A Wild-and-Crazy Maxi Skirt (aka Look Who Finally Finished Something!)

Don’t sound the “Stranger Danger” alarms, folks: it’s just me, back after an unintended blogging hiatus! Hiiiiiiiii!!! 😀

I haven’t even got a good excuse for my extended absence–life just got in the way of blogging, I guess. Well, that, and I haven’t gotten much sewing done lately. I definitely didn’t finish my Anna dress in time for the big Instagram party–in fact, I haven’t even finalized the muslin stuff yet–but I enjoyed seeing what everyone else came up with. I am thisclose to having the bodice fit the way I want, and it’s very exciting! I even got a zipper in my muslin, and it’s looking goooooooood. Here’s what I have left to do: move the pleats so that they match up with the edges of the CF skirt panel, sew the pleats about an additional 1/2″ toward the apex, take in the waist a bit, and take about 1/4″ out of the back neckline on each side to fix a slight gaping issue. I have adjusted the skirt pattern pieces so that the side seam is relocated appropriately, and apart from losing about 4-5″ of length and making the same waist adjustment that I will make to the bodice, that’s all I need to fix there. Yay!

Once I completed my most recent muslin, I decided I wanted to make a maxi skirt using the Anna pattern and some rayon challis I bought earlier in the year. Since this is supposed to be a casual garment/wearable muslin, I just marked 4 inches up from the bottom of the pattern pieces and stopped my skirt there. I lost what amounts to a couple of inches of sweep that way, but whatevs. (And seriously, WTF is up with the gargantuan length on these skirt pieces?? Gah.) I also added a waistband, because I really prefer those to waist facings. For the waistband, I just cut a rectangle (I fussy-cut it so that I could have my favorite part of the skirt’s repeat on the outside) that was 1″ longer than my waist PLUS 5/8″ on each end for the seam allowance. I also interfaced it, since this is rayon challis we’re talking about here. (Speaking of waistbands, one of these days I will try to show you guys how I sew waistbands onto skirts, because it’s super clean.) So without further ado, here is my Anna skirt:



Side view, BAM!

Side view, BAM! (And a blur of dog.)

Mulder and I both showed our backsides for this one...

Mulder and I both showed our backsides for this one…

Anna in motion

Anna in motion

Gotta have a twirl photo...

Gotta have a twirl photo…

Pretty neat, huh? It’s super comfy and swishy. This fabric is a lot louder than most of what I regularly wear, and that effect is magnified by the fact that it’s a maxi skirt, but I’m digging it. Now comes the downside: this skirt is not my best work. The pattern matching (or lack thereof) is really bad, and I didn’t manage to think about aligning the black pyramid motif on the waistband with the center of the skirt front. 😦 Construction-wise, I did a really good job though. French seams throughout, except for the front seam where the split goes and the back seam where the zipper goes. And the waistband was attached in my usual fashion, which encloses all the raw edges. The above pics were all taken before I added the hook and eye at the top of the waistband, so if you see that gap there, that’s why; it’s done now, though! I actually ought to add a second hook and eye between the first one and the top of the zipper: I had a handful of 7″ invisible zippers on hand and was therefore determined to use one, but I could really have used a 9″ to make my life easier! Oh well.

Can you spot the French seam?

Can you spot the French seam?

Zipper; that's Hug Snug to finish off the raw edges there.

Zipper; that’s Hug Snug to finish off the raw edges there.

I used white thread for everything, and am really proud of how invisible the final stitching on the waistband ended up being thanks to my fussy-cutting:

Camouflaged white stitching to secure the waistband!

Camouflaged white stitching to secure the waistband!

And of course, it wouldn’t be an Anna without some sex appeal:

Dat split tho.

Dat split tho.

Since this is a casual skirt, I just topstitched the split opening (a la my Inari dress splits) and the hem. Speaking of that hem, measuring it was made SO FUCKING EASY thanks to my newest friend inanimate object:

My very own (VINTAGE!!!!) adjustable dress form--that fits me!

My very own (VINTAGE!!!!) adjustable dress form–that fits me!

“Size JR.” Damnit.

What her insides look like...

What her insides look like…

That’s right, I got a dress form!!! I put the skirt on her and was able to measure my hem out from the waistband without a problem AND without a live assistant. Hooray!

