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.





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Filed under Children, Clothing, Featured, Sewing, Women's Clothing


33 Responses to “Tiered Maxi Skirt………a great skirt for summer!”
  1. 1
    jackie says:

    I LOVE that skirt. It would be so perfect for my daughter when we go to the beach in a couple of months. I’ve been looking for white skirts/dresses for picture opportunities and I love Delia’s blog, too. Might have to make one for me too! Awesome.

  2. 2
    jennifer says:

    This skirt is beautiful! I love it. I want to make one for ME!

  3. 3
    Oklahoma Mom says:

    I love it, I always get in trouble for making the skirts to long….

  4. 4
    Cherie says:

    Yep, I want one for me! Ashley, would you be able to quickly estimate how much fabric you would buy to make yourself one? (I am not quite as tall as you, but close.)

    • 4.1
      Ashley says:

      Hmmm, I’m not sure exactly, since I haven’t made one for myself. But I would grab 3-4 yards of it, just to be safe? Or you could figure out the amount you would need by computing the size of each tier you would need (using the chart above), then see how much yardage you would need (depending on the width of fabric you bought). And depending on the price of fabric, you could make this really cheap. I’m pretty sure that white cotton fabric I bought was under $5 but I have seen plain white fabric for $2-$3 as well. Anyway, hope that helps………and good luck!


  5. 5
    Ashley says:

    beautiful! I love that kind of skirt! Well done Ashley! :-D
    Ashley (the other one ;-D)

  6. 6
    delia says:

    Thank you for your sweet compliments! It was a joy to have you be my guest.

  7. 7
    Kara says:

    I agree, could you guesstimate how much fabric you would need for yourself? Also, what type of fabric did you use? It’s beautiful.I’ve been wanting one for a longggg time, but don’t want to shell out the big bucks for one :) Thanks!

    • 7.1
      Ashley says:


      Hmmm, I’m not sure exactly, since I haven’t made one for myself. But I would grab 3-4 yards of it, just to be safe? Or you could figure out the amount you would need by computing the size of each tier you would need (using the chart above), then see how much yardage you would need (depending on the width of fabric you bought). And depending on the price of fabric, you could make this really cheap. I’m pretty sure that white cotton fabric I bought was under $5 but I have seen plain white fabric for $2-$3 as well. (And yes, its just regular ‘ol 100 percent cotton fabric. Nothing fancy.) Anyway, hope that helps………and good luck!


  8. 8
    Hagood says:

    This skirt is beautiful! I love it.

  9. 9
    Shayla says:

    It’s beautiful, and looks easy-ish to make! I am also wondering what type of fabric it is.

    • 9.1
      Ashley says:

      It’s just a very basic 100 percent cotton fabric. Nothing fancy and kinda thin. It was probably $5 or less a yard when I bought it a while ago. Hope that helps!


  10. 10
    Miss Bliss says:

    What is the difference between a maxi skirt and a regular skirt?

  11. 11
    Emily says:

    Lovely! The short lining is a great idea. I also miss the beach.

  12. 12
    Elsie says:

    Fabulous I’m loving it

  13. 13
    Morgan says:

    I am trying to get the tutorial for this but I can’t find it on the other website. I want to make this for my daughter for this summer.

  14. 14
    Lynette says:

    I have made 2 of these now for myself, and have plans for another one. After making the first one, I found that if I gather each tier (that needs it) as I construct the tier, it makes the gathering less monotonous. I’m also learning that with these (especially since I’ve used cotton) I have to overlock stitch (or you could do a zig zag) all the seams so you’re not pulling apart stray strings every time it goes through the wash! Thanks for such a great tutorial, I love it, and am sure I will be making little girly versions once mine gets here in October.

  15. 15
    Sadia says:

    Thank you!!!!!

  16. 16
    tracie says:

    I just love those sandals your daughter is wearing. Where are they from? I will be making my daughter and I matching white skirts like this for pictures on the beach this summer :)

  17. 17
    Erin says:

    Hi. I love this skirt, but one question…if I am not attaching a lining to the skirt, do I just finish the top tier by folding over and creating the casing for the elastic? I should probably add a little more fabric for this step if that is what I am going to do?

    • 17.1
      Ashley says:

      Yes, you’re exactly right. You’ll need at least another inch at the top to fold over and create a casing. Good luck!


  18. 18
    Camille says:

    Hi Ashley! Thank you so much for posting such a thorough tutorial!

    I’m a bit of a novice, so please forgive the following simplistic question: when you sew the individual tiers together, do you do so by hand or do you use the sewing machine? I’m asking because I have only sewn the front and back components of clothing together never top and bottom levels together (with the front and back components already attached).

  19. 19
    Ann says:

    Ashley, thank you for these great instructions. It’s so helpful to know how much wider to make each tier, and the skirt is so pretty.