Maxi Skirt Tutorial

Here is a maxi skirt I made and wore for Thanksgiving. It is so easy and inexpensive to make! 

Fabric: You will need to pick out the fabric material and color you want. I used a stretch knit from Joann's Fabric. (Don't forget to use your coupons when buying your fabric!)
Elastic band

First, you will need to measure how much fabric you will need. I measured from where I wanted the skirt to start, down to the floor, for the length. For my skirt, I got 45'' in length (keep in mind the type if shoes you will be wearing with your skirt. For flats, it will need to be shorter, for heels, measure longer.) The great thing about this material is that I did not need to finish any edges! It will not fray and looks fine unfinished. Woo hoo! :)

Next, you will need to measure your waist for the elastic length. Keep in mind that your length will need to be about an inch shorter than your waist measurement. The elastic will stretch and fit your waist snug. If you get the same exact size, your skirt waist might be too lose.  I bought a 1.5'' wide black elastic band. 

You should use elastic thread when attaching the skirt to the waistband, but I did not have any on hand, and forgot to buy some, so my skirt's waistband is attached with just plain old thread. 

Once you have all your materials, it is time to sew!

Since your fabric should already be cut to the length that you need, you don't need to do any cutting. Take your fabric, and on the longest stitch, sew along the top of the skirt. This is to make the pleats for the top. Once I started sewing, I back stiched right away.

When you get to the end, DO NOT back stitch! make sure you have some extra thread before you cut. This is the end we will pull to make our ruffles/pleats.

Separate the top thread from the bottom one, and pull on one (i pulled the top) to create your ruffles. If you need more information on how to ruffle, look at my post here on ruffling.

Ruffle until you  get the width of your skirt to be the same width as your elastic.

Once you  have the skirt the width that you want, tie off the open end with the thread. Double knot it, so you do not lose any of your ruffles. 

Next, pin the top of your skirt to the elastic, and sew it in place. I sewed mine to the top of the elastic, which looks good, but next time, I will sew it to the bottom (where the arrow is at).

 The inside of the skirt should look something like this

The outside of your skirt should look like this.

Now to sew the edge of the skirt, and finish it off!

Fold your skirt in half, with right sides together.Make sure the ends of your elastic match up.

 Pin the edge, all the way down to the bottom of the skirt. 

Now sew! Make sure to back stitch! start from the top and sew towards the bottom, back stitching at both ends. 

Once you are done, trim off excess thread and you are done!

Ok, so there wasn't that great of a picture of me wearing my skirt on Thanksgiving, so I had my hubby take this one. Not so great, but you get to see what it looks like. :)

Enjoy your skirt! You can always make a shorter version, or even one for your daughters! So many possibilities...

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  1. i just made this skirt--so far the best maxi skrt tutorial i have found (thank you pinterest!)One suggestion i have is when sewing the fabric to the waist band if not using the elastic thread--use a zig zag stitch so when you stretch the elastic to pull it on the stitches don't break.

  2. Another helpful hint if you do not have stretch thread, is to stretch out the elastic as you are stitching. Then the elastic will unstretch on the other side and gather the fabric all on it's own with less risk of popping stitches.

  3. This is really great. I can't wait to make one!

    Tamika @

  4. Cute!! I bet this was very comfy considering it was Thanksgiving! I know I myself tend to eat too much then and regret wearing tighter clothes lol. I may have to steal this idea for myself this year!

    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

  5. I'm just do I know how wide it needs to be? I've never made anything like this before so I'm still a little nervous to just start cutting and sewing. I know how long to make it but how much will I need in the other direction??


  6. I was also wondering about the dimensions. I know the length is body dependent but what about the width of the fabric?

  7. I was wondering about the width too. How did you measure the material before gathering it?

  8. Also wondering how wide the fabric needs to be...please let us know!

  9. Hi ladies! The fabric I use was 45" wide. I used the entire width to make the skirt, which js about a size 5. The less fabric you use, the less gathering you will have at the top. It's all up to your preference. As you can see, my skirt has a lot of gathering. Hope that helps!

  10. When I made one of these a while back my instructions said to measure around your waist 1 and 1/2 times for the around part.

  11. Phenomenal tutorial! I just finished a skirt for my sister's birthday, it turned out perfect thanks to you! :) Thanks for posting

  12. Really great tutorial! Can't wait to try this out! Thanks a bunch :D

  13. I just found your blog. Thanks for the inspiration! I'm just learning to sew, so I'll have to try this out! Thanks!

    Amanda @ Running In Heels

  14. Sew excited to make this. I went and got my fabric today.

  15. I got the same fabric from Joann's, but their color selection is really limited. Does anyone know where else I can purchase (online) this same type of lightweight, drapey fabric? It is so hard to shop online for the exact type of fabric I want (a lot of jersey type knits are a bit too thick and heavy), so I'm hoping someone else has found something similar online that has more colors and/or patterns!

  16. I love this! Just made one, and it's so comfortable! :) I got my fabric at Walmart, they had really nice colors.

  17. I love this, I can't wait to make one! :)

  18. I'm definitely going to try this out! Thanks for such a detailed tutorial!!!!

  19. Fantastic tutorial, I've put this in my blog as hoping to follow your instructions over the weekend

  20. I'm still having issues with the ruffles! Help!

  21. I'm having massive issues with the ruffles, every time I pull the string it only ruffles the first few inches or so and then it breaks! What could I be doing wrong?

    1. Try a longer stitch length and use good quality thread. Ruffle a little bit, then gently move the ruffles down the sewing line, then pull the thread a little more and repeat.

  22. Amazing. I made a crop top for my older sister, and she said she needed a maxi skirt! This will help a lot. Now, go to Joanns!


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