How to Shorten and Hem a Maxi Skirt

How to Shorten and Hem a Maxi Skirt


You know how most of the maxi skirts come super super long? Well, if you are short like me, they do. haha Usually dragging on the floor, and I have no option but to hem them or roll them up at the waist. I’m sure there are several out there with this similar problem! Here’s a quick tutorial on how to get your skirt the length you want it and how to hem it. Very very simple, even for beginner seamstresses!

This particular skirt was on clearance for a grand $5!!! Whoo hoo!!! Good find. And like most, was well past my ankles and onto the floor. Since we are heading into some hot muggy weather for the next several months here in east TN, I wanted to make this skirt a little shorter than most of my others. It turned out a few inches below my knee, just where I had hoped!


First you will need to figure out how much you need to cut off. This can be done a couple of ways. Try standing in front of a full length mirror and holding a yard stick or measuring device to the floor. If your skirt is onto the floor, this doesn’t work so well. You can place a pin where you want the skirt to end and measure from the bottom up after you have taken it off and laid it out flat.

I simply got another skirt that I wanted this one to turn out like, and measured the length of that skirt.

You will need to factor in one inch for the hem, so decrease the inches you want to cut off by 1.

Like… I wanted this skirt 11 1/2 inches shorter than it was, so I knew I needed to cut off 10 1/2 in, leaving me 1 in for my hem.

How to shorten and hem a maxi skirt

To cut off the lower portion on the skirt, slide it onto your ironing board, measure up from the bottom and draw a line with a sewing marker.



This is my most favorite sewing tool ever!!!! It is basically a fine point chalk pen. I have the yellow chalk. The fine point makes your markings very visible and easy to follow when sewing or cutting. Clover sells packages of refill chalk too, which is super convenient! Check them out here.

How to shorten and hem a maxi skirt

Once you mark your cutting line, grab your sewing scissors and cut away!

How to shorten and hem a maxi skirt

Now, turn the skirt inside out, slide it onto the ironing board, and fold up one inch from the bottom. Lightly press and pin through both layers of the skirt.

How to shorten and hem a maxi skirt

Choose a matching color of thread and get your sewing machine threaded. We are going to do 2 lines of stitching, so it looks like a professional finished hem. Our first line of stitching will be 7/8″ from the folded edge. Be careful not to stretch your knit fabric too much while sewing. Just let it feed itself through the machine.

How to shorten and hem a maxi skirt

Finish off the thread and line your skirt up for the second line of stitching. This time, I lined up the left side of the foot with the stitching line I just made.

How to shorten and hem a maxi skirt

This makes the lines of stitching 1/4″ apart. Be sure to finish of your thread. And you now have a skirt the length you need it! See how easy?!?!

How to shorten and hem a maxi skirt

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  1. Thanks. I recently picked up several maxi length skirts at the thrift store. As I am fun sized (SHORT), they all needed to be shortened. Even though I am an accomplished seamstress, I could not force my self to cut 10 inches off these skirts. I appreciate you writing this post, in some crazy way it gave me permission to go do what needs to be done. Again, thanks.

  2. Any suggestions on how to take 5 and a half inches off an alien finished hem maxi dress?

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