Mia Knit Maxi Skirt by Sinclair Patterns

The title might be a bit deceiving as this pattern isn’t just for a maxi skirt. The newest release by Sinclair Patterns, the Mia knit maxi, also comes in a midi length, which is the version I tested*.

The skirt itself is fitted at the waist and hips and slightly flared below. There are optional side slits and a few options for the waistband with either a self lined contoured yoga style standard or draped (pleated) waistband. Another design element is that it can be cut on bias with the center front and center back seam, really effective for striped fabric.

The fabric requirement is quite minimal if you go for a midi version and I used some black stash fabric which feels a bit like a rayon knit and I made mine in a size 6 with no adjustments to the pattern. I also went for the self lined yoga waistband, I’m all about comfort. I chose to add in the optional side slits, I thought walking ease would be better. Like all Sinclair Patterns, the files are available in regular, petite and tall sizes.

US0-US22 / UK8-UK26
PETITE 152-160 cm /5 1” – 5 3”
REGULAR 162-170 cm / 5 4” – 5 6”
TALL 170-178 cm / 5 7” – 5 9”

     

This is a relatively quick sew with a really nice outcome. It’s beginner friendly and instructions are really clear and thorough with lots of extra information. Essentially, sew up your desired waistband, then the skirt side seams and attach said waistband to skirt. Fabric type will also determine the seasonality of the skirt from a lightweight knit for warmer months to something a bit thicker for the cooler.

Although the weather is quite cold here at the moment the skirt hasn’t had much wear, this weekend I plan to test drive it with some tights and ankle boots.

The Mia knit maxi skirt pattern is currently on sale for $5.99 US ($7.79 AUS) until this Sunday 11th August 2019.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

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The Artiest Skirt by The Eli Monster as a Brand Ambassador

Being a Brand Ambassador is a great way to sew lots but also to try new patterns and designs. I’m all for a maxi skirt and decided this month to make The Artiest Skirt (**affiliate link). It is indeed a maxi skirt with optional pockets that uses up lots of fabric!!!!

Keep in mind, this skirt is very full and although requires lots of fabric, having panels gives that same effect without having to cut a circle skirt. The other advantage is that it has a back zip closure with a waistband so the bulk at the hips and waist is minimised with all the fullness at the bottom of the skirt.

Usually when I want to sew something I peruse Pinterest for inspiration and for this skirt found some images I really liked. For my pattern size E, which equates to AUS 12, I needed about 5 metres of fabric, which is a lot. I thought I would do a plain skirt (read single colour, non-directional print). When I got to the fabric store I couldn’t find any fabric like I had imagined and then stumbled on this printed crepe Jungle in navy 148cm (100% polyester). Not what I was after – it’s both directional and multi coloured!

It was on sale so that helped the decision along however when I went to get my 5 metres cut there was only 3.5 metres left on the bolt. The lady at the counter kind of convinced me I would be okay because of the width of the fabric and although I still wasn’t sure, I went with it. I don’t think she realised how much flare the pattern pieces had. Anyway, fast forward a week later and I prepared myself to cut the fabric.  I was trying to be strategic because I only had one chance to get this right. I cut the front and backs out first and then the side panels, thinking I could probably piece together some fabric at the bottom and it wouldn’t be visible. Lo and behold, there was no need. The pattern pieces literally just fit on the fabric, going into the selvage slightly which is okay as that’s the seam allowance anyway. I will also mention that I chose not to add pockets, blasphemy!!!

So 3.5 metres later and I have a full maxi skirt that swishes amazingly and feels really feminine with some scraps left over probably to make a little camisole. I wonder if I could get away with this looking like a maxi dress then when worn together, time will tell!

I did make one minor adjustment to the skirt as this size was too big when at the zip insertion stage, and that was to take out some width from the centre back. I took out about 6cm at the waist and tapered to about 3cm at the hip. Not an ideal way to do this but next time will alter each pattern piece separately. Also although my invisible zip looks great, I do have some bubbling at the bottom which smooths out when worn, but my main concern was because this fabric is lightweight, I should have interfaced the zip area as I normally do. The instructions don’t have you do this but I highly recommend it.

I do highly recommend The Artiest Skirt Pattern if you want a flowy maxi skirt without the trouble of cutting a circle skirt and it’s currently on sale for $7.00. I’m sure you could even use up less fabric when using a non-directional fabric, providing it is wide enough. You know the feeling when you put on an item of clothing and feel really feminine and good in it, this is how I feel in the Artiest skirt.

**This post contains affiliate links to The Eli Monster Patterns

Simplicity 6746 Feather Maxi Skirt

Continuing on with my maxi endeavours I pulled out this pattern from my stash, it’s from the 70’s. I can’t remember where it came from and is only in single size, mind you a lot smaller than what I wear. I had to enlarge the pattern amongst other alterations but I think, actually I know, I like the style of this skirt better than my self drafted one and will probably become my go to from now on, with a few touch ups of course.

simplicity 6746

The fabric is a boutique poly print (100% polyester), a bargain buy at $3/m and judging at the fabric it may be due to the fault on the border which didn’t affect my cutting layout whatsoever. It is quite sheer and of course being a light colour it required some lining. I use white pongee lining (100% polyester) from my stash but unfortunately in the sunlight is still sheer and requires a slip underneath for modesty. This is a four gored skirt pattern, a real fabric hog actually. I didn’t want to break up the feather repeats with a seam so cut my front piece on the fold and following the straight grain.

Fabric

My measurements were about 20cm larger than the pattern so had to enlarge both front and back by 10cm (5cm at each side at the waist and hip) and then straightened out with a curved ruler. In the end my pattern pieces didn’t fit the width of the fabric so I slimmed the skirt by about 17cm in total at the hem but as you can see it still has lots of movement and is quite flowy.

simplicity 6746 front 2

           simplicity 6746 frontsimplicity 6746 front 3

I constructed the skirt using french seams because of the sheerness of the fabric and eliminated pockets for this reason too but next time will definitely add them in. I also used a french seam at the centre back using this tutorial from Handmade by Carolyn when putting in my 7 inch white invisible zipper. The lining was cut narrower than the fashion fabric and finished off with a straight stitch and neatened with the serger. The lining is slightly too narrow however to take large strides when walking so I will probably need to go back and open up the side seams to create some splits.

I attached the waistband last and used the width of the pattern piece provided and extended the length to my measurements and to create a fairly big overlapping waistband at the back to include a trouser hook and eye. I hand stitch the waistband from the inside. The fashion fabric was too big when putting the skirt together so I added in two back darts to compensate and they aren’t very visible anyway. One would think perhaps they were part of the plan if they didn’t know any different.

simplicity 6746 zip and darts

 simplicity 6746 lining

The lining was attached by machine at the zip for a neat finish and I added some small pleats at both the front and back to allow for ease. The skirt was hemmed using a narrow rolled hem. I’m happy with how this has turned out and worn it twice already but as I mentioned I would love to add pockets and perhaps take out some width at the hips next time.

simplicity 6746 side

             simplicity 6746 skirt width simplicity 6746 back 2

Royal Blue Self-Drafted Maxi Skirt

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!!

royal blue maxi front 4

              royal maxi skirt side royal maxi skirt back 2

I followed this tutorial by Melissa Esplin to make my basic pattern.

maxi-skirt-woven-01

http://melissaesplin.com/2013/01/sewing-chiffon-maxi-skirt/

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.

royal blue maxi skirt width

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.