Sunday, October 23, 2011

No-pattern maxi skirt and twin needle hemming

Earlier this week I came across this tutorial from Elle Apparel for making a maxi skirt.  Can't remember what led me to it though... maybe Pintrest?  Oh, well.

I decided that I'd love one of those.  I'm all about maxi skirts right now (who isn't?)  I've got plenty of knit fabric in my stash and as it turns out I had a really lovely soft red fabric.  So here is my finished skirt in a dodgy "take it yourself in the mirror photo" taken through a very dirty mirror!  (I really need to find a good place to set the camera up and use the timer...)
A few notes on making the pattern:

  • I used the same hem measurement as Leanne used but had to add several inches to the waist.  I think I should have increased the hem size as well because mine doesn't look as full as hers, or as full as I'd like.
  • Instead of measuring my waist, I measure the pair of trousers I was wearing at the time (which have a similar waistband construction) and used that measurement.  The skirt is a bit snug around my belly so will have to be worn with a slightly longer top (which is normal for my wardrobe at the moment anyway).  Either way, it's still light and comfy for wearing at home, but next time I should measure my actual body!
  • Leanne suggests using a twin needle to do the hem.  I've only ever tried sample items with my twin needle before and was not happy with the result so have not used it much.  I decided I'd give it another go and I'm so glad I did!  The coverstitch machine I've been coveting for ages doesn't seem so necessary now!  (but the twin needles can't do every situation you'd use the coverstitch machine for)
Twin needle hemming details
I thought I'd share the "workings" of the twin needle hem.

Because you have to work from the front of the hem rather than the inside, mine ended up looking a bit messy (my bottom edges was cut rather rough to start with anyway).  I just tried to keep my stitching a consistent distance from the folded edge and made sure I was catching the fabric at the back.

I then trimmed the messy hem down closer to the stitching line

Gave it a good press and voila! a lovely twin needle hem from the front.  It has a little bit of give to it, enough that if I take a step which is too big for the skirt I shouldn't break the thread (trust me, this has happened to me before on long narrow stretch skirts).

I had a big wardrobe clean out today to work out what fits and what doesn't so now there is plenty of room for this new skirt.


  1. Wow! I have never ever used a twin needle!! In all my years of sewing, and I do have twin needles in my newer machines' accessories, I love the effect! Why have I never used it LOL!!!! I'm going to have a search and try it out!! BTW great skirt! I haven't sewn in stretch fabric for quite some time either!

  2. Me, too! I will definitely give the twin needle hem a try. Even in the mirror shot that you don't like so much, your skirt looks lovely.

  3. That looks great and easy to make too. I'd like a new skirt and have been looking for a simple pattern. Will have to give that one a go. No I've never used a twin needle either. Looks like you might have started a revolution. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow good job!!! Gosh I haven't worn a maxi skirt since the 80's....don't have the figure for it now, I'd look like a very full potato sack.



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