As promised, here is my tutorial on how I made my Kanaya Maryam skirt. It’s not easy, and does require a bit of sewing knowledge, (like how to put in a zipper, sew cording, buttons, etc), but I’ve done my best to include all of the changes we made to the pattern with visual references along the way. It took me about two days to make it, but it was difficult to find the time. Anyways, tutorial under the cut because it’s huge.
I didn’t look at any other tutorials to make this skirt. I pretty much just used reference images from google, especially from Kanaya’s sprite. Thanks much to my mom, because she was amazing with figuring out the teeny tiny details. All of my materials specific to this skirt (fabric, trim, thread) were bought at Joann’s.
Things you need:
Burda skirt pattern 8280
Dark red, non-stretchy fabric (About a yard/yard and a half more than the pattern calls for)
Four yards of red trim (of your choice, whatever looks nice)
Six buttons (of your choice)
8” red zipper
Tiny, button-sized red fabric roses
So I started with buying a pattern that could be edited to look like Kanaya’s skirt. It was this pattern, a Burda 8280. I used the pattern for skirt A. I also bought double the amount the fabric that was suggested. It was waaaaay too much, so I recommend about a yard/yard and a half extra fabric. You can buy the pattern at your local fabric store (I bought mine at Joann’s), or you can buy the PDF file here.
Find your size by measuring your waist, hips, etc. I was size 14. Once you find your size you can buy your fabric. I got five yards of a dark red, non-stretchy fabric. (Obviously this was way too much, ehehe. I had 108” of fabric left over.)
Cut the pattern pieces for skirt A from to your size from the tissue paper. Memorize the type of line that you’re cutting on for when you mark the darts later. This pattern has many sizes and marking the darts is tricky if you don’t remember the line that goes with your size! (Live and learn, my friends. Basically meaning I screwed that up and had to redo the darts.) Before you pin your pattern pieces down, take pattern piece number one (the one that is for the front two pieces) and fold+tape the 5/8” seam allowance back in a perfectly straight line - this will be placed on the fold so that we can make the front as one piece instead of two pieces for the sake of the pleats.
With your fabric folded over once, lay your pattern pieces down and pin them just as in figure 2 that is shown in the instructions, except for the fact that piece 1 will be on the fold where you folded the seam allowance back.This is very important, because we want this to be one piece.
Okay, now that you have that all figured out, it’s time to make the pleats. You won’t be using any of the pieces that you have cut out thus far. Set those aside for now.
Lay out the rest of your untouched fabric, folded as you had it in the previous step. Get out your red trim, you’ll need it. Lay it out to estimate how many pleats you can possibly make, because the trim will be half hidden by your pleats in the skirt. I found that I could do seven pleats, just by my height, and how much I had. (I honestly don’t remember how much trim I had, but we did have to go back to the store for more because I was not okay with three pleats, ehehe.)
After you figure that out, decide how much space exactly you want in between your pleats. I wanted my pleats to overlap my trim by 3/4” and the pleats had 4 1/2” between the lines of trim, so that came to 5 1/4” between each line that I drew. Snap chalk lines for each of the pleats you want. (Again, I did mine every 5 1/4”.)
Next, you will lay out your trim just on but slightly under the lines. Pin the trim down on both ends and cut it to be about 3/4” longer than the actual skirt on both sides. (You may have to lay down the piece of fabric that you cut on the fold earlier to see where exactly the skirt ends.) To cut the trim without fraying, wrap a piece of tape around it and then cut it with scissors (not pinking shears) like so:
When you are done doing that, it should look like this:
After you are finished, carefully pull piece A out from under the trim and set it aside yet again. Then, pin the middles of the trim back to the chalk line (because it gets moved when you pull piece A out) like so:
Alright! You are now done with that step! Now it’s time to sew the trim to your fabric. You can hand sew this, but I used a sewing machine. This is where things get less technical and become more busywork. When you are done sewing the trim to the fabric, it should look like this:
Even if it’s a little wrinkly, that’s completely fine! Don’t fret about it; it adds a lot of interest. (I’m saying this because I freaked out about it. I was tempted to get out the seam ripper and try again, ehehe.)
This next part is a bit tricky to explain. What you have to do is fold the fabric over so that it overlaps your trim as much as you desired it to (in my case, 3/4”). Fold it down, not up, and then sew it. When you are sewing, it should look like this:
(The red trim is actually directly under the stitching that you’re looking at in the picture)
When that is done on all of the pleats, it should look something like this:
(I am so, so sorry for the terrible quality of those last two images. The lighting was awful because of the time of day, and I couldn’t tell if they were good or bad.)
Now it is time to iron the things that stick out on the back. Iron them to face up, because it makes the front smoother than if you iron them down.
The fabric I got did not iron very well, so I had to go without ironing quite a few things. Hopefully you don’t come across the same problem I did, but if you do, fear not, because I have solutions for that.
Anyways, take your ironed pleats and fold them in half. Then fold piece A in half along the fold as well. Piece A will be your guideline to cutting the pleats to be part of the skirt.
Pin piece A to the pleats like so:
And then cut:
When you lay them out flat next to each other, they will look like this:
Piece A will be the swoopy thing. We’ll call the pleats piece Q. Because I like the letter Q.
Take piece A and lay it directly on top of piece Q and then fold the bottom right corner (this is from the picture’s perspective, just for clarification purposes) of piece A up to about the middle, making a pretty swoopy thing. Make sure your folds and such can withstand gravity and maintain it’s swooping motion. You want the folds and creases to be there. They help to disguise the prominent bumps that piece Q creates.
It should look a bit similar to this (but it doesn’t, and actually shouldn’t, look the same!) when you are done:
Don’t fret if it doesn’t look perfect at the moment. I spent the entire time making this fiddling with the creases and folds, and it still doesn’t look perfect! But that’s the point, it looks gracefully imperfect. (I want to say almost like Kanaya)
Against gravity it looks like this:
Alright, it is time to do a few small things. The pictures get a bit scarce here, so I’ll do my best to explain things thoroughly enough. Sew the tops of pieces A and Q together, and then sew down the left side (picturewise) to secure the creases you have so lovingly made.
Next, you’ll want to iron the swoopy thing’s only unfinished end, so that you can fold it over twice and then hem it.
From here on you will treat A and Q as the same piece, so it will be piece A. Follow the instructions provided by the pattern until the end to finish the skirt part.
Once your skirt is hemmed and finished, and maybe once you’ve done the lining (I personally didn’t, but that might be a thing that you would want to do.), it’s time to sew on the buttons! I got 6 cute, circular flowery buttons. Pin the buttons on the lower part of the swoopy thing. (If you use them smartly, the buttons can also conceal little sewing mistakes when trying to mess with the swoopy thing’s action. They can hold the swoopy thing together, too!)
You’ll have to sew the buttons on by hand, so it might take a little longer, but it looks great when you’re done!
After you’ve done all this, the back looks incredibly boring. To fix this, I gathered a few points and sewed them on top of each other. First, I took the two blue points and sewed them to the center seam. Then I took the red point and sewed it on top of where I sewed the blue points. I hand sewed the rose directly on top, like so:
After all three points were sewn, it looked like this:
Adding the rose:
Here’s my finished product:
Congratulations, you’ve made your very own Kanaya Maryam skirt! Thanks for reading this whole thing! <3 All of the hearts for you! If you have any questions, feel free to stop by my ask box. If you need any clarification I’ll answer as soon as possible.