Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Maxi

I've been seriously lusting after a bright pink Maxi skirt like this one and this one. And I really dig the high slit on this one.
So I took elements that I loved from all of them and made my own. The fabric is a poly crepe from Vogue Fabrics. It isn't my favorite fiber to sew, but this design was simple enough that it wasn't too bad. Fusible thread tamed the beast.
I started by drafting a floor length column skirt (OK, a big rectangle with the width as my hip measurement and the length as the distance from my waist to the floor). I wanted some flow in the hem, so I slashed and spread at the hem to use the full width of my fabric at the hem only. I added an allowance for a 1/2 inch elastic casing at the top -  more on that in a sec - then cut two full width panels.
I seamed the two panels together on one side only. I used a french seam, since this is the only seam in the entire skirt, I thought it ought to be nice. Now I have a giant semicircular panel that goes around me twice. I made a baby hem around the two side edges and the bottom hem.
Then I wrapped the skirt around itself, with the two hemmed edges up against the seam - one on the inside and one on the outside of the skirt.
This way, I had the look of a long side slit, but with a full layer of skirt underneath for modesty. The unseamed side also allows for a lot of flow at the hemline.
For the waistband, I wanted a bit of width to encourage it to lie flat and to look a bit more like pleats (but without having to pleat 80 inches of polyester crepe - no thank you!). I used this method, with 1/2 inch elastic in a casing at the top and shirring for 4 rows every 1/4 inch. When I finished, it looked strange with the 1/2 inch elastic next to the 1/4 inch shirring, so I added a row of topstitching through the center of the elastic casing. This gives the added benefit of preventing the elastic from rolling in the casing.
I wore my new maxi with a RTW tee shirt and my Vogue 1099 jacket. I've had a hard time styling this jacket, but I really like it with a long skirt. I think the volume at the hem of the skirt helps balance the volume at the hem of the jacket.


  1. Wow.
    Such brilliant colours!
    I love the look of that waistband -- I am curious to know how it wears. I would worry about the elastic curling down around the shirring [Or, is that only a problem with my humongous waist???)

    Still love that jacket! I shall make one from that pattern - someday.

    1. No curling here, and I do generally have that problem with wide elastic waistbands. I think that the narrow elastic at the top stabilizes it there, and since each row of shirring can stretch relatively independently, they don't curl up. It's very comfortable.

    2. Also, I don't think the size of waist has any effect, rather the ratio of waist to hip and waist to rib cage. Since you have a narrow waist relative to the surrounding areas, you get curling.

    3. and, oh, boy(!) do I have "surrounding areas"!!!

      But, that is good to know. I shall try that on my next elastic waist!

  2. Love, Love, Love the hot pink maxi skirt!

  3. It came out nicely, and looks good with the jacket. Of course, you know I think you look great in hot pink.

  4. Beautiful maxi skirt, I really like how you styled it.

  5. Your modesty slit is genius!! And beautiful!

  6. Love the idea of folding over the skirt for a faux slit! There's a skirt in the most recent Burda that uses that principle, I'm going to have to make it. I think it goes without saying how much I love that color!

  7. What a gorgeous flowing skirt, and it does look so nice with the Vogue jacket. Great thinking and execution on the slit too!

  8. I don't know how I missed this post before, but I am insanely jealous of this skirt right now. I've been looking for a RTW like it for a few weeks.