Wednesday, October 12, 2011

DIY Style: Chanel-esque Hem Job

This skirt has been sitting in my closet - unused - for probably 5+ years.  I refrained from wearing it many times because I felt it looked frumpy and dowdy, not to mention the hem hits me at an awkward length (mid-calf).  Finally, I decided to alter this skirt and flounce be gone, it's cute! I wore the updated version {here}.

It looks like all I did was cut off the skirt below the ribbon, but there's was actually a little bit more involved.  I originally just wanted to hem it sans ribbon, but later I decided that adding the ribbon back to the bottom hem would give it a Chanel-inspired look.

Even Bandit prefers the short version!

Here's what you need:
Seam ripper or scissors
Sewing machine (I used two, a regular one and a serger)

Part 1
I cut open the seams on the ribbon, the flounce, and the lining hem.  I decided not to just simply cut off the skirt above the ribbon for two reasons: A) I didn't want the skirt to be any shorter and B) the edge was nicely pressed and serged already - one less step for me.

Part 2
I cut open the back seam of the lining several inches to make a back vent.  Then I serged the new edges to prevent fraying.  I pinned the new vent edges of the lining at the original seam line and topstitched the vent.  Also, I reinforced the seam above the vent (where I cut it open), with a few forward and reverse stitches (not pictured).

Part 3
I started with the same process I used for the lining vent, but after serging the fabric for the skirt, I pressed the seam at the original seam allowance and hand-stitched it in place.

Part 4
I cut off the hem of the lining (since it was the same length as the skirt now, it needed to be shortened) and turned under 1/2 inch and pressed.  Then I turned under another 1/2 inch, pressed, pinned, then topstitched.

Part 5
I hand-basted the ribbon onto the edge of the skirt (the fabric was already serged and pressed under from where the flounce was attached).  Next, I stitched the ribbon to the skirt with the machine, both at the top and bottom edges of the ribbon, then removed the hand-basting.

Part 6
As a finishing touch, I hand-stitched the edges of the lining vent to the edges of the fabric vent so the lining wouldn't shift too much during wear.

And that's all it took to refashion this skirt.  I honestly spent more time cutting open seams than I did of actual sewing!


Corinne said...

love love LOVE it! & definitely need to put my sewing machine to work! & your bunny is beyond adorable (& has very good taste checking out your shoes ;DD)
xx corinne

Collette Osuna said...

Go YOU!!! Wow, love the re-design!!!

Statements In Fashion: A Funky Little Fashion Blog

Rachel said...

You are so talented! It looks great!

Anonymous said...

You are so talented!! Looks awesome, a perfect length

Stephanie Ayu said...

I love the revamp of this skirt, it's so much more modern and flattering. Thanks for sharing your how-to.

Also, thanks for your comment. I hope you'll stop by again ^_^

Clara Turbay said...

I like so much your blog. check out mine and if you like follow me.

Bravoe Runway said...

WOW! The last time I sewed something with a machine was back in 8th grade...I honestly don't even remember how to thread a machine! You did an awesome job here and it's the perfect length and I am glad you kept the ribbon detailing!

freesia said...

Great idea, love your blog!!!!

Kailey said...

Ahh - you have done a wonderful job! ^^

Caroline Robianto said...

woahh! great job :D


Meggy said...

Nice job!! I never think about doing this when thrifting... could make small alterations to things!

Meggy from Chasing Davies

Dana Yoshimizu said...

I LOVE the dress after your adjustments!
It looks great on you :D


Erin said...

This skirt looks gorgeous now! Very Chanel-and very chic!


Erin @

SassyUptownChic said...

And the bunny approves Mary Ann! Glad you got rid of that bottom ruffle girl..Bleh!!! It looks great and love the trim along the bottom edge! Looks VERY Chanel!!! ((HUG))

Theonlyfashionprincess said...

wow you did a great job! the result is so gorgeous ! x

Anonymous said...

Wow what a great turn-out. The skirt looks amazing now. If only I had your sewing skills...
Thanks for sharing.

Miss Ewig said...

I love that change.... The skirt is so elegant!

Xxx :D

JC said...

I wish I had a sewing machine! Wow! Your DIY turned out fabulous --I definitely prefer your version over the original.

dotty said...

the shorter length is AWESOME! nicely done!

dash dot dotty

Rejina Tyson said...

I just discovered your blog and was doing a little exploring when I came across this post. I love what you've done with this skirt. You really did breathe new and fashionable life into it! Tres chic! ;)

By the way, what did you do with the flounce when you finished the alteration? I think that it would make an awesome peplum for a top, dress or skirt. I think a shirt would be especially nice. Just my thoughts since it's such a nice piece of fabric. Love it!

You Like It? I Made It!