We are on the Riley Blake Fabrics Design Team, and love working with their beautiful fabric! I guest posted this tutorial on their blog a few weeks ago and I’m sharing with you today.
I’m going to share how to make a knit maxi skirt featuring the amazingly cute cotton jersey knits by Riley Blake Designs! I had a lot of fun making some darling maxi skirts for my young daughters. For this tutorial I made a skirt with a yoga-style waistband for ultimate comfort. 🙂
Supplies needed to make a knit maxi skirt:
- 1 yard jersey knit fabric–this is enough fabric to make one skirt for a young girl, I made this one to fit girls size 8-10 (and check out the fun patterns and colors–polka dots, chevron, stripes, oh my!)
- Sewing Machine
- Coordinating Thread (I used white)
- Cutting mat
- Rotary cutter
- Tape measure/ruler
- Pins (I used ball point pins specifically to use with knits)
- Ball point sewing machine needle–this is also specific for sewing with knits
Pre-wash fabric and tumble dry on low.
Set your sewing machine to either a stretch stitch setting or a narrow zigzag to allow for stretch. The tension is set at 4. You could also use a “walking foot” to help guide the knit through easier. For this project I used my regular foot.
These are the settings I used–narrow zig zag:
To determine size of skirt, take all your measurements beforehand.
- Length from waist to floor (or however long you want the skirt to be)
Knit Maxi Skirt Instructions
You will need to cut 4 pieces of fabric–2 skirt, 2 waistband.
To cut out the angled skirt pieces both at the same time, fold fabric in fourths lengthwise. For the length I cut the fabric at 24 inches long.
For the top and bottom measurements, take the waist width and divide that number by 2 (since you’ll have 2 pieces of fabric, front and back), then add 1 inch for seam allowance. For example, for a 27 inch waist, divide that by 2 to get 13.5 inches, then add 1 inch to make 14.5 inches.
( Waist) 27/2= 13.5 + 1 (seam allowance)= 14.5 inches
For the bottom, I wanted it to be more of an a-line than a straight skirt, so I made the bottom 4 inches wider on each side. So I added 8 inches total to the width of 14.5 (that we just figured out above) to make the bottom of the skirt 22.5 inches wide.
Now we’re going to measure from the fold. Since the fabric is folded not in half but in fourths, we need to divide our measurements by 2 again. So for the top waist, I measured out 7.25 from center fold and pinned. (14.5 divided by 2 = 7.25 inches)
For the bottom width, I measured out 11.25 inches from center fold (22.5 divided by 2 = 11.25 inches). Pin fabric.
Place ruler at an angle, connecting the two pins from top to bottom of skirt.
I put some heavy “weights” on the ruler and fabric so the knit wouldn’t slip while cutting. 🙂
Cut fabric at angle with rotary cutter. You will end up with two pieces of material for the skirt. (Photo shows skirt before I unfolded it.)
Place right sides of fabric together and pin the sides lengthwise.
Jersey knit will not unravel, so you do not need to do anything to finish the inside seams. Sew a 1/2 inch seam, being careful not to stretch the fabric. Just gently guide it through so it doesn’t pucker up.
Once both sides are sewn together, make skirt right side out and press.
For a yoga-style waistband, measure and cut out two rectangular pieces. For the skirt I made, I took the waist measurement of 27 inches and divided by 2, then subtracted a few inches to make the waistband snug since knit is stretchy. Then I added a 1 inch seam allowance.
27 inches divided by 2 inches = 13.5 inches. Subtract 2 inches (so it’s not too loose) = 11.5 inches + 1 inch seam allowance = 12.5 inches
In order to create a waistband that can be folded down, I decided I wanted the finished, folded band to be 4 inches tall. So I cut the length 9 inches (8 inches since you will be folding it in half + 1 inch seam allowance).
My pieces were cut 12.5 inches wide by 9 inches long.
Place fabric right sides together. Pin both sides and sew with 1/2 inch seam on each side.
Fold band in half with the right sides out, like this:
To attach waistband to skirt, slide the raw top edge of skirt through the waistband loop to match up with the waistband’s raw edges. Line up the side seams and the raw edge of the skirt with the 2 raw edges of the waistband, and pin.
Stitch the waistband to the skirt, stretching the waistband to fit the skirt and create a natural gather. I pinned it in several places to help with this.
Here’s what it looks like once the two pieces are sewn together, before folding the waistband up the right way.
Here is the finished skirt with the waistband straight:
And here is the waistband folded over:
Since knit doesn’t fray or unravel, you don’t have to hem the bottom. Try on the skirt and if it’s too long, you can just cut off the excess fabric at the bottom.
But if you want a more finished look, just fold the fabric under and top stitch with a zig zag or stretch stitch. Just make sure to add an extra inch to your length when cutting the fabric at the beginning.
My girls LOVE their comfortable knit maxi skirts! Perfect for back to school!