Maxi Skirt

To do this you need:

  • 3 meters of a knitted or woven material 1,5m wide
  • 1 meter rubber 4cm wide
  • Tape-measure
  • Ruler and a pencil
  • Paper
First you must decide a height at which you want to wear a skirt at the waist and measure your size at this altitude. Next, you must determine the length of a skirt. Measure your hip size – the widest part through which you put on a skirt. A skirt must be sufficiently wide – you will fit its size at the waist with a rubber sewn into a waistband.
Fold the material in two so as to form a square. You must cut two arcs – a smaller one is a waist opening, the other determines the length of a skirt. Draw these two arcs with the use of a tape-measure as a pair of compasses – pin the end of a tape-measure in a corner of a material so that the end aligns with the edge of the fold (see a picture below).
Draw the arches by two distances. In order to calculate a radius of a smaller arc, multiply your hip size by 2, then divide the result by 6.28, the value you get (R) is a distance at which you draw a smaller arc. The second arc must be drawn at a distance (A) from the first arc. Distance (A) is the length of a skirt minus the width of a waistband (a waistband should be 0.5cm wider than a rubber). Cut arches adding 1cm allowance for seams and a hem / a tuck (a blue dotted line on picture above). Measure a circumference of a smaller arc – (B). Measure (B) along the original arc, not along the edge of an allowance. A measurement should be larger than or equal to half of your hip size. If it is smaller, you must slightly lower an arc to enlarge its circumference. Cut a strip of a width (C) = 2 x a width of a waistband + 2cm for seams and of a length equal to size of the first arc, which is 2 x B (in the picture, a material is folded in two).
Leave a semicircle folded in two, fasten and sew up the edges of a material along the straight side, 1cm from the edge. A skirt is almost ready. In case of a very elastic and stretchy material, use a zigzag stitch. Remember to select a needle suitable to the thickness of a material.
Now, prepare a waistband. Since a material is very delicate, a waistband must be sewn with an additional layer of a stronger material of same size as the outer layer of the waistband. Fold a waistband in two and sew up a shorter edge leaving an unsewn hole in the bottom part of a seam (see a picture – scissors are inserted into an unsewn hole).
Now press allowances aside with an iron and do the stitching along an edge to hold allowances inside a waistband.
Fold a waistband in two and press it with an iron lengthwise – on top there should be a folded edge; at the bottom should be raw edges, and they should touch one another. Pin a waistband around a waist opening on the right side of a skirt with a hole pointed upward so that having a waistband sewn up and ironed, a hole was inside a skirt.
After sewing, if it is necessary, you can whip edges with overlock stitches and press a waistband with an iron. Adjust the length of a rubber to the size at which you want to wear a skirt. With a use of a safety pin, enter a rubber into a hole in a waistband. When you drag it through a waistband, sew up its edges flat and slide inside a waistband. Now leave a skirt hanged upright throughout the night so that a material is stretched under its weight. That will result in a difference in length. In the morning, even the level of the length of the skirt. If a material does not fray, you can leave the bottom not hemmed thus a skirt is lighter. If a material frays, press a bottom edge with an iron twice by 0.5cm inside and sew it up. A bottom of a skirt has a shape of an arc and when it is wider tucked, a seam gathers. A skirt is done!
Janek Leśniak – fashion designer who, together with JUKI, conducts dressmaking courses in Warsaw. He infects others with a passion for making your own clothes on his blog:, where he reveals the arcana of his trade. Combining craftsmanship and design, he builds an awareness of the quality and the fashion industry among people non-related with the business. He has aquired fifteen years’ experience working with such brands as Reserved, House and Big Star. He has independently created original collections and conducted lectures on fashion business at the Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design. He has rejected massive fashion in favour of passion and work under his own name. His official website is: