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Tiered Maxi Skirt………a great skirt for summer!

Have you been enjoying summer?  The sun?  The carefree summer schedule?  Yeah, me too.  Except for record breaking heat…….which burns my poor little pale skin. 


Have you been cranking out any summer projects?  Well, here’s some inspiration in case you need some.  Delia, from the adorable blog, Delia Creates, is co-hosting “Color Your Summer, 2012”.  (And in case you’re wondering, that sweet little Delia may be the kindest and most sincere person you’ll ever meet.  And her children??  Ack…..gorgeous!)  All I can say is that there are so many fun and colorful ideas/projects over at “Color Your Summer”, that you may need to hurry over and scroll through.  Like, right now! 


All the different colors of “Color Your Summer” are completed by different bloggers.  And my color is………….WHITE.  I know, not super colorful.  But white is such a summery color to me.  And enhances all of those other colors of the rainbow.  So white seemed perfect to me.  And I know, white seems crazy to put on children……but I don’t mind it one bit.  Because add a little bleach or oxy clean, and whites return right back to white.  No problem.


So what sort of project did I make??  A sweet little summery WHITE Tiered Maxi Skirt



Ahhhh, light and breezy.



The different rows of tiers can be shortened and lengthened, to make any size skirt.  (And yes, I show you how to figure out the measurements, in case you want to make this skirt in your size too.)



If you make one in white like I did (which tends to be see-through)……… no worries. I’ll show you how to add a little lining on the inside, which I made short to keep the skirt cool.



And yeah, this is similar to my 3 Tiered Skirt tutorial here.  Just longer.



Seeing Elli in this breezy white skirt…….makes me miss our trips to the beach while living in GA.  I can just imagine this little lady running right along the ocean’s edge in this white breezy skirt.  Awww, I miss those beaches.  (And I miss our friends.  How are you, friends? :) )




Now, be sure and head on over HERE to “Color Your Summer 2012” at Delia Creates.  And then stick around, because she’s clever and talented, that Delia. :)



Let’s get started:


The first step is to decide how long you want the skirt, from the very top, down to the bottom hem. Once you know how long you want it, split that number by 5. For each tier, you will add a little extra to the top and bottom length, to accommodate for the waistband, the overlap, and the hem. And to figure out the width of each tier, you need to measure the waist of your model. The first tier width will be the waist measurement multiplied by 1.5. The second tier is the waist measurement multiplied by 2. The 3rd tier is the waist measurement multiplied by 2.7. And so on. I know, 2.7, 3.6, and 4.8 are strange numbers but it keeps the ratio even between tiers. Just go with it!


Something else to keep in mind…….if you are using a serger on the edges like I did, your measurements will be different. However, I figured most people don’t have a serger, so I gave the measurements to fold and hem each of you edges. (But I’ll explain the serging too.)


Here’s a chart to keep all of those measurements straight:



(And keep in mind, if you want the skirt fuller, add some fabric to each width…..and keep the ratio the same between each tier. This will make it even fuller. Do what works best for you though and the amount of fabric you have.)


So, for example: My little girl’s waist is 20 inches. And I measured from her waist down to where I wanted it to end near her ankles, which was 25 inches. So I first divided 25 by 5, which is 5. So each finished tier would measure 5 inches tall. Then, I knew that if I were to fold and hem each edge (instead of serging it, which is what I did), I would add the extra measurements to each tier height (as shown above). If that was the case, they would measure:


Tier 1 = 6.5 x 30

Tier 2 =6.5 x 40

Tier 3 = 6.5 x 54

Tier 4 = 6.5 x 72

Tier 5 = 6 x 96


However, if you’re going to serge your edges like I did, ignore the extra 1/2 inch, 1 inch, 1/2 inch, 1 inch etc. Simply add a 1/2 inch to each tier height. And that’s it. So each of my tiers were 5.5 inches tall and then the same width as listed above.


**Please note, the measurements don’t have to be perfect. You can round up or down so you’re not trying to cut something that is 6.78 inches wide. That would be annoying. This skirt is forgiving since it gathers in and doesn’t have to be perfect.


And one more thing, if you decide to add lining to your skirt (because your fabric is see-through like my white was), cut a piece of fabric that is as wide as your top tier (30 inches in my case) and then however long you want it to be. I decided about knee length would be best (and not as hot as full length), so I cut mine 14 inches long.


Here are all of my pieces. (If your fabric isn’t long enough, you may have to piece fabric together to make your strips long enough.)


Once you have all your strips cut out, take one strip at a time (including your lining strip, if you are adding one) and sew the two ends together with right sides together and with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, creating a circle out of each strip. Then finish off that raw edge (zig-zag, add another seam, serge, use pinking shears, etc.) Then, if you are folding and hemming your long edges, fold the top and bottom edges under a 1/4 inch, another 1/4 inch, and then sew in place. (Except for the top edge of tier 1. Leave that unfinished.) However, if you’re serge-ing like I did, simply serge that top and bottom edge.


Now, grab your first and second tiers. Sew a basting stitch along the top edge of tier 2 and cinch it in to the same width as tier one. Pin it evenly all the way around the bottom of tier 1, overlapping by a 1/2 inch. (Need help making and attaching your gathered fabric evenly?? Go here.)


Then sew that ruffled tier right in place, sewing right on top of that basting stitch.


Repeat with the other tiers, sewing them in place. (If you only had one side seam in each tier, match them all up so that they can be placed at the back of the skirt.)


Now, slide your skirt lining around the skirt section you just made, matching up the top edges. Be sure that the WRONG side of the lining is laying against the RIGHT side of the skirt section. Pin the top edges in place.


Then pull the lining up and push down to the inside of the skirt. Iron that top edge flat.


Then sew a seam 1.25 inches from the top edge of the skirt, all the way around………..


………..except leave about a 2 inch opening in the back. Here’s your casing for your elastic with an entrance.


Then lift up the top layer of skirt and find that opening in the casing you just made. Thread some 1 inch wide elastic (using a safety pin) through the casing. (Measure your child’s waist and then subtract about an inch. That should be a good length for the elastic.)


Leave the ends of the elastic out, then overlap the ends and sew them together.


Then flip the skirt right side out again and sew that opening closed. And then add a fabric tag if you have one. :)



And that’s it.


A nice and summery WHITE Tiered Maxi Skirt.





Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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