A Simple Summer Maxi Skirt

Created By:

Carolyn Norman

Skill Level: Intermediate

Are you looking for that simple-to-sew garment with a lot of style?  One that's easy to make at the last minute for a holiday?  Or one that dresses up and down for any occasion?  Well, I've been making a version of this simple-to-sew summer maxi skirt for years. 

Janome Supplies Required
  • 1 to 2 yards of fabric of 45" wide or 60" wide fabric based upon your measurements.
  • A tape measure, tracing paper, pencil
  • A yard or two of 1" wide elastic based upon your waist measurement


Prep ~


Please wash and dry your fabric before starting this project. This skirt is perfect for any fabric type you want or have on hand. A knit, a stable ponte, a woven, silk or cotton. Whatever you want to use is fine. 


1. Take your waist and hip measurements and record them. 

I'm going to emphasize making this for a plus size sewist. When taking your measurements, take them sitting down. You will notice a difference of 1" to 5" because the larger we are the more we spread. I'm strongly suggesting that you use the sitting measurements to make the skirt.

2. The next measurement you should take is a waist to floor measurement or waist to ankle measurement if you want an ankle length skirt.

Again, this skirt can be any length you want. Mini, knee-length, calf-length, tea length or maxi. I've made a maxi skirt because that's my jam now.

3. Make a pattern using your measurements or trace them right onto the fabric.  


I usually make a large square (pictured above) using my hip measurement and the length I want for the pattern.

- I add 5" of ease and 2.5" for seam allowances for 5/8" wide seams.

- To finish the square I add the length measurement plus 2.5 inches for the elastic casing at the waist. 

- You can change the amount of ease you want on the sides if you want it a tighter fit by adding less ease. You can also do this after you've cut the skirt out and tried it on.  Make larger seams if you want a tighter fight or smaller seams if you want your skirt a little looser.

- If you're in a hurry and need this quickly by all means trace your measurements onto the fabric and then cut. However, I suggest making a pattern because once you see how easy this to make you will want to make more.

Construction ~

o  After the fabric squares are cut out mark the front/back and top/bottom of the squares.

o  I like to finish all of the seams using my serger prior to constructing the skirt. 

o  Pin the side seams together.

o  Hold up the skirt to you to determine where you want the side seam slits to begin.  Mark and pin that.




o  I use a pin with a different colored head, so I know to stop stitching right there when sewing the seam.


  Sew the skirt using a 2.8 straight stitch on your sewing machine and an 80 universal needle.

o  When you sew the side seams, stitch in a piece of stabilizer. It can be seam tape, twill tape, or selvage edge piece to prevent the seam from tearing when you walk.

o  Press seams open making sure to press the side seams flat below the slits too.

o  Turn down 1.5" for waistline casing.  Press.  A tip, stitch the side seams flat prior to stitching the waistline casing. The thread will melt into the casing and it will make it easier to pull the elastic through the casing.



o  Stitch waistline casing flat leaving a 2" opening in the side seam.

o  Measure the elastic to fit your waist.  Subtract 2-3" depending on how tight you want the elastic to be then cut it.

o  When inserting the elastic into the casing, I use an extra large safety pin at the end of the elastic.  However, you can also use a bodkin to do this. 

o  I also pin the end of elastic to the casing so I don't accidentally pull it into the skirt.


o  Once the elastic is inserted, layer the elastic 1" over each other and stitch down. I use a lot of stitching on this piece because I don't want it separating during wearing.


o  After you've stitched the elastic together, distribute the gathers around the skirt. Another tip, if you're plus size and carry your weight in the front like I do, put less gathers there.

o  Next stitch the elastic down in the ditch of the side seams. This will prevent the elastic from moving around in the waistline casing.

o  Add a piece of ribbon or a tag to the back of the skirt so you know the front from the back.



Finally, press up a 1" hem and machine stitch the hem and side slits flat...and you're DONE!

In 2-3 hours, depending on how quickly you sew, you will have a fun and flirty skirt.

Wanna see my version ~





I used a crepey rayon border print to give the skirt so oomph and paired it with a tank top and cardigan. Perfect for work, dinner with friends, or a casual date. I hope you will give this a try because it's a lot of bang for the buck and a quick and easy sew! 




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