Well maybe not one hour, but it’s a pretty quick and simple project that’s reat for when summer finally gets here.
All you’ll need for this project is a length of fabric around two metres, some chalk, bias binding for the hem (any colour), and a length of elastic to make the waistband. You’ll also need a tape measure and maybe someone else to help you take accurate measurements of your body! It’s a nice, loose but not too big skirt, so easy to walk in. I’ve used a floaty polycotton, and any non-stretchy fabric would be suitable for this project. If you wanted to use a stretch fabric, you can adjust the template so that you’re not sewing a waistband, but you’re sewing directly to the width of your waist.
First, start by taking measurements of your waist (where you want the waistband to sit), your hips (the widest part) and the length you want the skirt to fall (measure from your waist to your ankle, or shorter/longer if you prefer). It’s also really helpful to mark the distance between your waist and hips.
You’ll also need your stride length, which will govern how much fabric you’re going to use. My advice would be to use your largest stride and no larger, as excess fabric will hand around the side awkwardly when you’re taking normal steps.
To take your stride measurement: stand with your feet in a walking position, taking a large stride. Wrap the tape measure around your ankles, forming a large loop that encompasses both your feet. This is your stride length, and will form the hem of the maxi skirt.
Here’s the template for the skirt:
You can transfer this directly to your fabric, by folding it in half along the grainline, and using this folded edge to make the long straight edge in the template.
To transfer your measurements, make the following adjustments:
- Length of skirt + 1″
- Hip measurement / 4
- Stride measurement / 4
- Add a 1″ seam allowance to all edges except the centre line.
Start by drawing your waist line. Then, measure from your waist to your hips, and draw another line where your hips fall. Then follow the centre line downwards and mark the length of the skirt.
As you can see from the diagram, there’s a straight part that follows the hip measurements, and the skirt kicks out to the stride measurement. You can adjust this curve and take it in slightly at the waist, or make the curve less dramatic if you prefer, this will make the skirt look much more fluid from hip to hem.
Important: If there’s a big difference between your hip and waist measurements, consider moving the waistband line in slightly to accomodate this.
Cut two pieces the same, according to your chalked out pattern.
Sew the sides of the skirt, and try it on for size. The waist will be far too big at this point, but make sure you can get it over your hips okay! Next, turn over the waist twice to form the elasticated waistband tube (more info here). Cut your elastic an inch or two smaller than your waist measurement and carefully feed it through. Try it on again and adjust the elastic if you need to. I like to leave mine quite loose and wear the skirt belted in so that I can tuck a t-shirt into if if I want.
Finally, apply bias binding to the bottom edge of the skirt, turn it inwards and fasten with a line of stitching. This will strengthen the hem of the skirt and give it a little weight when you walk.
That’s it, pretty simple. The most important thing is to make sure you have left enough room in your stride measurement so that you’re not struggling to walk. It’s supposed to be a breezy summer outfit, not a pencil dress!
What do you think?