Monday, April 25, 2011

DIY Jil Sander inspired maxi skirt, and tutorial

OK,, this took way more than an hour, almost a whole afternoon. I am smitten with the Jil Sander S/S 2011 maxi pink  skirt, left , and decided to make my own version, since I am not spending a small fortune on a single skirt. This is a maxi skirt, with soft pleats, and side slits. The designer made the skirt with a mini underskirt, but I didn't have the craftiness to do it, and I think that it looks just as good without.  I did put pockets in the skirt, I think it is fun.  I bought a bright pink fabric in Joann fabrics,  the only fabric store that I know, and that is close to me. It is called peach skin, I think.
 Here is the tutorial, I hope it is easy to follow!

First, you need to measure yourself at the waist, and the length you want the skirt  to be.   The fabric width is important, because you want to have fullness for the pleats.  Add 1 inch to the length measurement for seam allowances. Fold the fabric so the selvages are together, and cut at the fold, so you have 2 panels of fabric, each half the fabric width, and as long as the length measurement.

Now you need to know the measurement of your waist. To this number, add 2 inches for seam allowances. Divide the number by 2, this is the width of each finished panel.  In my case it was 17 inches each. I cut a 17 inch piece of ribbon for easy measuring.   At this point I cut a band for the waist facing, and pockets. The band is about 3 inches wide and 2 inches longer then the waist measurement.

Cut 4 pieces for the pockets. They are about 8 x8 inches, the bottom is rounded.

The panel is 30 inches, so you need to place the pleats evenly and measure constantly to make sure you have the correct finished width for each panel. Leave about 1.5 inches un-pleated at the ends.  Do this for the front and back.  I mark the wrong side of the fabric with a colored sticker so I don't get confused.

After you are done placing your pins, which are holding the pleats in place, baste across the pleats, so you can remove the pins.

Now it's time to place the pockets. With right sides of fabric together, pin 2 pocket sections to each panel of skirt. The rounded parts go to the center.

On the front panel, sew both pocket pieces to the side of the skirt as pinned. On the back panel, sew only the right side, machine baste the left side. On the left side is where the zipper is going to be placed.

Now, with right sides together, front and back panels,pin the pockets together, then  sew around the pockets.  I used a serger, but a regular machine works as well.

Bring the pockets together in the center front, wrong side, and pin on the top edge.

Determine how high you want the side slits of the skirt to be. Sew the sides of the skirt together, without catching the pockets, from the top, down to the length you want the slits to be. The skirt is almost ready!!!!!

Now, it's time to sew the waist band facing. The skirt does not have a waist band that is visible, it goes on the inside. You should use interfacing so it doesn't loose it's shape. I didn't have any, and it's OK,but not as good.   Finish one long edge of the band , I serged it, but you can use pinking shears, zigzag, or narrow hem.  Then pin the band to the top of the skirt. Pin the center of the band to the right side seam of the skirt,right sides together,  that way, both ends of the band are to the left, where the zipper goes.  Sew the band to the skirt.

The free edge of the band might be a big longer than the skirt,thats OK, sew the free end of the band to the skirt, so when you turn the band in, makes a neat corner.  Turn the band to the inside of the skirt, you can tack it in pace with a few stitches to the underside of the pockets in the front.

Now for the zipper.  Place the zipper in the center of the basted left pocket side. You can glue it in place with temporary adhesive, or glue, or you can hand or machine baste it in place.

From the right side, sew with a zipper foot, along the basting. Be careful not to catch the front of the skirt!

Hem the skirt, and the side slits, and finish the seams as you like, pinking shears, zigzag or serged. Put a small hook and eye above the zipper, and you are ready to party!!!!

 I think I need to go on a date with my husband soon!!!!!

Rocco, my onehour helper :)


  1. Any desire to make one for me?? I will pay you :-) ...seriously.

  2. It's really easy! Give it a try! Good luck.

  3. This is a fabulous tutorial! It's so nice and detailed. I love that you added pockets to the skirt. I looove skirts and dresses with pockets. And the dress came out so cute. Keep up the awesome diys!