December 06, 2011

DIY: Turn a Maxi Skirt into a Fishtail Skirt

After showing you all my fishtail skirt that I made in this post, I had a few people message me and ask if I could make a tutorial.  Ask and you shall receive!  Hope you all enjoy and message me if you don't understand something or need more clarification.


Step 1: Organize your tools

  • Scissors
  • Matching thread and a needle
  • Tape measure
  • Maxi skirt
  • Iron (optional)

Step 2: Making the measurements

  • Measure from the waist of the maxi skirt to the middle of the skirt where you would like the shortest part of the finished hem to be.  
  • Add 1/2 an inch to your measurement.
  • Mine was 12 inches + 1/2 an inch = 12.5 inches

Step 3: Folding

  • Fold the skirt so that the side seams are now in line with each other.
  • If your skirt does not have side seams, do your best to make sure it is as even as possible on both sides.
  • Matching the side seams will ensure that your finished "fishtail" will be symmetrical.

Step 4: Measure and cut

  • Take the tape measure and measure from the waist band down the diagonal of the skirt to the measurement you got in Step 2.
  • This will be your end point for cutting.
  • Starting at the side seam, cut in an arc up to your end point.  You can eyeball it like I did, or if you need to, take some chalk and draw a line to cut.
  • Do NOT cut through the side seam!  You don't want to have to sew the seam if you don't have to.

Step 5: Examine

  • Hold up your skirt and admire it!  
  • It should look pretty symmetrical going from short in the middle to long on the sides.  You're almost there!

Step 6: Prepare needle and thread

  • Take a good length of thread.  Though not too long as it will get tangled if you're not careful.
  • Thread it through the needle and knot one end 2 times.  My material is sheer so I made sure to make a good knot so it wouldn't slip through the material.

Step 7: Sewing the hem

  • To get a finished edge, you will want to make a rolled hem.  To achieve this, you will roll the raw edge toward the inside of the skirt and then roll one more time.  Note the picture.
  • Use an iron (optional) to keep the hem neat.  It will make it easier for sewing, but it's not necessary.

Step 8: Hidden stitch

  • A hidden stitch is used on most skirts and even pant cuffs.  If you have a serger, you can use one, but I find hand sewing to be neat.
  • Start by grabbing a little bit of the skirt fabric at the start of the side seam and grab the rolled hem and pull the needle and thread through.
  • Continue in this manner all the way until you reach the side seam on the opposite side.
  • This part is tedious, but you will get a nice finished hem this way. :)
  • You will need to get more thread as you go along.  So just knot the current thread and then start at Step 6 again and continue.

Step 9: Admire and wear
  • Admire your newly transformed maxi skirt into a fishtail!  Easy and fun right?  To view my finished skirt click here!
Don't forget to leave a link in the comments if you tried this.  Let me know how it goes!  Have fun!


Cherry Monster Fashion said...

This is Clever! I love adding a personal touch to my wardrobe :)

Sarah Whitney said...

Great idea! I love being able to turn something old into something new :)

Yara Simón said...

Great tutorial. =]