MMM 2015, Day 9: tailoring the fit on a store-bought skirt

Me-Made-May, day 9!

Saturdays during Me-Made-May are wild-card days, I get to sew whatever I want! In today’s post, I’m going to show you how I took a skirt which was oversized and too long, and created a new size and length without touching the original hem. If you look at the pic below on the left, the skirt as at least 2″ too long, even with sandals, I’d be tripping all over it. But for $16 bucks, it was a steal, and I loved the design and colours, so totally worth remodelling. Not only was the length a problem, but the gathered waistline was too much, side pockets added bulk, and both made me look much larger around the hips.

IMG_1242  FullSizeRender-34

But with a little planning, I quickly turned into into this:

FullSizeRender-36  FullSizeRender-35

Pattern & Instructions:

I started by cutting off the original waistband, and turning the fabric inside out. I then measured my hips at the widest point (egads!), and added 2″ to the measurement. This became my new waistline measurement. I then trimmed the fabric as you see in the graphic below, following the red lines, and omitting the pockets. This should give you enough ease, but if you prefer a slimmer fit, simply try it on (inside out) after you’ve sew up the new sides, mark the excess with pins, and sew new seams to take it in accordingly. And, best part, it keeps the original hem, so less sewing to do!

IMG_1245  FullSizeRender-37

Garment Assembly:

Sew up the sides, and test the fit by slipping into the skirt and holding it up around your waist. You want some room for ease, how much is entirely up to you. If you’re happy with the sizing, go ahead and finish the edges. Next, make the casing for the elastic by folding over the waist band by 1/2″ and press. Fold that over again by the width of your elastic plus 1/4-1/2″ or so – you need to be able to sew the fold down, and still have enough room to slide your elastic into the casing. Topstitch the fold, moving around the circumference of the skirt. Leave an opening of 2″, and slide your elastic in (I didn’t use the elastic from the original waistband, but instead used a new piece), I usually attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic, so that I have something to guide it along the inside of the casing. Pull the elastic all the way through, overlap the ends and stitch in place. Now topstitch the 2″ gap you left open for the elastic.

If you’ve also got decorative ties like this skirt does, you may want to transfer them over. Cut them off the original waistband of the skirt, fold the edges over, and topstitch in place on your new waistband. To position them correctly, find the centre of the skirt, mark it with a pin, and place each tie about 1″ away, on each side of the pin.

IMG_1243  IMG_1247

Final Thoughts:

If I’d realized how quick and easy i was to reconstruct the size of a pre-made skirt, I’d probably already have a closet full. Great summer wardrobe builder…


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