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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Slinky Maxi Skirt DIY

My new obsession this Fall is the "Slinky" Maxi Skirt.  This is seriously one of the simplest things to make...there's a total of 4 seams to sew, all of which are (quite) straight lines.

Materials and Supplies
- Knit Fabric (Jersey works best) You will need the length of the skirt (waist to floor) plus 5cm (2") as long as the fabric is 150cm 60" wide.  (This measurement will also depend on your hip measurement)
-Thread to Match
-Elastic (same amount as waist measurement plus 2.5cm (1")  I used 1cm (3/8") wide elastic.
-Sewing Machine
-Serger (Optional)
-Measuring Tape

1.  Measure your hips, and cut a regtangle of fabric the width of your hips by the length of the skirt.  Cut the fabric so that your hip measurement is cut with greatest degree of stretch.  (You want it to stretch around your body, so don't need the stretch in the length)
2.  If you have at least 50cm (20") wide of fabric left fold it in half lengthwise.  If you don't this means you will likely need more than the original measurement I gave you of fabric, depending on how wide you want your triangle inserts to be.

3.  Along the fold of the left-over fabric you want to cut out a triangle about half the height of your skirt, and the width depends on how big you want your inserts to be (resulting in how much of a mermaid "train" you end up with).  Then you want to cut out 2 smaller triangles (since the fabric is folded you only have to cut once)
These triangles will be Acute Isosceles triangles (equal measurements on both sides, with a smaller base...make your base slightly curved).

(The top triangle shown is along the fold, the bottom one is not)

This picture is just to show you approximatly how much smaller I made my "side" triangles.  (Once again the larger triagle is still folded in this picture).

4.  Next I laid out my triangles where I was going to end up sewing them onto my skirt.
The best layout is to sew the angled part (the part cut off grain....if this is confusing, don't worry about it because it won't make that big of a difference) of the small triangle onto the straight part of the skirt.

5.  You want to start by sewing your little triangles to the skirt base.  Line them up starting at the bottom of the skirt, so that they're right sides together (basically your flipping them in from how I have them laid out on the picture above)...ignore the large triangle right now.  You will probably want to pin them into place before sewing.  I actually serged my pieces together, so you can do that or use a slight zig-zag to sew with a smallish seam allowance 1cm (3/8")

6.  Now you want to sew the large triangle onto one side of your skirt, pin it onto the skirt starting from the bottom.  To do this you will have the triangles that you sewed on folded back out, and you will be pinning the large triangle onto one of the small triangles, and then part of it will be pinned onto the skirt base.  Sew with right sides together.

Because the fabric is so slinky it won't be a big deal sewing the large triangle onto the fabric that is no-longer completely straight.

This is what you skirt should look like if you open it up after this step.  (Remember it doesn't matter which side you sew the large triangle onto)

Close-up of the seams

7.  Fold the skirt so that the 2 sides line up, pin them together starting from the bottom, and top and work your way to the middle (this helps line things up better).  Sew together.

8. Make your elastic waist casing, pull the elastic through, sew shut... (You can follow steps 4-8 on this post if you don't know how).

9.  Hem you skirt (or leave it raw, most knits don't unravel).  I turned it under and used one of the fancy edge stitches on my sewing machine.

All Done!!

You can wear the skirt so the seam goes down the side (shown on left) or the center back (shown on right).

I should add that there is another easy way to construct this skirt, and that would be to sew the triangle pieces together first, then sew it to one side of the base (starting at the bottom)...and then sewing the two sides together.  (The reason I did the instructions different is because this method causes you to sew a much straighter piece to a much more angled piece)

Here are a few more skirts I made with this pattern.

This bottom purple one was made out of a thicker knit (which is why it's not as drapey as the others...but will be perfect for cooler days)
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406 Olivia said...

Did you come up with this patterns yourself? It's brilliant! Love, love, love!

Collette Osuna said...

You are soooo talented!!!
LOVE how your skirts turned out...and I love this look:)

Have a fabulous weekend!
Statements in Fashion

Kimberellie said...

You are so freakin' brilliant. LOVE that green one. I am going to have to try this (with a pattern though, I just can't sew without a pattern!--well, maybe I can, but I won't try...maybe when I am more experienced!)

heart: Kimberellie

sharonlei said...

WOW! love the maxi skirt. I must give this a try. Thanks for sharing. :)

xx Love & Aloha

Fancy Pants said...

Fabulous! Definitely going to try this.


L ~DIY Diva~ said...

I need to do this like NOW! so i can get my Maxi and boot combo in for the FALL.

thanks for linking up! hope to see you again.


Anissa said...

Maxi skirts are so popular right now that it's crazy there aren't more tutorials out there for them. THANK YOU for posting this one, it's amazing.
Quick question. Do you think it would work with other material besides stretch cotton? What about a super thin corduroy?

Skulda said...

I wandered over here from Facebook. Joe fresh posted a link to your blog. This pattern is so easy and amazing. I can't wait to give it a try. :)