04 September 2011

Maxi Skirt Pattern

anthro skirt

It's HERE!  It's done!  It took forever.  And I may never make another clothing pattern ever again.  Grading is not something to be taken lightly, and I make no promises that the pieces fit together perfectly (even if there are only 3).  The instructions aren't perfect, but if when there are any questions, I will be happy to try and clarify.
Anthropologie's Lengthening Rays Skirt

Let me just remind you that this is my version of Anthropologie's "Lengthening Rays", but in real silk (silk chiffon outside, and silk lining inside).   The sizing for the skirt is the same as that on BurdaStyle.


pink silk chiffon

A few tips on sewing with silk:
1. use a size 8 or smaller needle.  make sure it is brand new.  the sharper the better, to avoid puckers.
2. be very gentle when guiding the fabric through your machine.  do not pull or tug on it.
3. do all pinning within the seam allowances to avoid any permanent marks from pin holes.
4. when in doubt, sew slowly.
5. use cotton thread when sewing with silk because cotton is weaker than silk, and if there is strain at a seam, the thread will break before the fabric, making future repairs possible.

I may try to put up some photo tutorials of some of the more complicated steps, if they are requested.  Please do let me know if you decide to try it!  I would love feedback!

JANUARY 2017 UPDATE: I've updated the pattern slightly and wanted to include some additional details for those just finding this pattern, to save you the search through the comments below:

Note that this is not the best pattern for a beginner, as silk can be fiddly to work with.  If you have made a skirt or two before and are looking for a new challenge however, please proceed with caution!

Fit information: this skirt is designed to sit approximately 1" below the natural waist with a hem just above the floor. 


Sizes included: 
  • Size 34 = 24.5 inch waist 
  • Size 36 = 26 inch waist 
  • Size 38 = 27.75 inch waist 
  • Size 40 = 29.25 inch waist 
  • Size 42 = 30.75 waist 
  • Size 44 = 32.5 inch waist


You can download pattern and instructions for the silk chiffon maxi skirt from here or on Craftsy or Burdastyle.
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61 comments

  1. Lorenna, this turned out gorgeous, wow.

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  2. Getting an error for the pattern link

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  3. should be all fixed! Thanks for letting me know Niki!

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  4. are there any actual pattern pieces or measurements? I am just getting instructions in the pdf and layout, which is great but pattern pieces would be awesome!

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  5. Hi Hannah,

    The pdf should be 7 pages long with the pattern pieces on the 2 sheets at the end. If the download is not working for you, let me know and I can email it to you.

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  6. Got all 7 pages now thanks so much i am super excited!!!

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  7. Now I know what to do with the bolt of chiffon I recently aquired. I think I'll try to pare down the pattern for my daughter. If you want to take a break from apparel, check some of my handbag tutorials.
    Best,
    Rikka J.
    Ricochet and Away!

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  8. I don't understand the measurements on the 7th page? So I don't know what size to make... I couldn't find any sizing on BurdaStyle so if you could help me understand what the 34-44 sizes are that would be great :)

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  9. Hi Jesterwashere,
    I will give the Burdastyle sizing waist measurements, because that is really the only important measurement for this skirt.
    Size 34 = 24.5 inch waist
    Size 36 = 26 inch waist
    Size 38 = 27.75 inch waist
    Size 40 = 29.25 inch waist
    Size 42 = 30.75 waist
    Size 44 = 32.5 inch waist

    The rest of the burdastyle sizing chart can be found here:
    http://www.burdastyle.com/statics/size-chart

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    Replies
    1. Muchas gracias por proporcionar las medidas, muy útil

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  10. how much fabric did you use? i love the skirt well done!

