Thursday, June 2, 2011

DIY Maxi Skirt Tutorial

I LOVE maxi skirts! Layered with a pair of tights, they can be incredibly cosy in winter, yet breezy + light for summer.
I make my sheer maxi skirts, so I thought I'd write up a tutorial so you can give them a crack too! This tutorial can be made with opaque or sheer material- avoid tulle and go for a heavier fabric that will drape with ease. You don't want your skirt to be too stiff.

For measurement, wrap a measuring tape around your waist + write down the centimeters, this will be around how much elastic you need. Always add a little more, you can always cut extra bits off.
To figure out how much material you will need, take the number you got for your waist + multiply it by 4. If you want a fuller skirt, multiply by 5.
This will be how many centimeters of material you will need!

Please note, at the time that I shot this tutorial, I didn't have enough spare material to make a full sized skirt, so I made a miniature one out of a heavy linen material. Linen/denim/heavy canvases are NOT the best for this kind of thing, to avoid boxy looking skirts, aim for lighter materials that drape, like cotton jersey/sheer mesh etc.

You will need:

- Your material
- Your elastic
- Dressmaking berry pins
- Handsewing needle + thread
- Sharp scissors

How to:

1. Take your material + lay it out with the side you will wear inside facing up. Lay the elastic across the material, 

making sure to fold enough material over the elastic, with room to spare.

2. Pin into place with dressmaking berry pins, taking care to be close to the elastic without sticking through it.

3.Thread the needle + sew the first stitch as close to the elastic as possible, without sewing through it. Avoid making the same mistake as me, by sewing the first stitch from the front to back, so the threads will appear on the inside of the skirt.

4. Sew up the elastic, as you need that end not to move. I used white thread so I could show you guys what I was doing, but obviously if you don't want your sewing to show, use a similarly coloured thread to your material.

5. Continue sewing across, forming a pocket for the elastic. Please excuse my hand sewing skills- they are not the best, but they seem to do okay :D
Remove the pins as you go, as they will only tangle in your work.

6. In order to fit all the material on your elastic, you will need to ruche as you go. Just push the material towards the stitched end. If you were careful enough + made sure not to sew through the elastic, it should ruche with ease.

7. Once you've squished all the fabric on the skirt, sew into place on the elastic, and trim excess bare elastic, except around 1cm for sewing allowance. 

8. Fold each side of the skirt up + pin 1cm away from the hem. Sew along the skirt- I used a very basic stitch, but you can use whatever you like. A sewing machine would obviously be the best choice for this project, but it CAN be hand sewn with a bit of patience!
Once the skirt is sewn, overlap the extra 1cm of elastic on the waistband + sew into place. Turn the skirt right-side-in and...

Viola! Your very own, handmade maxi skirt! Congratulations + well done, you! There are not many feelings on earth that come close to the feeling of finally finishing a DIY project! Maxi skirts can be worn with damn near anything- team with a blazer + plain singlet for a done up look, or wear with warm leggings and your favourite coat to stay cuddly in winter. The options are endless! :D

I'd love to see pictures of what you come up with- do send them my way! If you have any questions, don't hesitate in dropping me a line :)

Happy crafting!



  1. Thank you, you've given me something to do this week. Can't wait to try it out! x

  2. Do you think this will work with a satin-y type material? I've got an idea in mind for my look book but I need to make the skirt and I was thinking light blue satin. what do you think?