Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Improv Maxi Skirt with Yoga Waistband {Sewing Tutorial}

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You know that feeling when you're at the store and you fall in love with a fabric, and you just want a skirt of it NOW? You don't really care how it comes together, you just want to wrap that fabric around yourself and be on your merry way. That's why I'm calling this "improv sewing." I didn't really care too much about the measurements and technique on how this skirt came to be. I just wanted to slice it up, sew it together, and wear it as soon as possible. So don't go telling all your friends, "that girl on the Family Ever After blog, her sewing really isn't that technical." Haha, well that's just about right. This time, it's not! But really, how technical does a maxi skirt need to be? Not much, I declare. Sometimes its just fun to buy a cut of fabric and improvise, then cross your fingers that you didn't waste your money. And I didn't. I am so in love with this skirt. I'm gonna make about a million more. It's sooo comfy.

When I was at Hobby Lobby, I saw this gray scalloped knit and I fell in love. I bought 1.5 yards. (I'm 5"2" and that's the perfect amount for me). With my 40% off coupon it was $11. Most cute maxi skirts sell for $20 or more at the store. Score! I'll show you how my "improv maxi skirt" came to be.

1-2 yds knit fabric (depending on your height)
thread, chalk, pins, cutting mat, ruler, scissors

Use a small zig zag stitch and ball point needle when sewing with knits.
No edge finishing necessary since knits don't fray.
Sew with a 3/8in seam allowance.
RST= right sides together
Pay attention to the direction of the print- in this case I made sure the scallops are pointing down.

Step 1: Prewash and dry your fabric.

Step 2: Measure your waist, then subtract a few inches. Divide this measurement in half. Use that number to measure across the top of fabric. (For example, if your waist measures 34in, subtract 2in to account for stretch in the fabric. Then divide 32in by 2. You will cut the top of the skirt 16in.) From the edges of your waist measurement, use tape measure or chalk to "draw" a line to bottom of skirt to create an A line. Cut two layers for the skirt. I cut through both layers at the same time. Remember, this is improv sewing ;)

I flipped my scrap over to the other side to cut the same line. 

Step 3: I took the time to pin the stripes like a maniac, RST. That's where your skirt will look either awesome or frumpy, depending if your stripes match up at the side seams. Sew a 3/8in seam on both sides of the skirt.

Step 4: Yoga Waistband- Measure your waist, and then take 3 inches off that measurement. That is the width of the band. The height depends on how thick you want the band to be. My measurements for the yoga waistband are: 32in long by 12in tall. Fold in half so the short sides are RST. Pin at stripes, sew at 3/8". Press seam open.

Step 5: Fold the waistband over which will create a fold at the top, and the two raw edges touching at the bottom.

Step 6: Slip the waistband, raw edges pointing up, onto the skirt. Match at the side seams and pin.

 Step 7: Pin all the way around, distributing the fabric evenly. Sew with a 3/8in seam allowance.

 To wear, you can leave the waistband folded up or folded over.

That's it! You can choose to hem the bottom, but since knit doesn't fray, I carefully cut under one of the scallops across the bottom of the skirt, and you can hardly tell it wasn't hemmed!

This is a time in my life where its really convenient to know how to sew. I am about 7 weeks postpartum, and not quite fitting into my regular pants and shorts the way I'd like. Maxi skirt to the rescue!!

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  1. This is such a gorgeous skirt Rach, I love it, and honestly I prefer simple tutorials like this! I think I may have to go to Hobby Lobby!

  2. Wow! You are amazing Rachel! This does look very comfy :) And, by the way, I am 22 years postpartum and not fitting into my pants the way I would like either!!! LOL!

  3. This is gorgeous! Hobby Lobby is an hour away, but it might be worth the trip!

  4. what a fabulous skirt and love the knit fabric - where does the skirt without the waistband sit ? I might need to google yoga waistband as I'm a bit confused how that works !!

  5. What a fabulous tutorial!! Thank you. I love Mary’s comment. 15 years postpartum here and having the same issues : ) you look fabulous!!!

  6. I'm also loving that top.


Thanks for your comment. Have a great day!
♥Rach H