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Tutorial: Mayari for Mamas, A Knit Waistband for the Mayari Skirt

Cassie Banks

The Mayari skirt is one of my favorite patterns.  It's super versatile and can be dressed up for special occasions or dressed down for casual wear.  That's why I couldn't resist sewing up a maternity version to wear during my last few months of pregnancy.  In this tutorial I'm going to share with you how to attach a knit waistband to the Mayari skirt!

Let's get started!

First, subtract 4 inches from the 1st tier to account for the maternity waistband we’ll add with a ½ inch seam allowance.  Alternatively, you could subtract roughly 3/4 inch from each layer when cutting the layer pieces (this is perfect for the 5 layers).  If making the 7 layer version you would subtract roughly 0.6 inches from each layer and if making the 3 layer version you would subtract 1.25 inches from each layer during cutting.

I wasn’t necessarily anticipating how much the length would need to be adjusted.  This pattern is designed for the waistband to sit at the natural waist and the pregnant belly really makes a big impact on the overall length of the skirt.  You may need to subtract less than 4 inches if you pregnancy is early on or you may need to subtract more if you belly is on the larger side.  You can get a rough idea of the ideal finished length by measuring from the bottom of your belly to below your ankles where the skirt will hit when finished.

Remember you don’t need to cut the waistband pieces listed on the pattern instructions, we will create a knit waistband in just a bit.

As far as construction of the skirt goes, you will proceed from here as per the pattern instructions, gathering and attaching each layer to the next, finishing seams and top stitching.  I did wait to hem the bottom layer until I was finished in case the final length needed to be adjusted yet again. 

Now we’ll cut the knit waistband.  Choose a knit with a good amount of stretch and remember that if you have only a 2 way stretch cut so that the stretch is horizontal rather than vertical so it can stretch across your belly.  I would suggest a 4 way stretch jersey knit or similar.

Cut a knit waistband by measuring your waist then multiplying by 0.8

For example:  At 30 weeks by waist is 44.5 inches x 0.8 = 35.5 inches

I cut my maternity waistband 13 inches for the height so that folded over the waistband will be about 6 ½ inches.  I like my bands a bit wider so they don’t roll down but you can definitely do more or less here based upon your preferences.   You can also cut the band out of 2 pieces of knit that are equal lengths, allowing for an ½ inch seam allowance on both sides (1 inch total) and proceed from there. 


Take the short ends of the knit and sew them together (one seam for a continuous loop with one long piece of knit or 2 seams if you cut two pieces of knit).  I used woolly nylon in the bobbin to allow for a bit more stretch here.   Now take the seam allowances and press them flat.  Fold over the band to create a continuous loop.


To attach the waistband to the dress I matched the seam to the center back, however if there are two seams they could be matched to each side seam.   Take the knit band and divide it into 4 quarters first by identifying the halves and then each quarter and marking with a pin. 


If you are a very small waist size you may need to gather the top of the skirt as you will not be able to stretch the band enough to attach to the top layer.  Fortunately for me, at this stage in the game . . . my knit waistband is quite large and therefore I was able to attach it to the top layer just by stretching as I sewed, again using woolly nylon in the bobbin.  I attached it by placing the knit waistband over the top layer of the skirt with the raw edges together.  I sewed slowly, paying attention to the quarter sections and stretching the knit as I sewed to attach.  I used a stretch stitch.  Once the waistband was attached I finished the seam with my serger. 


Finally, I hemmed the bottom layer of the skirt.  I did end up using a deeper hem, again due to not anticipating the impact of my pregnant belly on the final length of the skirt.

I hope you are able to use this tutorial to make your Mayari skirts maternity friendly or just simply to add a knit waistband if you desire!  I can't wait to see what you all sew up!