I have been wanting to make a multi-tier maxi skirt for so long. As soon as I saw the plan for the Renee Top and Dress I knew that this would make the skirt I was envisioning. I paired this with the Wanda Tee and Dress and it is perfection.
Let’s Get Started
Most of the construction will be the same as the original tutorial. However, you will need to do some calculations to determine the dimensions of your pieces. I will include all of the measurements I used and the charts for them as examples. Mine is for a size XL with a finished measurement of 41” long using 1” elastic for the waistband.
The very first thing you will need to decide is the total finished length for your skirt. Measure from where you wear your skirt at your waist down to the floor (or length where you want the bottom to hit.) Mine is 41”
Divide your total length into 4 sections. Each tier can be any length you’d like, but they need to equal the total length you measured. Make yourself a chart to keep track of all of your finished measurements to reference for calculating the dimensions for each tier.
You will use the chart in the Renee tutorial on page 19 for the widths of tiers. Tiers 1-3 will be moved down and become tiers 2-4 You will calculate the width for the first tier.
New Tier #1:
Each tier is 1.5 times wider than the previous one. To find the width of the new first tier you will do the opposite.
- Find the width measurement from the chart in the tutorial for the first tier.
- Divide that measurement by 1.5
- Enter the new tier #1 width measurement into your chart.
- Mine: Tutorial tier #1 width is 36.25” divided by 1.5 = 24.166” (Rounded up to 24.25”) I ended up adding another .5” to this after sewing a muslin top tier to make it more comfortable to pull over my hips.
Adding Seam Allowance
Tier # 1:
- You will need to calculate how much to add on for the encased elastic waistband for the top tier. (You will need to know the width of elastic you are going to be using to make your calculations.)
- When you sew the waist you will fold the top edge down .25” then fold it over again .5” wider than your elastic.
- You will also need to add in the ⅜” seam allowance at the bottom edge.
- Mine: 4” (finished measurement) + .25” top edge fold
- + width of elastic (1”)
- + .5” for the second fold = 5 ¾”
- + 3/8″ for the bottom seam allowance = 6.125” rounded up to 6.25”
Tiers #2 and #3
- Add ⅜” to the top edge and ⅜” to the bottom edge for a total of .75” to your finished measurement.
- T #2: 13” + .75” = 13.75”
- Tier #3: 16” + .75” = 16.75”
- Add .5” to the bottom for hemming and ⅜” to the top edge for the seam allowance = .875
- Round that up to 1″
- Mine: #4: 8” + 1” = 9”
- Use the chart you made with your calculations for each tier.
- Cut 2 of each tier to the width and length that includes the seam allowances for each of your four tiers. (Colums highlighted in chart above.)
- Depending on which size you make, you will likely need to cut at least the fourth tier cross-grain and possibly others so be sure to use a solid or non-directional print.
- I also made myself pattern pieces for each tier to cut them on the fold.
As with any new pattern, it is recommended to make a muslin before using your fancy fabric. If you have previously made the Renee dress, I would still suggest at least making a muslin of the top tier without elastic and pulling it up to make sure it easily goes over your hips. (Mine felt like I had to wiggle it up so I added ½” to each piece to make it a little more comfortable.)
- Start with the first tier. Sew both short ends together to make a full loop.
- Press the top edge down towards the wrong side ¼”
- Fold the top edge down again the width of your elastic plus another ½” and press.
- Topstitch along the bottom edge of the fold leaving a 1”-2” opening in the stitches.
- Measure the length of elastic you will need by wrapping it around your waist (or where you measured the top of the skirt from) and pulling it tight enough for it to fit comfortably without being too tight and have enough room to overlap the ends ½” to sew them in a loop and cut it to that length.
- Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and push it through the waist opening.
- Continue pushing the elastic through the waist encasing until it comes out the other side making sure to keep ahold of the opposite end of the elastic so it doesn’t get pulled in.
- Make sure the elastic is not twisted at all in the casing, then overlap the ends ½” and sew them together with a stretch stitch.
- If you’d like, you can try it on again to check to make sure the elastic is a good fit and make any needed adjustments to it.
- Finish the topstitching along the opening.
Keep on Sewing
- Follow the instructions in the tutorial to gather and attach tiers #2-#4
- Before you hem your skirt, try it on to check the length.
- Hemming per the tutorial will make it ½” shorter when finished. If it’s too long, you can cut off the excess from the bottom tier before hemming, or you can make a wider hem.