semi-handmade maxi skirt

i always want to sew myself more clothing, and i always agonize over it.  it needs to be “just right.”  i think i’ll get the fit wrong, pick the wrong fabric, whatever, and then i just overthink myself into inaction.  but inspired by ladies that just go for it and make/refashion themselves awesome clothes like it ain’t no thang (i’m talking kate, melissa, and liz specifically), i went ahead and did it!  behold, the semi-handmade maxi skirt.

so this was barely any work.  i bought an XL maxi dress off the old navy clearance rack for $17, which i figured was cheaper than buying enough yardage to sew it from scratch.  as a dress it’s not a style that would flatter me, but i liked the bright color block skirt and the lightweight flowy fabric (100% polyester, baby!).


i chopped it off about 3″ below the chest seam, serged the top, folded it down, and stitched a casing.  i added elastic (about 5″ less than my measurement after some trial and error).  added a little ribbon tag in the back, and it was ready to wear!


now instead of changing into pajamas after a long day at work, i change into my comfy and bright maxi skirt.  it’s even pretty enough to wear out of the house on a date (we saw moonrise kingdom last weekend – SO great)!  the lightweight material is nice and cool, and it’s super friendly to the typical mama lifestyle of bending down, picking kids up, and sitting on the floor with them.  only downside is Em likes to try to hide under it constantly, which is a little annoying.


quick and easy confidence-building maxi skirt for summertime.  done.

ps – thanks so much for your response to my first confession sunday post!  wow!  i felt a bit vulnerable hitting publish on that one, so i really appreciated that so many played along and commented.  looking forward to more random sunday discussions!  🙂


28 thoughts on “semi-handmade maxi skirt

  1. Amy says:

    Nice one! I’m about to do the same. I got a Marimekko (!) maxi dress from the thrift store for pennies. But it looks so utterly ridiculous on me that I’ve been wearing it as a night gown. Just last weekend I decided that even that was ridiculous and I had to put it on my sewing desk. Given my height (5’3″) I can actually get 2 garments out of it: a short dress and A-line skirt, or a maxi skirt and t-shirt. And really, how long can that take?

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Cirque Du Bebe says:

    Gorgeous colour and such a grat idea. I’ll be keeping an eye out for cheap mazis now. I know what you mean about agonizing over the whole process…I think you should definitely keep up the adult sewing!

  3. carolyn says:

    I always stress about fabric choice and fit too when making things for me. Those issues don’t seem to cause as big of a problem when making kid’s clothes, but man I’ve made some poor decisions with them when making adult clothes.
    Your skirt looks fantastic though!! And I love that you were able to make it out of a dress. I’m always in awe of people upcycling clothing. For some reason it strikes me as so much more difficult than just using a piece of fabric!

    • kristin says:

      same here – adult fabric selection seems to take a lot of trial and error and can’t just be a cute print on quilting cotton like we can do for our kids. it’s a process.

  4. Laura says:

    Love the colours, especially with the purple top. I bet it’s really comfy too. I need a project like this for my first bit of adult sewing. I haven’t made the jump yet.

  5. Cherie says:

    Super cute, Kristin!! I love that you were able to see the dress as something more than what it was. I actually think I have a dress hanging in the closet that could use a little refashioning. Go you, for sewing for yourself more!!

  6. Lucinda says:

    good for you sewing for yourself! Looks super comfy – and great color-blocking! (and yay for the hemming already being done!)

  7. Inder says:

    Ooh, I like it so much better as a skirt than as a dress (I couldn’t wear a dress with a top like that, I need something more substantial to cover up the bra straps!). Well done! Sometimes the simplest projects are the best, huh? I think sometimes I have this idea that anything I sew for myself has to be super complicated and involve a zipper. And it’s just not the case.

  8. photosarah says:

    I just made a maxi skirt in the same pink, but in a knit. The fabric to make the skirt did cost about as much as that dress.

    I’m more picky about the things I make for myself because kids look cute in almost anything! I’m not totally sold on the skirt I made as it is a bit snug, but I really like yours. I’ve refashioned a few things and I just chopped off of the top of an unflattering thrifted dress into a hopefully flattering skirt.

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