Posts tagged maxi

Simple Gathered Maxi Skirt Tutorial

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You may remember that I made a maxi skirt a little while ago. It was so cute and so comfy that I thought I would make another one and I had the perfect fabric just waiting for me (got it from a little local shop – The Fabricker)! It’s seriously like wearing pajama pants in public, but much more attractive (although I’m still not very fond of the name – why ‘maxi’? It sounds like a feminine product). I’ve had a couple of real-life friends ask me how I came up with the pattern, so I thought I would do a little tutorial to show you guys what I did. There are a total of 4 seams (plus one gathering seam) in this skirt so it comes together pretty quick and easy!

salmon maxi skirt

First off, you need:

  • 2 yards of jersey fabric
  • 2″ wide no roll elastic
  • ball point needles
  • scissors
  • thread
  • marker/sewing pencil
  • walking foot (optional but very helpful)
I choose to use a walking foot because it reduces how much I try to push or pull on the fabric. A lot of people are afraid of jersey because of the waviness that can develop when sewing with a stretchy fabric – for me the combination of a ball point needle, zigzag stitch, walking foot and ironing the seams regularly as I go takes care of any waviness. Most importantly, do not push or pull the fabric! Let the jersey feed evenly through your machine. I choose to use a zig zag stitch because it is the best looking stretch stitch from my machine. Your machine may have several stretch stitch options – try them all out on some scrap jersey fabric and see what you like best!

The seam allowances I used were about 1/2″ – I was not very precise as jersey is very forgiving. Back stitch all seams unless otherwise stated.

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You will need your waist measurement (x) and the skirt length measurement (y). Add about 1/2″-1″ to your length measurement to allow for the hem and the attachement of the skirt top to the waist band.

Take your waist measurement and multiple it by 2 – this will allow you to get the gathers at the top of the skirt. You are creating a rectangle that is 2(x) by (y). Check the selvedge of your fabric and make sure to cut off any edges that look bad. The past two jersey fabrics I’ve used have had a glued (?) edge that needed to be removed before I started sewing.

Cut all pieces of fabric.

  • The waist band is 5″ thick by (x) wide.
  • Your skirt body is 2(x) by (y). Here is the easiest way I saw to cut the pieces from the fabric. Lay the fabric out on the fold, selvedge edge to selvedge edge. Cut your length (y) and waistband.
  • You can also cut your elastic to be the length of (x) at this time.
Then sew straight up the open (y) edge to create a tube. This seam will go in the back.

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Next up, the waistband. Fold the fabric in half long-ways and sew up the long side.

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This will create a casing that will just fit the 2″ elastic.

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Bring the short ends together and sew just the inside half of the casing together, allowing for enough room to thread the elastic through.

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Thread the elastic through and overlap. Pin.

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Sew several times so that the elastic lays flat and trim off any excess elastic.

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Pull the waistband so that the elastic lays flat within the casing. Hand sew the opening shut.

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Now to finish the skirt – set your machine to the longest straight stitch and baste, close to the top. Do not backstitch.

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It will look a little wonky when you are done, like this.

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You can see that waistband is much smaller than the top of the skirt, so gently pull the top basting threads, distributing the gathers across the top of the skirt, until…

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The waist band and skirt top are the same width.

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With the skirt still inside out (seam on the outside), place the waist band inside the skirt, with the raw edges matching. Pin.

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Sew, with a zig zag stitch, just below the basted stitch, careful not to catch the elastic. Trim any extra bulk in the seam and iron flat. Hem if desired. I chose to fold the bottom edge up about 1/4″ and zig zag stitched it in place for a clean finish, but since jersey doesn’t fray, this is not a necessary step.

Enjoy your new maxi skirt!

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summer maxi dress

One of my resolutions for this year was to sew some more clothing for myself so when I saw this tutorial for a simple maxi dress, I decided to give it a go. It’s super simple (four seams total + finishing one edge) and would give me some more experience in sewing with jersey fabric. I found some organic cotton jersey on fabric.com, cut out the pieces, fit my sewing machine with a ball point needle and set to work. I ended up deciding to make a few alterations to the tutorial – mainly creating two trapezoid shaped pieces, with a 33″ width on the botton and approximately 26″ width on the top. I wanted less gathering on the top and creating a taper in the shape of the dress accomplished that. I also added a slit on the right side to allow for easy walkability (is that even a word?). Add a belt and it ends up looking pretty polished (just pretend those tan lines aren’t so bad).

Maxi Dress

Simple, but effective. And very comfortable. I gathered quite a bit of the fabric in the back, and I like the effect that it had.

Maxi Dress

And sometimes my shoulders get cold, so I added a little shrug and thought it looked pretty cute that way too.

Maxi Dress

And because I am a bit of an overachiever (and addicted to pinterest), I made the necklace that you see.

Finger Knitting Necklace

It was fun revisiting the ‘finger knitting’ that I grew up making. I never knew what to do with the yards that I used to create, but this seems to be a pretty functional use! I used some hemp string, wooden beads and copper chain that I happened to have just ‘lying around’! I like it better with the thicker chain, but hey, you make do with what you have.

Finger Knitting Necklace

And in case you’re curious to try this out for yourself, here’s the pinterest link to the tutorial.

Source: psimadethis.com via Beth on Pinterest