove the needle, foot, and throat plate. Attempting to pull the fabric out could result in tearing.
Hopefully my tutorial is straight forward enough. I think once you make your first maxi skirt, you’ll be able to pop out a few others fairly quickly. If you have any questions, please feel free to email or comment!