I cannot adequately express my excitement at finding this form. Finding one that would fit my stupid measurements had proved impossible since I started sewing seriously, and I had resigned myself to either buying a Uniquely You form (which isn’t a bad form, just a lot of work) or making a plaster cast (a task with which Tom should NOT be trusted, frankly), or just never having one. And then a Festivus-worthy miracle happened: while we were in our hometown a few weeks ago, we stopped at the antique shop owned by a cousin of my in-laws, and I saw this form from across the room. The price was way lower than any new form would have been, and that was before my “family discount” was applied. 😀 Plus, she is vintage, and you guys know how much I love my vintage! (Speaking of which, you know I didn’t get out of there with just the form, right? Not possible. xD) All she needs now is an adjustment or three and a name! Name suggestions for the dress form are welcome and encouraged! **Disclaimer: we here at “The ‘Mads’ House” reserve the right to ignore not use any suggestions we don’t like, or which have been previously reserved by us for future Fur Children/sewing machines/etc., etc.** 🙂

So there you have it: a new skirt, a new dress form, and a nearly-ready pattern to make a properly-fitted Anna dress! I will leave you now with some outtakes and the supply list. Thanks for reading–I’ve missed you all!

“There is no Mulder, only Demon Ginger Dog.”

Attack of The 50-Foot Wife!!

Attack of The 50-Foot Wife!!

Anna Skirt Supplies:

Anna dress pattern from By Hand London (skirt pieces only)
4 yards rayon challis from Fabric.com; I used about 3-3.5 yards, probably
1 x 7″ invisible zipper (9″ would have been better)
2 x hook and eye closures
Several feet of Hug Snug seam binding
Interfacing for waistband (roughly 3.5″ x 24″)
White thread

25 thoughts on “A Wild-and-Crazy Maxi Skirt (aka Look Who Finally Finished Something!)

  1. I love your Anna skirt! The twirl factor is impressive a nd the fabric is enviable. Love your new friend too. Name suggestion Mini-me. I’d love to see how you do waistbands sometime. It looks perfect.

    • Hahaha “Mini-Me” would be hilarious! I’d have to say it like Dr. Evil every time!!

      Thank you for the kind comment–I’m just relieved the skirt turned out to be wearable! And the fabric is the perfect weight and drape for summer in the midwest, too. =)

  2. Lovely skirt! I would never have noticed your “unmatching” but I know what you mean. Sometimes even though I THINK I think through a striped project I still manage to have something mis-aligned. I love the Anna and have never thought of a maxi skirt. I may need to copy you since it is one of my favorite patterns. Your new “you” looks to be in fantastic condition for a vintage dress form. Congrats!! I have one but it is not my size. It is my oldest daughters size though so I can sew things for her without her body. Someday I’d like to add another one that I can use!

    • Thank you so much! This stripe was definitely more complex than I am used to, but I can live with the finished skirt. Copy away, and be sure to share the results!! 😉 I hope you are able to find a you-sized form soon; it’s been such a help already. I figure if it has survived this long, it’s probably a pretty great piece of equipment!

  3. Oh Mads, this is stunning! Don’t worry about pattern matching, the print is so busy and glorious you don’t notice a thing. It’s fantastic, and I would really like to know how you do your waistbands.

    Oh and you fantastic dress form (so jealous!) is definitely a Hyacinth! Xxx

    • You are so sweet–thank you!! I will have to try photographing the waistband method tonight and see if I can make it make sense; I sure didn’t invent it, but the vintage instructions use one illustration for 3 steps and it’s confusing at first. And I love your name suggestion! She’d be a damn classy dame with a name like that!! (I’d probably have to throw “Her Ladyship” in front of that name!) ❤

  4. Nice skirt! And blogging hiatuses happen…for a variety of reasons. I always find myself apologizing for my own, and then later I go “wait, screw that: I do this for fun!” Ha.

    Dressform name suggestion, just because it looks like it’s from the same era as Mad Men: Peggy or Joan. 😉

    • Thanks! And CONGRATS!!! ❤ You now officially have the greatest built-in excuse for blogging hiatuses ever, LOL. And if I went the Mad Men route, there's no way I could use Joan–there is nothing va-va-voom about me or this dress form! 😉

  5. I meant to comment on this a while ago, but alas, life got in the way! It tends to do that, doesn’t it? 😉

    The skirt is kickin’! Now I feel like I should be rocking the maxi skirt + crop top because it’s just so chic. You wouldn’t find me in a crop top otherwise, but I think almost anyone can pull off the crop + maxi! And dat fabric tho. ❤

    Congrats on your new BFF! Having a dress form makes things SEW MUCH BETTER. As far as names go… hmmm… I guess Scully to go with Mulder? I'm guessing that's X-Files (I've never seen it – for shame!). Either that or Bertha just because it's hilarious. :-p

    • I wish life would just take a chill pill so we could all play with our sewing machines and the internet! 😉

      Crop top + maxi is a favorite of mine, too! And of course now we’re having a cold snap here so I can’t wear this skirt. 😦 You should totally rock that look; that’d be a great year-round staple in AZ!

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