Before trying to make something from scratch, I thought I'd alter some of the things I have in my closet that I never wear for one reason or another. It's a little less scary to start with something bound for Salvation Army. I have taken in jeans in the waist, legs, and hemmed lots of pants (due to my 5'2 stature). Altering clothes gives you a sense of how they are put together. So I grabbed this dress that I never wear and decided to shorten it. I originally intended to shorten the hem-line and slim the skirt down a little so it was more pencil-like than a-line, but the dress is lined and I got lazy and decided to just make a shirt.
I also took a maxi dress from my closet that had wide horizontal stripes and made it into a skirt. The horizontal stripes weren't too flattering on top, but I loved the pattern anyway. I made a fold-over, yoga pant-like waistband and it is super comfy! Now I feel ready to tackle a maxi from scratch!