Maxi Mom Returns


When I found myself cutting out yet another maxi-length skirt, I worried for a moment that I’d never see my ankles again. And, then in the next moment, I was OK with that. I mean, the gals in the 19th century rocked maxi skirts and dresses everyday, all day. Playing tennis, riding bicycles, running after children, running households….basically saving the world.


It’s too bad I’m a klutz when I wear long, full skirts. Tripping over or stepping on my hem, getting it caught in car doors, letting snacks melt in my pockets —like a stylish anti-hero. So, this may be my last 35-inch skirt of the season. A great occasion for a wide, mudcloth waistband. And an even better one to make the basic white tee that eluded me all summer.

IMG_9305A dreamy chocolate linen from my stash wanted to be a summer neutral, but needed a little something to tame the rich color. Something like the fab-u-lous mud cloth I bought somewhere at sometime in the past that I can’t quite remember. It’s history didn’t matter the moment I attached the skirt to the waistband. The two fabrics were so right for each other, you’d think they’d met on eHarmony instead of in my sewing room.

mudclothwbmaxi_collageThe mud cloth has a canvas weight, so interfacing wasn’t necessary, but the two-inch waistband could’ve used more support, maybe even boning at the side seams or hidden elastic that would act kinda like a snugly interlining to keep it from collapsing. I fastened it at center back with a zipper and a massive sew-on snap. I love the look and novelty of it, but after a hearty meal, that snap has been known to randomly pop open like a jack in the box (scaring the snap out of me), so I think I’ll go back to boring, more predictably behaving closures.


The volume of this skirt is what I love most about it. It’s also what I have to get used to so I don’t end up face-planting. Maybe I can help someone appreciate the awesomeness of a handmade skirt instead of being distracted and (possibly entertained) by its uncoordinated wearer.

Maxi Mom Fun

Maxi skirts are the new mom jeans. That’s an observation AND a declaration for the summer, my friends. And, I plan to thoroughly live up to it. The summer sale racks are overflowing with maxi styles and my weekend afternoons could be spent playing I Spy a Maxi (on the playground, at the market, crossing the street, etc.). But, the best view of a summer maxi I’ve had so far is the twirl-generating, floor-skimming linen skirt I made a few weeks ago and have already worn a million times since.


Over the last month, my sewing mojo has been at its peak. I went head first into my wardrobe sewing plan and started plowing through muslins and 1-hour t-shirts like a one-woman factory. For a brief moment though, I was nearly defeated by a streak of wadders and unintentional wearable muslins – garments made with good intentions that lose cool points because of stupid construction mistakes on my part. I channeled that epic fail feeling into a new, scaled back sewing plan (more on that later) that functioned like Ritalin on my haphazard making.

This outfit was the first high-five I earned in weeks. It inspired an impromptu photoshoot at the end of an awesomely productive day at the office that I am certain was influenced by how good I felt in my clothes. I’ll give you the top-down tour.


The t-shirt marathon that produced this blue rayon jersey top began with a short lesson in twin needle stitching. Where had it been all my life? Constructing the four seams of the fantastically free, Maria Denmark Kimono Tee (get it now if you don’t have it yet) with my serger and then swiveling to my sewing machine for twin needle hemming was the best way to breeze through an already quick sew even faster. Taking the time to hand wind my bobbin with bulky nylon thread slowed my groove a tad, but it was worth it for a functional set of stretchy hem stitches that won’t pop while pulling the shirt on and off.

I lengthened the sleeves of this version of the Kimono Tee using Maria’s tutorial and added a narrow wraparound neck binding, my new favorite way to finish a knit neckline. Everything came together so easily and so fast, I looked around the room half expecting someone to tell me I broke the law.


Back to this linen maxi skirt with its gorgeous wrinkles and flirty swishyness. I lengthened my go-to dirndl pattern 15 inches and added pockets and a self-drafted waistband. The simplest of simple. I think it’s the light, billowy nature of the linen that gives the skirt life. It catches the air when I walk in such a regal way. During a business trip last week, it was the perfect traveling skirt. I hurried through Dulles and Atlanta airports in my DIY maxi and Keds, letting its soft, rhythmic rustling sound give my strut added purpose.


Styling it with a wide belt for this outfit was my second high five moment. With so much fabric on my lower half, I didn’t want to overdo the accessories – the right belt was all I needed to tie the two pieces together. Boom. And, I’m dressed.


The most notable fun factor for this skirt is its universal swish appeal. My daughter instinctively grabs the sides when she’s standing next to me and starts swinging the fabric. And when it’s story time, she cuddles up on my lap like it is the coziest toddler hammock in the world. Because it is.


What’s your favorite way to wear a maxi skirt? And, why do they always make you feel majestic even when there’s crayons in your pockets and dirt on the hem?