Tuesday, August 13, 2013

DIY Maxi Skirt

 I haven't been sewing much this summer on account of the fact that I live in my car. It's just not convenient to haul around a sewing machine, which I tried to do initially, but I'd finally given up on actually getting any sewing done. I mean, I have a half-finished quilt that I just haven't had the time or the space to complete. 

But Mama went on a big trip recently, and brought me home a yard or more of fabric from France. Also, I found myself in need of a long skirt. I look taller than I am in real life. People often think I'm 3 to 4 inches taller. But I am not even 5'5". On top of which, I have a short torso. In light of that, I attempt not to cover my legs up too much. But I also know that maxi skirts have been the thing for well over a year now. And I don't have a single one. Most of my skirts and dresses hit me just above the knee. 

I had bookmarked a tutorial last year for a maxi dress over at Sewing in No Man's Land, and just last week, saw another tutorial for a maxi skirt over at Bean in Love. I had already used the circle skirt tutorial by Dana at Made for a couple of skirts I made a few years ago. And because I have a tendency not to follow directions when it comes to cooking and sewing anyway, I thought I'd wing this one too and come up with my very own maxi skirt with the fabric Mama hauled across an ocean and an continent. 

I had an idea that I could use the elastic technique from the circle skirt to make a high waisted maxi skirt. But I couldn't find navy elastic in the width that I wanted. I remembered that Dana also had a tutorial for dyeing elastic on her site. So I got right to work.  

I was very impatient, as I tend to be with these kind of projects. I really shouldn't have started the process when I did, because I only had an hour before I had to get to work. If I were to do this again, I'd let the elastic process in the dye for much longer than one hour. Clearly this isn't navy, as I'd originally hoped for. But I was OK with it. I kind of liked this purple-blue color. 

But as you can see, it faded a lot. It's more of a purple gray color now. I don't dislike it. I just was hoping for something a bit darker. Still, I decided it looked good enough with the fabric to keep it. And I was still debating making a belt or sash out of the same fabric to tie over it. 

Because I don't follow directions, and I watch movies while I sew, the sewing process took longer than I expected. I was concerned about the skirt restricting my stride too. So unlike the other tutorials I saw online, I didn't just sewing the fabric in half. I left a slit in the seam of the fabric, so my legs would have room to move. I then sewed the elastic into a circle. I sewed the top of the skirt to the elastic, and hemmed the bottom of the skirt up. 

This is what the finished product looks like. Apparently it's more difficult than you'd imagine to take a self-portrait with my laptop's camera. So this is the best I can give you. At least the yard where I'm staying this week makes a gorgeous backdrop. Don't you think? 

Now that it's all said and done, I am feeling a bit self-conscious about my ability to pull off the maxi skirt look. What do you all think? It's not too late to alter the skirt. Should I scrap the high-waisted look? Should I sew that sash so it ties around my waist with a bow in the back? Should I hem it up higher? Maybe make it more tea-length? Or below the knee? Tell me what you think? Can short girls wear long skirts?  


  1. You can pull off any look you want. You look beautiful.

  2. Lose the elastic. Doesn't work. Make it tea length. We need to see some leg. Very pretty material though. Good job. And yes, wonderful back drop. Love it.