My Maxi Chardon Skirt

Chardon maxi skirt - Deer and Doe sewing pattern -

Chardon maxi - Deer and Doe - front view -

Do you like maxi skirts? This is the first one I’ve made. I used Deer and Doe’s Chardon skirt pattern, which is knee-length, but I made it into a maxi length so I could show off this great wax print, which I got from Britex Fabrics. It’s a medium weight cotton that has a bit of stiffness to it but that works well with this pattern.

I bought the last few yards of it in November during a Bay Area Sewists meetup on sewing slippery fabrics.  The warm beige background color isn’t very flattering for my skin tone but I loved the print so much, I thought – as long as I keep it away from my face, I can make it work. And I knew I could wear it with black. (Warning: Many photos are in this post – construction details and more photos of the finished skirt.)

I debated on Instagram whether I should use the print horizontally or vertically (excuse the blurry photo but you get the idea).

#Chardon maxi skirt – use this African wax print vertical or horizontal?

A photo posted by C Sews (@csews) on


People liked it horizontal and vertical. But horizontally, it did look a lot like snakes. And as @Sewbrooke of Custom Style pointed out:

Definitely go with what you think you will wear more. It’s a fun print and it has an interesting illusion of movement in the vertical. =)

So I cut the fabric perpendicular to the grain so the squiggles would run vertically.

To lengthen the skirt, I sliced the front and back pattern pieces horizontally about 2/3 down and then added about 18 1/4 inches (46.5 cm) between the two pieces. I cut my fabric during my sewcationbefore I decided to move my invisible zipper to the left side. The pattern calls for a regular zipper in the center back but I wanted to use an invisible zipper, which I did in my first two Chardon skirts. It worked well with my first Chardon because the black zipper tab disappeared into the fabric. But I didn’t like how it looked on my second Chardon. The centered zipper tab bugged me.

Chardon skirt - zipper - Deer and Doe pattern -

Then I remembered that SewBusyLizzy had posted a photo on Instagram of Butterick skirt pattern B5756. I mentioned to her that I made version C, and she commented: “I’m going to move the zip to the side & get rid of the centre seams in the skirt.” Gee, why didn’t I think about moving the zipper before I cut my fabric back in December? Darn it.

A photo posted by Sewbusylizzy (@sewbusylizzy) on


So I have a center back seam that looks like this, but I’m fine with it. The print is so bold it doesn’t really matter that it’s cut off. If I make another maxi Chardon skirt I’ll eliminate the seam in the center back.

Chardon skirt - center back seam -

This skirt is supposed to have two side pockets. But I couldn’t figure out how to keep the pocket and install an invisible zipper so I removed the pocket on that side.

Chardon skirt - side pocket -

I’m sure there’s a way to incorporate a side pocket and an invisible zipper but I was too impatient to figure that out. I just wanted to finish the skirt. If you’ve installed an invisible zipper next to a side pocket, let me know how you did it!

The other change I made to the pattern was to add a lining instead of a facing. I used the facing to draft the lining pattern but I didn’t add enough ease to the side seams. I made the mistake of drawing a straight line from the facing to the bottom of the maxi-skirt length. I didn’t compensate for the pleats so my lining was a lot smaller than the skirt fabric around the hips. Whoops!

So I ripped out the right side seam (my zipper is on the left), traced the opening between the two lining pieces on some tracing paper and then cut out a strip of lining. I didn’t have any lining fabric left over so I took some of this ivory Bemberg from my stash and added it to the side seam, which you can sort of see here.

Lining for Chardon skirt -

Here’s a detail of what it looks like. No one’s going to know that my lining fabric doesn’t match, except me – and you. 😉

Chardon skirt lining -

Here’s what the lining around the invisible zipper looks like. This is the first time I machine sewed the lining around the invisible zipper. I usually hand sew it to the zipper tape. I followed Colette Patterns tutorial: A simple way to sew facings with invisible zippers – and it worked like a charm.

Invisible zipper and lining

I only have two other maxi skirts in my wardrobe – one is a 1970s era skirt I got at a vintage sale and the other is a cheap solid black one I got at H&M a couple of years ago. (I don’t shop at H&M anymore – especially after I read Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline. I reviewed the book here.) I don’t wear either of them that often though. The vintage one is made from a really heavyweight fabric – it’s almost like wearing a rug. I’ve tripped wearing the black one – the hazards of wearing maxi-length skirts – so I think I may cut that one down. The fabric is really lightweight and maybe that’s why it’s easy to trip on it.

I’m sure I’ll wear this one a lot more than my other two. It can be dressed up for night – especially with a fancy hat – and I can also wear it to work. I actually wore it to a jazz concert a couple of days ago – the lining still needed hemming but hey, who could tell, right?

This is my third Chardon skirt. I really like this skirt pattern. It’s very flattering and works so well for figures with wide hips.

And here are some more photos of this skirt. It was a bit warm and I shot this when the sun was very intense – thus the strong shadows.

Chardon maxi skirt - Deer and Doe - pocket -

Chardon maxi skirt - Deer and Doe pattern - back view -

Chardon maxi skirt - left view

Chardon maxi skirt - lining -

Have you made any maxi skirts? Do you wear them?

Deer & Doe - Chardon Skirt sewing pattern -lengthened to a maxi skirt
Deer and Doe Chardon skirt sewing pattern - lengthened to maxi version - African wax print fabric -

Author: Chuleenan

Chuleenan sews, collects hats and shoes, and is a fabric addict. She is also the organizer for the Bay Area Sewists Meetup group.

20 thoughts on “My Maxi Chardon Skirt”

  1. OOh I like maxi skirts and think this one is a beauty. Brilliant job using it away from your face if you don’t think the color is the best. I really like how it looks with your black top.
    I just got the Gabriola skirt with my Christmas money so definitely have some maxis on the horizon for me!

    1. Thank you! I wore it to work earlier this week and didn’t trip! I think because the fabric is medium weight, it didn’t get tangled as I went up stairs. After making this skirt, I like maxis much more than I did before!

  2. I like your first two Chardons so much that I bought the pattern! I, too, am a lover of long skirts and really like how yours turned out. Does the long version have enough sweep to make walking easy?

    1. Oh, I’m sure you’ll love it! There’s enough fabric because of the pleats that using the bottom of the skirt pattern piece is perfectly fine. I have a long stride and I had no problem walking in my maxi!

      1. Hi again, When you ordered your Chardon pattern, how long did it take to arrive? It’s been a month and nothing yet! 🙁

        1. I got my pattern from my local fabric store. I’m lucky that they carry indie patterns. Mail can take a long time depending on your country’s postal service and the type of delivery service being used. Int’l shipping costs are very expensive, even the lowest rates are high. So if it was sent at the lowest rate, it could take weeks to arrive. You should send an email to the company with your order number and let them know you have not received it. Maybe they can track it for you.

          1. Thanks for the info. I did send them an email. They are sending another one. I envy you living somewhere that has stores that actually carry apparel sewing anything. I live in small town Kansas, and we only have the usual big box stores here. I pretty much have to order everything. Thanks again.

          2. I’m glad they are sending another one. I wonder if there is a store in the U.S. where you could order Deer & Doe pattern. I’m really lucky to have a local store where I can buy indie patterns. Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley also sells/ships several indie patterns but I didn’t see D&D as one of them. I guess you can only buy that in store. Check out their patterns here:

  3. I am here from PR and love your Maxi! I have not yet made one, but after seeing yours, am wondering why!? TFS, Annette

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