one maxi skirt tutorial, several great looks- by elle apparel

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I have a “Sewing for me (and my sisters)” pinterest board that is full to the brim with creations from today’s lovely guest, Leanne from Elle Apparel.  Seriously, if you need a Sewing for ME! mentor, she’s your girl. A few projects to love? The Lavendar Love Dress, the Lace for Days Skirt, the Pinwheel Skirt, the Nautical Dress are all fabulous, but I’m not kidding when I say that I had to be choosy, so there’s a whole heap of other goodness.
And today, Leanne is here (yay!) with several variations on her ever-so-lovely maxi skirt-
I am a big advocator of sewing for yourself.  Before I started sewing clothes, I stuck mostly to straight lines and straight stitches with curtains, pillows, table runners, and place mats.  But something changed when I fell in love with a beautiful skirt from Anthropologie.  I HAD to have it.  But at $200, it was way over my price range.  So I made my mind up that I would recreate it.  After hours upon hours, multiple trips to Joanns, and a few choice four-letter words, I had actually created a skirt that I felt was good enough to wear in public.  It was all down hill from there.
Designing and creating clothing has become a passion.  It is so rewarding to be able to create an article of clothing that doesn’t look “homemade” for a fraction of the cost that you would spend in a store.  One of my favorite (and easiest) pieces to make are my Maxi skirts.  I made one while I was pregnant with my second baby, since it was getting harder and harder to button my jeans.  I was hooked.  I have since filled my closet with these comfy beauties and probably won’t stop till I have every color of the rainbow.  Think that’s a little crazy?  Just make one…’ll see.
So I have been able to crank out one of these puppies in about 45 minutes from start to finish.  They really are very simple, and a great beginners piece to start with.  Don’t be too intimidated if you have never worked with jersey or a stretchy fabric before.  You will find that it is pretty forgiving.  Follow along my step-by-step tutorial here.  Just substitute your own measurements.
They work great with a bump….
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or without…
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Thanks to the stretchy fabric, my skirts fit me 9 months pregnant, and after I had given birth.  One tip for figuring out how big you should make your waistband:  Take your waist measurements, and then subtract about 2 inches to allow for the stretch.  If you use your exact waistband measurement, it might fit a little more lose than you want.
Enjoy!  But once you are addicted to them…don’t say I didn’t warn you.
After you check out the maxi skirts and other loveliness at Elle Apparel, be sure to go check out more Sewing for ME! fabulousness at Sewing in No Man’s Land!

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  1. Ok now for a personal question… do you wear a slip under your skirt? And is this skirt friendly for all the lumps and bumps and jiggles of a middle age woman who has had numerous children and is not particularly fit? Does the type of knit make a difference? My favorite maxi was truly unsightly on me! And NO ONE told me!!! It looked like “two hogs fighting in a burlap sack” to quote Steel Magnolias… LOL love that line and the book too! Any suggestions? Thanks!!

    1. Peggy,
      I’d recommend using a stiffer fabric if you’re trying to avoid the lumps, but another option could be to wear a slip OR sew a slip right into the skirt (if you’re the type to wear it often!). I don’t use slips very often…usually just for lightweight/transparent skirts. I have maybe TWO that I can think of, and if I made one of these super cute maxis, I’d probably just grab one from Goodwill and sew it inside. 🙂


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