Makin' Maxis

You might recall that I have a maxi skirt conundrum... I love them, but have had trouble finding one that isn't way too long, way too expensive, or way too ugly. So, I took matters into my own hands and decided to make my own.

I really love to sew, but I'm not really a pattern kind of girl. I much prefer to come up with my own ideas and figure out how to make them work. But, since maxi skirts are super popular right now, I figured I could probably find a tutorial online {work smarter, not harder... that's what I learned in college!}. 

And, I did! I found this tutorial from Sew Caroline and it's sooo easy! Which is awesome, because I had never sewn knit before and I wanted to start simple. My results: 

Super cute, super simple. I would definitely recommend this tutorial! Especially if you're like me and are a first timer in the knit department.

Though I was definitely satisfied with my results, I wasn't super pleased with how the waist turned out. I really like the idea of having a band around the waist and I didn't love how bunchy mine was with the elastic... so, since I had bought enough fabric for THREE maxi skirts, I thought it would be fun to try making one on my own.

Before I get started, I'll warn you that this is my very first tutorial, so it might not be very good!! :) And if there is anything that is too confusing, please let me know so I can try to make it better {or at least do better next time}, just tell me nicely! Please.

Also, you should seriously try Caroline's version first, because it is definitely less complicated and still super cute. 

Ok, here goes...

Necessary Supplies: 
Sewing machine and thread {obviously}
Enough knit fabric to cover your waist to ankles {as explained in the tutorial mentioned above}. Since I'm short I only needed about a yard, but normal people would need a little more. :) 
Additional knit fabric to go around your waist {you can probably use the excess yardage from the fabric above}
Ball-tipped Needle... trust me on this!

Step 1: 
Wrap your fabric around your waist {like you're using it as a swim suit cover}, but make sure it is even at the bottom {so you don't measure it crooked}. Also, since it's knit, don't pull it too tight.

Step 2: 
Continue wrapping till you get to your bellybutton or to the opposite hip {this will determine how bunchy it is at the top/ flowey at the bottom}. I chose to stop at my bellybutton. 

Pin the fabric at the stopping point and trim away the excess. I trimmed off 6-8 inches.

Step 3: 
Baste the top of the skirt. It doesn't really matter which side you consider the top {unless there is a pattern that should obviously go one way or the other}. 

Also, since knit tends to stretch, make sure that your top is even {this was easy for me to do since I was using a stripe pattern, I simply basted down the first full stripe}.

When you have basted the entire length, you will pull one of the end strings as you carefully bunch the fabric. I didn't get a picture of this, sorry!
{Yes, those are both supposed to say 5... I didn't know how to document this step}
Step 4: 
This is where the waist band comes in... Use another piece of knit fabric {knit is stretchy, so you won't need elastic} and measure it around your waist. Make sure you leave about an inch extra for your seam allowance 

Step 5: 
This is where it might get confusing... I didn't really know how to take pictures of this step. 
Anyway...  Pin the basted end of the fabric {striped} to the top of the waist fabric {gray}, right sides together. This means that once you've sewn the pieces together and flip the waist fabric up, you'll have a clean, hidden seam. 

Does that make any sense at all?!?! Hope so.

{so sorry about the fuzziness here}
This is what it should look like when you have the waist piece finished. Does this picture make it easier to understand?? 
Yikes... I'm bad at this tutorial business. How am I a teacher?! It's easier in person...

{Pardon my nasty apartment carpet...}
Step 6:
Now that you have this long, pretty piece of fabric, the hard part is over! You'll simple fold the fabric lengthwise {again, right sides together} and sew down the side to make a big tube. 

Tip: Since we're not using elastic, I would recommend sewing the waist a little smaller than you would think. I ended up doing a double seam to make it a little bit more snug. 

Step 7 {optional}: Now that your skirt is a skirt, you can either leave the waist band long {so it can be folded-- or go over a pregnant belly} or you can fold it in half and hem the edges. Since I definitely do not have a pregnant belly and I wasn't loving the long band, I decide to hem mine, but honestly, if you know you want to do this from the beginning, I would hem it before you sew up the side {in other words, make this Step 6}.

Also, since I knew this stitch would probably be at least somewhat visible, I did a top stitch so I could make sure it was nice and straight along the waist.

Your reward for making it through this extremely slightly confusing tutorial {if you actually made it through}: A super cute maxi skirt!

I'm not saying this is the best {or easiest} way to make a maxi skirt, but it was fun trying it on my own. And since I was pleased with the results, I thought I'd share with you. :) 

Since I still have fabric for a third skirt I think I'm going to try this tutorial next. It seems a lot like the one I made, but with a thick elastic band! Great idea, right?! I'll let you know how it turns out. 

Let me know if you try making any of these for yourself {even if it's not my version}, I'd love to see what fabrics you chose and how you chose to style it!

Also, if you do happen to make a skirt that is as sheer as the one I made, please wear a slip!! You know, those silky white things? The world will thank you {and you won't have any little old ladies giving you nasty glares}. :)


  1. You are the best! Love this. I wanna make one now!

  2. Well done!! Looks great!

    1. Thanks Jordan! I didn't know you had a blog... I love your header!

  3. Impressive!!!!!!!!!!!! That top one.......blue and black color combo is so cute. And there's that cute hair again!

  4. That's awesome! I might have to try this!