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  11. hi Lorenna,

    i was ondering if you would be able to post up photos in making this maxi skirt? im still quite new at sewing and i believe photos showing each step will be helpful!

    thanks xx

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  12. Hey Lorenna,

    Just letting you know I've made this pattern 2 times now, one without the waistband and one with, and converted the one without the waistband into a convertable dress! (you know, like twobirdbridesmaids.com)
    And now I'm making 3 more for my bridesmaid dresses! Super excited!
    thanks heaps, they are really good instructions :)
    x tay

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    Replies
    1. Hey,
      can I ask you a question? Since you have made it so mamy times ((: How do you cut out your fabric.. do you just measure and mark since you dont have a physical patter to lay on the fabric? Also, the waistband is the most confusing.. can you tell me how you cut that out and the curved shape??

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  13. When I print the pattern what size of paper should it be on? Also I am a size 14/16 what measurements should I use??

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  14. the pattern can be printed on letter size or A4 paper. Just make sure it print at 100%. I posted the waist measurements that correspond to the sizes in the comments above, so just measure your waist, and then pick the size that matches the best!

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  15. LOVE this.
    i think i need to sew some more. thanks for sharing!
    {love} lauryn @ lovenotesbylauryn.blogspot.com
    stop by if you are interested!

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  16. I love this skirt and hope to start it this weekend. Can you please tell me if the waist sits lower than the given waist size. Meaning is the rise mid-rise, or low-rise or maybe even high-rise? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karen,

      The rise fits approximately 1 inch below the waist.

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  17. is the waistband pattern actual size? because it does not make any sense to me

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    Replies
    1. the waistband pattern is the actual size. But remember, you are cutting out 2 on the fold to go around your waist, so it will be 4 times as long as the piece pattern piece when it extends around the waist.

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  18. Hey lorenna - I am trying to download the pattern, because i am in love with your skirt. But it says that the file doesn't exist anymore. Is it possible for you to send it to me?

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    Replies
    1. If you are still having trouble accessing the pattern, please email me at lorennabuck [at] gmail [dot] com

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  19. Where did you buy the fabric for this, I'm in love with the color!

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    1. My fabric came from a local discount fabric store. It is a magical place and luckily had the exact color silk I was looking for at the time.

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    2. What is the name of this magical place you speak of? (I live in MA, too). Great skirt! I can't wait to build up my sewing confidence and try this out.

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Hi Lorenna, this skirt is beautiful. I'm sort of a first time sewer (am currently making a shower curtain but never have made apparel). I purchased rayon spandex fabric this weekend, do you think this pattern will work well for my fabric?

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    1. Hi Lulu,

      As a beginning sewer, I would not recommend using a stretch fabric with this pattern, as the fit will be off. Instead, I would suggest using a pattern specifically for knit fabric, like this one: http://www.sew-much-ado.com/2011/02/maxi-skirt-tutorial.html

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  22. hi Lorenna...
    i love this! i just bought fabric to attempt it. thanks SO much for the pattern and directions! quick question...i would like to make my skirt more of a high waisted skirt....maybe 2 inches above my belly button? do you have any suggestions on how to adjust the measurements? with the current pattern, i would be sewing the smallest size. thanks for any tips you can offer! :)

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    1. To make a high-waisted skirt, I would probably just draft a new waistband from scratch. You can just draft two rectangles (one for the front and one for the back) that are each 1/2 of your waist circumference + 1 inch (for a 1/2 inch seam allowance on each side) in length and the width of your choice (again, plus seam allowances). Cut out 4 total rectangles (for outer waistband and lining) and use them instead of the curved waistbands in the tutorial.

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  23. Was your fabric 44-45 inches?

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    1. yes it was. This layout only works if you are short enough to have 44-45" be long enough for a maxi skirt. Otherwise you might need to turn the layout 90 degrees and require more fabric.

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  24. Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. This makes me so happy.

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  25. Please can you explain what is "interfacing"? i am not native English so got a bit confused..

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  26. Thank you for posting this! I am 7 months pregnant and not looking forward to a hot summer. Thinking this may be the best way to go...as I have TONS of fabric and not $60 to spend on a maternity skirt!

