The thing I love best about yoga pants, besides how comfy they are, is that big wide band around the waist. I love that there isn’t any elastic, and it’s just a nice snug fitting thick band of fabric.
I decided I was going to make myself an awesome maxi skirt, with a yoga band waistline, because that’s like the perfect mom outfit. It’s like pajama jeans, but way cuter. Half the time, when I’m home working I forget that I’ve got to be somewhere in 20 minutes and find myself rushing out the door wearing yoga pants. Not anymore! It’s maxi skirts all the way now!
This tutorial is pretty easy, but does require a smidgen of knowing what you’re doing with a sewing machine. For the most part, it’s all straight stitches, but because we are using Jersey Knit, which is very stretchy, I highly recommend using a “walking foot” for this project. Some machines have them, some don’t. Mine didn’t, so I got mine on Amazon for around $15. I have a Singer machine, so make sure you get one that will fit your personal machine. There are some that are universal, but always double check.
Once you’ve got your walking foot, you’ll need your fabric. Sometimes I have a really tough time finding cute Jersey Knit fabric. Shop around. There are some great websites online that sell Jersey Knit fabric. Stylish Fabric on Amazon has a great selection.
I got this at Joann’s when they were having their 25% off Friends and Family sale, plus it was 30% off already. I grabbed 1.5 yards, because I wasn’t really sure how much I would need, but I only ended up using about 1.25 yards of it, and made Abbey her own infinity scarf with the extra scraps. I usually don’t have a ton of luck with Jersey Knits at Joann’s but I actually found quite a bit of cute ones, so check your local fabric shops too! It never hurts to have a sweet stash.
Start by finding how much you’re going to need around your waist. Remember that Jersey is stretchy, so try to take a perfect measurement. Most widths of fabric are around 44″, so unless you need more than that for the waist, you can buy in just one continuous cut. Measure from where to want the skirt to sit on your waist to the floor. Add 2 inches for the bottom hem, and roughly 8-10 inches for the waistband. That will be the amount of yardage you will need. I grabbed 1.5 like I said before and had about 1/4 yard left over. I’m 5’8″.
Measure from waistline to floor (or if you’re doing a shorter skirt, measure to where you want it to hit on your leg). Add 2 inches to the bottom for your hem. Add 8-10 inches to the top for the waist band. Cut off excess length for your scrap bin.
Don’t worry about the waist just yet. That comes at the very end. We need the width intact for the bottom of the skirt, unless you’re planning on doing a very long pencil skirt, we need the skirt to taper out from the waist.
Start at the top. Most Jersey knits pattern goes all the way thru, meaning the print is on the back as well as the front. Make sure you know which is the right side and wrong side. Check the knit carefully, the right side has tiny little “V’s” in the knit, where as the wrong side looks like little dashes. Fold down the beginning of the waist band, right sides together. I used 5 inches because I wanted it thick. Pin down along the entire width on the top. Make sure its the same the whole way across using a hem guide, or by checking once you’re done. I used a stripe pattern, so I used one continuous stripe as my guide.
Straight stitch along your edge, as close as possible, removing pins are you go. Make sure you’re looking at the foot and feeder guide, and not the needle. You’ll get much better straight stitches and have to seam rip far less mistakes.
Once that step is done, do it again. Fold the band down once more, and pin along the edge. Once again, using a guide to keep it straight.
Make sure that your stitching from before lays INSIDE the band.
Top stitch along the edge, as close as possible. This will be the front of your skirt, so try to keep the line as neat and clean and straight as you can get it. Go slow. Speed is not your friend with sewing.
Now you should have your skirt band complete. Hold it up and test the length to yourself. Now go to the bottom, and start your hem. Just like the band, fold over one inch, but then fold it over once more and pin. Complete this for the entire length of the bottom.
No need for double stitching as it’s a hem (not as much moving around as a band, so no need to secure it inside) and we’re going to be using a zigzag stitch.
Now the top and bottom of your skirt is done! Yay! Next, fold the skirt in half, right sides together, and lay it on a large flat surface. Smooth out any bumps or creases. Make sure the edges match. Measure your waist and divide that number in half. This is the number you will need for the top. Find the center of the waistband. Your measurement should be centered with this. Meaning, if the original width was 44″, folded in half it’s now 22″. If your waist measurement is 32″ around, your new number divided in half will now be 16″. So placed in the middle you should have about 3″ of excess, 16″ measurement, and another 3″ of excess on the other side. Make sure you double check all your measurements because once you cut it, it’s cut.
Mark your waistband with a pin. You will take this measurement straight down to the end of the band, stitching down the 4-5 inches you’ve created for the band. Mark it with marking chalk, or a washable fabric pen so you have a guide to follow. At this point, you’re going to want to start tapering out from the band to the bottom of the skirt. I quickly tapered down, stitched it, tried it on and had these weird hip bone bubble things.. not cute. I went back and slowly and evenly tapered it, using one of my stripes as a guide to match both sides and stitched it again and it had a MUCH better drape.
Above you can see my mistakes! Yay! I’m human! Shhh…
The first line through the band is where I gave myself an inch of extra room and the skirt literally fell off me. So really really trust that measurement, because Jersey Knit is stretchy! So I had to go back and bring it in an extra inch. Notice that I NEVER cut off any excess fabric! Make sure you try it on and it looks the way you want it to BEFORE you cut it! The blue chalk line is my new more streamlined edge. All I am saying, is double check and don’t try to rush because you’ve got somewhere to be in an hour and you really wanna wear this skirt, like I did. HA!
So, taper from your waist measurement, down to the seam, and then also pin and mark the seam as well. Even the folded over part you think may not need a seam, it needs one. Just do it.
Here is my drawing of my pattern.
I am not one of those people who likes to do store bought patterns, I like to be crazy and fly by the seat of my pants. But this skirt is really really easy, so it doesn’t really need like a pattern, pattern, just more of a guideline. Ya know? I just always make sure I double and triple check everything before I cut it, because seams can always be removed, but good luck putting fabric back together nicely.
Anyway, let me see those skirts you’ve made! Tag me on Social Media, or post links in the comment section! I want to see your creations!
Here’s a pic of me chillin’ in the car in my sweet new skirt, while Charlie picked up Audrey from school. I posted it on Instagram for all to see. Literally an hour before, I was still making it.
That sweet infinity scarf was made by my bestie Hillary (who I am STILL trying to convince to start her OWN BLOG! ARE YOU READING THIS HILLARY! THIS IS ME CALLING YOU OUT!) I have a DIY infinity scarf tutorial coming tomorrow!
If you have ANY questions, because I know you will, please please please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them ASAP. I am not a professional seamstress, just someone who happens to own a sewing machine and likes to make stuff.
The links in this post are affiliate links, and I will receive a little commission if you so choose to purchase anything from them. I always try to link to things to make finding them easier for you, and I always try to link to things that personally use and love myself. Doing this lets me provide a little bit for my family, so we can enjoy organic apples for snacks.