A Tale of Two Maxi Skirts

A couple days before our road trip up to John’s family cabin in the Michigan UP, I decided I wanted, nay, needed a new maxi skirt for the occasion.  It promised to be a hot, long car trip as we were caravanning with his sister and her kiddos, making a couple stops along the way…so what is usually a scant 5 hour drive was looking more like an 8 hour trek.  Comfort and coolness would be paramount, and the idea of wearing jeans or even shorts for that drive was utterly unappealing.  And I had two whole days between the moment the inspiration struck and our estimate departure–plenty of time to rifle through my knit fabric stack and pull something together, no?!

My last foray into maxi skirts was a summer ago, when I made my very first maxi, and a chevron striped one, at that, using the Amy pattern from Greenstyle (really a solid A-line maxi if you’re in the market!).  I remembered it taking ages to get all those stripes lined up into proper chevrons (gah!) so I figured I’d go for a solid color and skip all that angst this time.  I found a nice drapey blue jersey (probably pure polyester judging by its slipperiness and poor reaction to my iron’s high setting).  Since I already had my pattern all assembled and traced out, cutting was a breeze, and assembly was equally fast without the added challenge of mitered strip matching!  The skirt was finished (apart from hemming) in under an hour!

I quick tried it on to check fit and noticed right away that Houston had a problem.  A polka-dotted problem, to be precise.  Because the skirt was a little, ahem, sheer.  So sheer that my polka dot undies were shining through rather obviously.  Drat.  It’d be fine for around the house, but I’d really rather not flash my knickers across two states.  Of course, the fit otherwise was flawless.  Back to the drawing board, er, fabric stash.

The draw of the cobalt blue jersey (aside from it’s amazing color) was that I had a 2.5 yard piece of it, and the pattern calls for 2.25 for a maxi, which is pretty spot on.  All my other cuts of knit are in 1 or 2 yard increments, just a smidgebit too short if we’re being really technical.  Too bad…no time to be technical, there’s a skirt to be made!

I pulled a green tone-on-tone stripe out of the stash…it was a hair over 2 yards, long enough to get the front and back of the skirt out of it, though not quite enough to get the waistband pieces.  I turned to some trusty navy/aqua knit for those and made a contrasting band.

I’m not 100% on the contrasting waistband, but there was no way to get it all to match without ordering more of the green stripe (and at this point, I was down to <24 hours to liftoff–not an option!).  I also didn’t bother to match stripes at the side seams (I actually had to cut a tiny bit off-grain to get enough fabric, so there was no chance of a perfect match…but the striping is pretty subtle, so it doesn’t really bother me…too much).  Also due to lack of enough yardage, this skirt has an obvious front & back–the front is about an inch shorter than the back (which isn’t really all that noticeable unless I’m wearing it backwards).

It did turn out to be a comfy skirt for the road, so I guess I shouldn’t complain too hard.  Though I definitely need to start ordering fabric in 2.5 yard increments!  Also, having worn the green skirt a few times, I really should have reinforced the waist seam with some elastic, as it has a penchant for growing a bit as I wear it…noted for next time!

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