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    Replies
    1. How did it work for you, Alishia?
      I am expecting as well and hope to wear this all summer (baby due Oct. 1st). Did you have to use the higher waist alteration as requested by "www.asmallsnippet.blogspot.com" on April 17, 2012 ?

      Would love to hear your insights! Hope you and you baby are doing wonderfully!

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  27. I have printed this pattern and read through and understand all except for the waistband sizing. I am about 32.5 waist, so I would use the size 44?? Though that is listed as European and not "Burda" size. The waistband printout I have measures 8 5/16". That doesn't make sense, as it would not fit around my waist. The next page says to make my waist line (marked as "A" on the lining) 39.5. Even taking some of that off for seam allowance, would be too large.
    Am I compleatly misinterpreting this? I am not used to sewing from patterns.

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    1. you will cut two waistband pieces on the fold to make it around your waist. That means for an 8 5/16" length, you will have about 32" around the waist (I am not doing exact math). The skirt will get gathered to fit the waistband, so do not worry.

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  28. for size 42, i need more than 2 yards, so thanks for making me waist my money..................................................... how can i salvage this project!?!?!?!? and how could u not tell us that for the larger sizes you'll need more fabric............................. how could u list as two yards when its not?????? ughhhhhhhhh thanks alot!

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    1. I am sorry for your frustration, but I appreciate you letting me know about this discrepency. As a free pattern, I should have mentioned explicitly that this is not fully tested in all sizes. If you happened to choose the same fabric for your outer and lining fabrics, you could use all the fabric you bought for the outer part of the skirt and then use a different fabric for the lining. Another option would be to make a shorter (knee-length maybe?) skirt with the fabric you have, in order to salvage your project. I will update the file to require more fabric yardage.

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    2. Can I just say, that is rather rude. She posted a free pattern. Obviously if you're bigger, you need more fabric. Do you really think a bigger butt will fit? Wow. Idk if it's rudeness or just plain stupidity.

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  29. Hi Thanks for the pattern! I was wondering if we add in the 5/8" seam allowance everything or it's already included.

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  30. Also a ball point needle will prevent the puckering!

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  31. Hi! This may be a really dumb question, but I'm new to sewing, so I'll ask anyway. :) when you mention "silk lining fabric" on your pattern, is that a specific kind of silk fabric or is it any silk fabric just used to line the outer silk? Basically, can I just buy 4 yards of the same silk chiffon to use or outer and lining?

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    Replies
    1. It can be the same as the outer fabric. Just make sure you are satisfied that the skirt is not too see-through!

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  32. Im very new to sewing, if possible, could you make a video tutorial? many Thanks

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  33. or some photo tutorials :). your assistance will be highly appreciated

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  34. warning to those planning to make this skirt --- if you are a beginner--- this is NOT for you. If you have never worked with silk before -- this is NOT for you. It's an adorable skirt, but it is not for the beginner sewer. Lorenna, would you ever sell these? I LOVE the skirt, but I just completely failed at making it (by no fault of yours. Your pattern and instructions were great. My execution was awful.)

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  35. I would really like to know the specific type of silk you used for the lining, thanks!

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  36. Darn, I'm a beginner but would love to make this skirt. Just can't seem to stop spending money at the fashion boutique. Sigh.

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  37. Would this work with like a jersey material? I'm new(er) to sewing and I don't feel quite ready for silk!

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  38. i am completely stumped in regards to attaching the waistband to the skirt. photos or video would really help! since i already sewed the waistband parts together on one side, how can I seperate them again for step 5??? :/ maybe i am misunderstanding it.

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  39. Hi could u send this to my email, i can download but not open. please send to mel88210@yahoo.com ty

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  40. The informations are so lovely and so usefull so thank you very much. Be sure i will use all of them keeping in my mind.Have a goog luck. http://guncelyazar.net

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  41. I just found this and I was wondering how you launder it?

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  42. Please email to me too. frida.bil@gmail.com

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  43. Excellent tip on the cotton thread. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

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