I have been wearing lots of maxi dresses of late but wanted some maxi skirts because dresses sometimes make me feel BLAH as minimal thought goes into getting ready in the mornings! Although that can be a godsend on busy days. At least with separates you can make it interesting and change a look more easily.
After confessing on my last few posts that I don’t like to draft patterns, surprise! I drafted a maxi skirt pattern. My theory was that I couldn’t go too wrong. The fabric I used was royal blue premium faille (100% polyester). For some reason I bought the same fabric on two separate occasions and can’t remember exactly why. Oops should have straightened myself up!!
I followed this tutorial by Melissa Esplin to make my basic pattern.
I added the usual 5/8 inch seam allowances and allowed 3/4 inch ease at the waistline. My waistband was the length of my waist with an additional 2 inches and 5/8 seam allowances at both ends and a width of 3 inches. Ideally next time I will cut it so there is a front and back waistband to allow for curvature of the body rather than one long strip, not sure why I didn’t just do that to start with.
I measured down from my waist to hip and added 2 3/4 inch ease here along with my hip measurement and 5/8 seam allowance (not shown in diagram). I did a fare amount of research when calculating the amount of ease and looked at the Big 4 ease charts but ended up with this summary for myself and I normally tend to wear more fitted or semi-fitted clothing:
- Bodice: 1 1/2″ – 2″ wearing ease at bust
- Dress: 3/4″ – 1″ wearing ease at waistline
- Skirts and Pants: 1/2″ -3/4″ wearing ease at waistline
- All garments: 2″ – 2 3/4″ wearing ease at hips
I just estimated the length of the skirt and that’s why it turned out a bit shorter than I would have liked but I did the length plus 2 inches and drew a vertical and angled line as shown. My pattern piece wasn’t quite as curved at the hem as is shown but I think it was something like an additional 15 inches of flare (in addition to the hip/4) at the hem which was the length of the line from the left vertical to right angled line.
Essentially you can use this formula for flare/fullness:
- slight flare: 1.5 x hip measurement
- medium flare: 2 x hip measurement
- very flared: 3 x hip measurement
I decided to add a back seam zipper as I think with this fabric I may have got some buckling at the side seam. I used an 8 inch (20 cm) royal blue invisible zip for the closure. I first attached my waistband to the skirt and then installed the zip such the zip went up to the top of the waistband. Originally I was planning on adding a hook and eye but didn’t leave enough room in the end. The waistband facing was turned under on the inside and hand stitched down.
I finished all seams with french seams including the back seam using the tutorial from Handmade by Carolyn. I did however first serge the back seam of both pieces so that the edges under the zipper tape were secure and neat. I also added a 1 inch wide strip of interfacing to both back centre pieces where the zip was inserted to provide extra support. It does show on one side though and therefore isn’t as pretty on the inside as I would have liked.
I didn’t line my skirt but would probably wear a slip underneath because it may be slightly sheer in the sunlight. I probably should have let the skirt hang for a few days before doing the rolled hem but I was eager to finish it after having made a number of kids projects in a row to self-imposed deadlines.
This project is really a quick make and goes with many of my orphan tops. I wish it was maybe an inch or two longer and I MIGHT play around with adding darts to the back next time to get a better fit and in seam pockets, which would possibly make it the perfect maxi skirt. Not to mention that it fits in perfectly with my SWAP 2015.