Maxi Skirt Tutorial

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogHi, I’m Cynde from The Ribbon Retreat!

I am so excited to share a great maxi skirt made from Riley Blake knits that we just got in at the Ribbon Retreat. This is the best knit fabric I have ever worked with. for this skirt, I used the 1″ stripe in Navy and Hot Pink.

The inspiration for the skirt came from the Mixi Skirt pattern. It really is a great and fun pattern, especially the ruffle flower detail on the front. For the skirt though, I actually drafted my own pattern. If you choose to follow the pattern completely you will have a very nice skirt. But, I will be honest and tell you that I bought it for the panel in the back of the skirt and was disappointed that this was not in the directions. I’ll admit it, I was lazy and wanted the guesswork already figured out. So, I decided to just draw my skirt up from scratch and add some shaping to the top rather than just have a large triangle shape.

To get started, grab a tape measure, pen and paper to get a few measurements.
Waist…..exactly where you want your skirt to sit.
Hips……3″ below the first measurement.
One More…..6″ below the first measurement.

You will divide each measurement you got by 4, because we will be drafting and cutting the pieces out on the fold. Draw these three lines on your drafting paper. I line up the start on the edge of my paper because it is already straight and will work perfect as the side on the fold. The top line is for the waist, next go down 3″ and draw the next measurement, and finally 3″ below that draw the final measurement.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogI drew all the way across the width of my paper 39″ below the waist measurement.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogHere is what it should look like. The 39″ doesn’t fit well in a photo so I apologize for the top line not showing completely.
Now here is where I said I wanted to add shape to the waist….after all women are curvy, so I wanted my skirt to be 39″ long so measure and make a mark 39″ below the first line.

Draw a dotted line 1/2″ above the waist measurement.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogNow we need to connect the two lines gradually. I use a dressmakers curve for this.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogI have drawn the new waist in purple.

Maxi-Skirt-5Now you will connect the top purple line to the line at the bottom 39″ below, just make sure to be to the end of the other two original lines you drew.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogNow I want to follow the curve that I drew and measure 39″ from all parts of the curve so the bottom will end up straight. If you cut it out like it is currently drawn, the sides will hang longer than the rest.
Once you measure and draw in the new line your pattern is finished.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogMy waist band piece is 8″ wide, to be cut on the fold, and 12″ long.
I also traced another pattern of the top portion of three lines….this will be the panel where the stripes are turned vertically.
Lay your fabric out, making sure to match up the stripes. It is a challenge to keep it all lined up with no wrinkles…just go slow and be patient. Lay out the skirt pattern, you will cut out two of them. Make sure to line up the top of the skirt pattern at the same point in the stripes both times!

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogYou will cut out two of the waistband, on the fold….be sure to check the way you want your stripes to go. If you are adding the panel in a different direction cut one of the top panels out on the fold…again watch the direction of your print.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogMaxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogFor the ruffled flower detail….you have to follow the pattern that inspired the whole look.

Now, let’s start sewing! I promise it goes much faster from here. Follow the pattern and put the ruffle detail on the front piece first.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogYou will need to cut the top portion of the back off using the top panel pattern piece and then you will sew the new panel with vertical stripes to it. I use my serger for all the rest of the sewing. If you are not using a serger, just set your stitch to a zig zag so the seam will have a little give to compensate for the knit.

Sew all seam allowances at 1/4″. Lay the back pieces right sides together.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogMaxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Sew front and back skirt pieces right sides together….making sure your stripes line up as you go.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogSew the waistband pieces together to form a tube along the 12″ sides.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogTurn right side out and fold in half.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogPlace pins to mark side seams as well as the middle, front and back. Place pins in the top of the skirt to mark side seams as well as middle, front and back. Place the waistband inside the skirt matching side seams and pins for the front and back. As you sew this together stretch as needed to make waist band fit.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogMaxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogYou can choose to leave it unhemmed…as the knit will not unravel, or you can turn up a hem as you like. For mine, I turned up about 1/2″ and sewed with a wavy stitch.

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogCongratulations, You are finished!

Maxi Skirt Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat BlogCelebrate and wear your design proudly.


Thank you Cynde! This skirt is awesome and the knit fabric is FABulous! Thank you for sharing your crafty mind and incredible talent with us today…AND welcome to The Ribbon Retreat Team and to our AMAZING list of Contributors! We love having you on board and love, love, love your creativity! Thank you again Cynde for sharing this awesome skirt with us and showing us another way to use our brand new fantastic Riley Blake Knits.

Knits are a FABulous fabric to work with, create with, and to wear! Do you remember the absolute adorable Big Bow Head Wrap Tutorial from earlier this month? This head wrap is incredibly cute, incredibly easy to create, and you can make one to match every outfit with our gorgeous knit fabric and wonderful colors and designs. They are so popular and so FABulous…and coupled with this stunning maxi skirt, you will look trendy and stylish!

What knit fabric is your favorite?

Happy Creating & Happy Maxi Skirts!
Signature - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

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2 Comments

  1. Leila
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    How do I figure out the amount of yards needs to make pattern? Length plus a little more in case not cut from bolt straight?

    • Posted November 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Hi Leila! Thank you for your question. Cynde used 2 1/2 yards for 39″ length. However, that doesn’t leave much room for any error. Cynde suggests to possibly use 2 3/4 yards just for good measure and then you wouldn’t have to find space in the remnant to cut out a waist band.
      She tried to match the stripes and give a couple inches extra just to make sure there was enough, if you double the length in yardage for the skirt, that should work perfect for you. Then the waist band and other back band can be cut from what is left over from the skirt. We hope this helps! Thank you Leila! Michelle :)

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