A Denim Maxi … Where Jeans Meet Skirt

A denim maxi…where jeans meet skirt!

(with updated pics…)

This pattern from BurdaStyle Magazine Oct 2011 (#103) caught my eye:

It’s designed for a stretch knit but several reviewers on Pattern Review used denim, and I had some stretch denim lurking in my stash…just perfect for this.

I thought the fly zip might be a challenge, having  never installed one, but it went in just fine! I reviewed Sandra Betzina’s instructions in Power Sewing as well as Debbie Cook’s excellent Fly Zip tutorial. And the BurdaStyle ones weren’t too bad either!

This pattern runs ‘big’. I traced a 42 which is usually fine, but this swam on me! I even cut the fabric on grain, rather than the recommended bias, in an effort to avoid ‘bagging out’ that can occur with stretch denim.  I also used a 2% stretch denim to reduce this potential (many are 3%). Found it at The Remnant Warehouse in Alexandria (Sydney). They have a range of good quality denim … as well as numerous other temptations!

Fortunately, there are many seams to allow even ‘running in’.  I took it in a good inch on the front and back seams and half inch on both sides. The yoke and waistband allow further tweaking, which I think I am getting better at! I’m happy with the fit across the lower back after repeated incremental ‘running in’s’.

To further reduce ‘bagging’, I stablised the top front with calico squares to act as ‘stays’, attached at the side seams and the fly tape. Debbie Cook’s Fly Tutorial explains this very well and it really works! (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture, but you get a clear idea of how it looks on Debbie’s tutorial).

It’s lined with a funky purple & orange stretch poly-charmeuse.

I left the back pockets off. My goal was to have a slightly less ‘jeansy’ look. But it was a bit ‘dark’ and rather plain…so I jazzed it up with some more of my favourite embellishment: hand top stitching…deliberately ‘not perfect’. (Well, that’s my story…).

It’s also quite short. I’m 5’5″ and it hits right at my ankle, without a hem!. To maximise the maxi-ness, I sewed wide bias hemtape to the bottom edge and turned it up on the seam. I then slip-stitched the lining to the hem tape to neatly enclose the innards.

I’ve worn it several times this week…and figured out it’s more of ‘sitting’ skirt than a walking skirt. Hoiking it up to your knees to walk at a reasonable pace defeats the whole purpose…not to mention looks a tad undignified when running for the bus! I’d recommend inserting a back vent, even if using a stretch knit.

Here’s a full length shot:

Also see my Pattern Review.


  1. What a fabulous skirt! I’ve been eying that burdastyle pattern off for a while. Its great to see it made up. Yours is fabulous. The top stitching is a great touch too.

  2. This has always been a potential from this issue for my Burda Challenge. I also have a coat picked out of the same issue and haven’t decided which one I’m going to make (and don’t need to for a few months). This post is nudging the skirt into first place. I’m wondering which of my future Burda Challenge garments you are going to make next 🙂

  3. Your Renfrew looks great! AND love your skirt! How tall are you? It makes you look very long- I am 5’3″- I don’t know if this would work for me- but I am just so happy admiring yours! Just lovely!

    • Hi Tracey – I’m 5’5″…and wear this skirt with heels to elongate things…it does tend to overwhelm with just flat shoes. I also think wearing a closer fitting top than the Renfrew might be better …my resident Fashion Advisor (DD,16yrs) suggested the I need to create more a of waistline, to avoid looking like a block…will keep working on how best to wear this…

    • Good idea Sharon…I just tried a cinch belt but the skirt waistband slips out from under it….one of the reviewers on PR (sorry can’t recall name at present) put belt loops on her denim version….will ponder that possibility….

  4. Love your skirt, another great creation from the House of Cherry Pix. Can’t say I understand your comment about imperfect topstitching, looks pretty spot on to me. Isn’t topstitching just so effective.

  5. That’s really cute and I hadn’t seen that pattern before, so thanks for brining to my blogattention! Beautifully top stitching…very RTW (but better, of course) 🙂

  6. I love this skirt! I’ve been hankering to make that plaid maxi, but never got up the time or courage to do so. Your denim version is lovely, and I love your hand topstitching!

    • Thanks Tia Dia. I agree, that plaid version is very pretty. If you do make this, I strongly recommend adding a long walking vent in back. Or be prepared to mince along… ;-P

  7. Oh oh oh oh this looks fab – makes you look so long! As you say, perfect for winter and tonight it is definitely winter. I had a great LONG maxi once many years ago which didn’t get worn much until I opened the bottom of the CB seam, so I’ll be up for a vent on this one. Its on the list. Hah, that means it’ll be made sometime in a few years time 🙂

  8. It turned out beautifully! I would have never thought to make a denim maxi but I love the cut and style of yours. That lining is so fun and the fit looks spot on!

    • Thanks Meg! It’s a great winter skirt…but if you make one, definitely include a walking vent…this one is only for standing in one place or dinner parties!

  9. I love this skirt pattern and the fabric and stitching is so nice! I like to do that same kind of stitching on garments, too. It fits perfectly and is very stylish on you!

    • Hi again Kerri – I’m really inspired with embellishing…have you ever seen Couture Art’s blog? She makes some gorgeous creations with various stitches/couching/applique etc. I also just invested in a book by Alabama Chanin….so many ideas…!

  10. Hi, I’m a fan of denim maxis, once I made very similiar skirt to yours from old denim trousers, and I agree that it’s a little tricky to wear since there is not enough room to make reasonable steps, but I don’t mind because it looks so fabulous 🙂 and I don’t really like slits.

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