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Introducing // The Axel skirt !

Megan Nielsen *NEW* Axel skirt sewing pattern

It’s a great day my friends, because i have a new pattern to share with you! Say hello to Axel!

I have been so excited about this pattern because I literally live in these skirts – they’re that perfect combination of style and comfort. You know when you need to leave the house looking putting together but you just want to wear pajamas? Yes, i feel that way every day. Enter Axel.

Designed to be made from stable knits, not only is this skirt so easy to put together, it’s also super flattering and, of course, versatile.  The pattern sits on the natural waistline and includes a range of different hem finishes and lengths.  You can make a mid-length skirt with a handkerchief hem, a simple above knee version with hip sashes or a midi-length skirt with a slit worn in either the front or back.  So basically, a different skirt for work, play or all-day wear, all from one pattern!

I’ve designed this pattern to be super easy for a complete beginner to put together, but also a satisfying quick sew for experienced sewers, packed with potential to add your own ideas to.

Megan Nielsen *NEW* Axel skirt sewing pattern

Version 1 has a really cool architectural handkerchief hem. I love making this skirt with stable knits with lots of body like scuba and ponte, as they hold the shape of the hem so well. You can still make this skirt with a looser drapey knit, you’ll just end up with a more flowy skirt. That’s the beauty of this pattern, it can be made in a variety of different stretch fabrics, and still be awesome.

You can style this version for basically any occassion depending on your fabric choice. Here i’ve shown you more of a date night party type look, paired with the Briar V1 crop top, but with a different top and accessories it could easily be casual or work wear.

I think this is a great version to try with an interesting print, as the shape will really show it off. Something I’d like to try is using a stripe cut on the bias to create a chevron effect.

Megan Nielsen *NEW* Axel skirt sewing pattern

Version 2 sits above the knee and features really cool hip sashes. These are not only really on trend and super pretty, but they do a great job of hiding any tummy areas you want to hide. I literally love that about this version and wear it to death!

Much like the other versions, though my recommended fabric is a thick stable knit with good stretch, you can make this in a lighter knit too. Your ties will be drapier and thinner.

My favourite way to wear this version is with a pair of sneakers and a basic tee, and i’m good for the day! But as with all the versions of this skirt, your choice of styling will take this skirt into work or night or wherever you are going.

I’d love to try making this skirt with the ties and waistband in a contrasting fabric!

I usually simply cross over the sashes as above, but some of our pattern testers have been tying theirs slightly to the side in a knot, and i completely love that idea!

Megan Nielsen *NEW* Axel skirt sewing pattern

Version 3 has a high slit and is intended to sit below the knee. It is completely reversible so you can choose to wear that slit in the front or the back! Actually all the variations are completely reversible – can you tell i’m on a bit of a reversible kick at the the moment?!

Here i’ve shown this skirt styled for work – and i think if you choose the right fabric, this is probably going to be your go to work skirt. Again if you’re going for structure, stick with thick stable knits like ponte, scuba or neoprene. It’s comfortable, but still looks put together and sophisticated. I’ve paired it here with the Sudley blouse V1 and i think they are a match made in heaven.

I’ve found that this skirt looks much more casual when made in a lighter more drapey knit fabric. I really want to try a version made from stretch lace!

Megan Nielsen *NEW* Axel skirt sewing patternFit wise, this is a figure hugging design. Embrace your curves my dears and show them off! This pattern includes negative ease, so make sure that you stick to the stretch percentage requirements of this pattern. I recommend fabrics with at least 30% stretch – don’t be worried about calculating this, the pattern includes a handy stretch guide to help you check if your fabric is appropriate. I’d also recommend that you download and print out my free stretch percentage guide and keep it handy for all knit projects, it will make your life a lot easier!

The waistband is intended to sit on the natural waistline, and due to the negative ease does not require elastic. If you prefer a lower sitting waistline, you could size up, or lower the waistline by altering the pattern.

Megan Nielsen *NEW* Axel skirt sewing pattern

As always, i’ve tried to make alterations on this pattern as simple as possible. If you want to lengthen or shorten, i suggest that you slash and spread (to lengthen) or slash and overlap (to shorten) just below the hipline, at seat level. That’s it.

If you do decide that you would prefer the fit to be less close, a simple fix is either choosing a stretchier fabric, or simply widening the pattern pieces at the centre front seam. Not to repeat myself, but seriously, how easy is that?

Megan Nielsen *NEW* Axel skirt sewing patternMegan Nielsen *NEW* Axel skirt sewing pattern

This is one of those patterns that is intended to be a real wardrobe workhorse, and is packed full of variation potential. Beyond all the variations that are included, try using it as a base for any knit skirt! Simply lengthening any of the versions will result in an entirely different look – you can even add the hip sashes to Version 1 and 3 if you’d like. Something on my wish list is a maxi variation on Version 3.

I love patterns that can work in all parts of every day life and aren’t just confined to one kind of situation – and that’s where Axel really shines.


I really hope you love Axel as much as we do! Don’t forget to tag #MNaxel and @megannielsenpatterns if sharing on Instagram – we LOVE seeing what you’re making!

I’ll be back in a few days to share some snaps of what our pattern testers have created!

Meg xoxo

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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8 years ago

HOORAY! Another great skirt pattern from Megan Nielsen!

8 years ago

I LOOOOVE versions 2 and 3. handkerchief hems normally annoy me but in this skirt I almost like it…that is saying something!! Very excited to make this skirt up!


[…] Nielsen released the Axel skirt, a simple design with many lovely details to choose […]

Helen Cloke
Helen Cloke
8 years ago

Hi! I can’t wait to sew the Axel up! I’m just wondering where you’d recommend shortening version 3? I probably need to remove 7cm but don’t want to loose the effect of the split by removing that amount from the hem – nor do I want to risk making the split start too high by removing length from above the split. Would I halve the 7cm and just do both? Guess I should just hold the pattern piece up to myself and test it out! Haha!
Thanks Helen

5 years ago

I just purchased the Axel Skirt pattern, does it allow you to chose a specific size in the layers when a pdf? Or do I have to print every version and every size?