Stashbusting and last summer sewing: A Maxi-skirt

Today in London was absolutely gorgeous – blue sky, sunshine, lovely temperatures. Lucky me, I thought, that I’d just finished some stashbusting-sewing yesterday: my (summer-weight) maxi skirt. Totally appropriate for almost October, right?

My maxidress convinced me that I needed more skirts and dresses maxi in my life. And there were 2m of black jersey in my stash that I’d never gotten round to doing much anything with. It was quite thin and floaty, so really annoying to stitch necklines down in. Perfect though, I thought, for a maxidress. Originally I used the same principle that I’d used for the other one – only this one with the Birgitte T-shirt as a top, with a waistband with elastic inserted for strength, and a gathered skirt. After some misadventures in cutting (I cut the skirt with the stretch lengthwise, rather than width-wise – not a great idea for a long heavy skirt!), I assembled the dress and realized it looked… odd. Not bad, just weird. It just didn’t work together. So off I hacked the top, and the waistband, before cutting a new waistband, gathering the skirt section again, stitching it all together, and cutting the hem off to be straight. That was it.

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I have to say, I’m still not entirely used to wearing long skirts, but I do like that they feel slightly dramatic, so I think there might be more to come! I just have to figure out what to wear this with – I’ve sewn it so it sits just below my waist, which means most of my tops are actually a bit too long for it, and I don’t like the tucked-in look much, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out (or sew something to go with it). I’m hoping that with tights or leggings, this can transition into autumn.

The skirt is essentially a marriage of two rectangles and some elastic. The skirt section is 150cms wide and probably just over 100cm long, sewn into a tube and then gathered to the waistband. The waistband was twice the width of the elastic (so, 4cms in total) plus 2 cms for seam allowances, and the width of my waist. That’s it. If I hadn’t tried to make it into a dress first, it would have been superquick, but even as it is, this worked out fairly quickly. The gathering is a bit faffy (there’s a lot of fabric!) and there’s a few inaccurate corners, but that’s fine.

If I make this again, I’d probably cut the skirt panels a bit flared, so that there’s a bit less fabric to gather at the top (which then sits on the hips – not the biggest fan), and a bit more of an A-line shape to it. Even though I’m not sure how well a drapey knit-fabric would hold an A-line.

Overall, a wardrobe success (once I figure out what to wear it with) and a stashbusting success – one big piece of fabric less in my stash! Now, I only need to figure out what to do with the black crop-top I have left over from the dress…

Did you do any last-minute summer sewing?