Maxi Skirt Tutorial

the maxi skirt tutorial
The Maxi Skirt. They’re everywhere right now. They’re long, they’re flowing, and the best part is they’re comfortable. They bring a feminine bohemian vibe that I can’t resist.
Anthro sells a couple of styles that I love here and here (if only I could rock horizontal stripes like the model):

But for around $100, why not make 5 of your own? My very stylish little sister Audy asked me to make a Maxi Skirt tutorial (she’s one of those people we all hate that can rock horizontal stripes). And since I might not have been cool enough to think of it on my own otherwise, I’m glad she did so I can share it with all of you! I hope you make a few of your own — I can’t wait to make another skirt in a print!

Materials Needed:
(affiliate links below)
1.5-2 yards 60″ wide knit fabric (hip measurements greater than 38″ will need closer to 2 yards)
2″ wide elastic (for measurement see below)
Ballpoint needle

Pieces to Cut:
From Elastic:
Pull elastic around waist how you’d like to it sit in the finished skirt, add 1/2″ to that length, and cut.
From Knit Fabric (write your measurements as you follow along and you’ll have your fabric cut in no time!):
For the waistband, cut a piece of knit fabric that is approximately 6″ longer than the length of your elastic and 5″ wide. Before cutting, double check that that length will stretch enough to comfortably be pulled over your hips, and cut extra length if needed.
Next, decide how long you want the skirt to be.  Measure from where the bottom of the waistband will sit to the floor, or just above, depending if you want your maxi skirt to hit the floor or not. Divide that number by 3. Add 1″ to that measurement to allow for 1/2″ seam allowances.  That will be the length of the top two panels of the skirt.

The bottom panel will be 1″ longer than the top two to allow for a 1.5″ hem allowance.

To determine the width of each panel, take your hip measurement and add 2-4″ for ease and seam allowance, depending on how tight you want the skirt to sit on your hips. I only added 2″ to my hip measurement because my fabric was very slinky had quite a bit of stretch.  If your fabric has less stretch, you may want to add up to 4″ for ease and seam allowance. That will be the width of your top panel.

For the middle panel, add 10″ to the width of the top panel, and add another 10″ in width to the middle panel for the bottom panel (bottom panel will be 20″ wider than top panel). If the width of your bottom panel needs to be greater than 60″, just divide the width you need by two, add 1″ to that measurement for seam allowance, and cut two pieces that size. Right sides together, stitch the two pieces together along one short end of each, and treat it as one piece from here on.

Note: This skirt is VERY forgiving, so if your fabric allows to only add 8″ in width for each panel without piecing the bottom panel, or you want a more flared skirt and want to add a couple extra inches, go ahead. This is one of those few projects where you can alter the measurements a bit (excluding the length, of course!) and your skirt will still turn out great.

Here’s an example of what a person with 38″ hips and a desired length of 36″ from the bottom of the waistband would need to cut for the panels:

Top Panel: 13″x40″
Middle Panel: 13″x50″
Bottom Panel: 14″x60″


A Few Notes Before You Begin:

  • All Seam allowances are 1/2″.
  • When sewing with knits, always use a ballpoint needle.
  • I would normally use a serger when sewing knits, but wrote this tutorial with the assumption that you don’t have one. If you have a serger — use it!  It will work great.  If not, the great thing about knits is that the edges don’t fray, so finishing seam allowances isn’t necessary.
  • If not using a serger, set your stitch length a bit longer than normal (2.5-3 on my machine), or use a very narrow zig zag stitch with a medium stitch length. A lot of machines also have a “stretch stitch” setting which also works great.

1. Overlap ends of elastic 1/2″ and stitch together using a zig zag stitch, forming a loop.

 2. Right sides together, fold waistband fabric in half, and matching short ends. Stitch together along raw edges, forming a loop.
3. Wrap waistband around elastic and pin in place (the more pins the merrier – it will also help in the next step to stretch the waistband fabric enough so you can pin it without catching any elastic), matching raw edges.
4. Stitch raw edges of waistband together around the entire loop. As you stitch, you’ll need to stretch the waistband fabric gently and be careful to not catch the elastic in your stitches.
5. Fold top panel of skirt in half, right sides together, and matching short ends. Stitch together along raw edges. Repeat with middle and bottom panels.
6. Mark middle and quarter points on panels and waistband by using a marking pen, pins, or gently pressing the fabric in half and then in half again. Pin one raw edge of top panel to waistband raw edge, right sides together, and matching marks. The top panel will be larger in circumference than the waistband. Stitch waistband to top panel along pinned raw edges, stretching the waistband to match the circumference of the top panel as you stitch.
7. Using a low setting on your iron, gently press seam allowance toward top panel and topstitch on top panel 1/4″ below seam.
8. Right sides together, pin one raw edge of middle panel to bottom edge of top panel, matching raw edges and marks. The middle panel will be larger in circumference than the waistband.  Stitch the two pieces together along raw pinned edges, stretching top panel as you stitch to match the circumference of the bottom panel.
 9. Using a low setting on your iron, gently press seam allowance toward middle panel and topstitch on middle panel 1/4″ below seam.
Note: I experimented with gathering the top edge of each panel rather than stretching the smaller piece to fit the larger piece, but ultimately decided that I liked the look better without the gathering. You could try gathering each panel if you’d like, but remember to remove the gathering stitch after sewing pieces together since it won’t stretch with the gathers like you’ll need it to :).
10. Attach bottom panel to middle panel and topstitch using same method as described in steps 8-9.
11. Try your skirt on to double check that the length will be as desired (plus 1.5″). Turn bottom edge 1.5″ to wrong side and stitch in place with two rows of stitching.
Congratulations On Your Finished Maxi Skirt! You are done!
Be sure to show off your skirts in the Sew Much Ado Flickr Group!
I’ll be linking up to some of my favorite linky parties!

Jersey Ruffle Scarf Tutorial.

I wish I could say it’s too late in the season for this tutorial, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be. I’ve been wanting to make a jersey knit scarf all season (mainly because when I’ve seen them in the stores I think about how easy they would be to make and can’t bear to spend $20 on one scarf), and have been so inspired by all the ruffles around lately (have you seen Dana’s Turkey Skirtnow renamed Can-Can Skirt?), so I decided to put the two together and create a ruffle scarf!

This tutorial will guide you through the steps to make your own ruffly (cause that is a word, spellchecker even said so) jersey knit scarf that will keep you looking cute and staying warm. It has exposed raw edges and is super comfy around your neck. It can easily be completed from start to finish in a couple of hours, even if you are a beginner!

Materials Needed:
2.5 yd jersey knit (14″x84″piece)
*2.5 yd of 60″ fabric will make 3 scarves*

Pieces to cut from jersey knit fabric:
Cut 2: 7″x70″ pieces for scarf body

Cut 2: 5″x14″ pieces for ruffles

*ensure that greatest degree of stretch is along 5″ side (width wise) rather than 14″ side (lengthwise) for these pieces — or ruffles will be “flat”*

1. Using a basting stitch (longest stitch length on your machine), stitch down 14″ side of one 5″x14″ piece, 1/2″ from edge. Leave threads at beginning and end of stitch lines long. Stitch again 1″ from first stitch line. Continue stitching lines 1″ apart across width of fabric. The last stitch line will be 1/2″ from edge, just as the first stitch line. You should have stitched 5 lines total.

2. Cut in between each set of two stitch lines, forming 5 strips 1″x14″.

3. Pin one strip to right side of one 7″x70″ piece as pictured. One end of strip will be along edge of long piece 8″ from the bottom, and other end will match up with bottom of long piece.

4. Pin middle of strip 4″ from bottom of long piece.

5. Pulling on TOP threads only, gather one end of strip up to the middle pin. Repeat with other end, and tie loose threads of strip to secure gathers. Even out gathers and pin in place.

6. Stitch gathered piece to long piece, following baste stitch line.

7. Repeat steps 4-7 with another strip and opposite edge of long fabric piece. Repeat steps 4-7 again, placing the strip in the middle of the first two gathers. Lastly, repeat steps 4-7 again, placing last two strips in middle of edge and middle gathered strips.

8. Repeat steps 4-8 with other end of long fabric piece.

9. Pin long jersey knit pieces WRONG sides together, matching ends and sides. Raw edges should be visible after two pieces are stitched together.

10. Stitch 1/4″ from edge down length of pinned pieces on each side. When stitching near ruffles along sides, lift ruffles to the side and stitch underneath.

11. Stitch 1/4″ from edge along ends of pinned pieces, stitching over top of ruffles.

12. Try on your new scarf and go show it off! Great work!