Friday, June 22, 2012

DIY Style: Skirt Slim & Hem

I've been wanting a bright pink slim skirt for quite a while now. Since I'm currently on a stricter budget than usual, I stopped by Goodwill to check out the selection. I had such good luck there last Fall, finding three skirts to hem. I spotted this pretty shade in the rack for $5, but the tag says it's a size 10. More than a standard hem job is needed here!

Step 1
Fortunately, this skirt is tailored very well, including a seam through the waistband at the sides and a back zipper. That makes the altering job easier - no zippers to redo. I ripped open the seams where the waistband was connected to the skirt.

Step 2
I decided the waist needed to be taken in a total of 4 inches and the hips a total of 2 inches. After trying on the skirt, I marked the widest part of my hips with a pin, which measured 11.5 inches from the top waist seam. After turning the skirt inside out to reveal the outer fabric side seams, I used my tailors chalk and french curve ruler (which conveniently told me where to align for "hip curve") to mark my new side seams. I continued the 2 inch slimming all the way to the hem. Why these measurements? 

1 inch from side seam x 2 layers of fabric = 2 inches per side x 2 sides = 4 inches total
0.5 inches from side seam x 2 layers of fabric = 1 inch per side x 2 sides = 2 inches total

Finally, once all the marks are in the appropriate spots, it's time to run the fabric through the machine, which by now is one of the easier steps involved! You will repeat this step for the other outer fabric side seam and both lining side seams.

Step 3
After stitching the new slimmer sides, try on the garment to make sure it fits (I accidentally did something wrong in step 2 and had to rip out a seam to fix)! It's very important to try on the garment to ensure proper fit before cutting off any extra fabric. Once that's done, cut open the original side seams (of the outer skirt layer - not necessary in lining) and cut off extra fabric of both leaving as much seam allowance as you're comfortable with. I recommend finishing both the edges of the fabric and lining. I run the raw edges through a serger - most people don't own one of these machines so on a nice tailored skirt like this, I recommend at least choosing an overlock or zig-zag stitch on a regular machine to encase the edges. For the lining, finish the edges together, and press the seam towards the back of the skirt.

Step 4
Moving onto the waistband - take the correct fabric side of one of the waistband pieces and pin it to the correct fabric side of the top of the skirt, aligning with the top edge. Mark the side seam and stitch this guy back in place like he was before. Don't stitch past the side seam and overlap the new stitching to merge with old stitching. Repeat this step with the other section of waistband and again on the other side of the skirt.

Step 5
We want to connect these two pieces of waistband with a new slimmer side seam (that matches our new slimmer skirt side seam). With correct fabric side together, align and pin. Stitch at a right angle to the place where the new stitches from step 4 started. Once stitched, press the seam open and flat and then trim. Repeat this step on the other side.

Step 6
Now, I trimmed the random piece of elastic that's been hanging out this whole time and turned the waistband so the correct side was facing out. Fold down and pin in place. Turn to outside of skirt and sew the waistband down by stitching very close to the waistband/skirt seam (step 4). Finally, press the waistband. Once again, repeat on the other side.

Step 7
Now, we've finished the side seams and the waistband. It's time to hem the skirt. I will refer you to my previous tutorial called Simple Hem Jobs. {Access it here}!

And after all that, please pour yourself a glass of wine. That was a lot of work! I realize it looks very complicated and confusing. I promise it's not that bad - some of it becomes slightly intuitive once you have the fabric in your hands. Thank you for visiting and reading. Please let me know if you have any questions!


TheTinyHeart said...

I don't sew but your skirt came out great, it's now a perfect fit!

The Tiny Heart

About Fashion ♥ said...

Wow great!!
There's an award on my blog for you!

Louisa said...

Love what you did! I really should take up sewing again, especially as I am also on an extremely tight budget.

Hannah @ Tattoos and Pearls said...

I really wish I knew had to use the sewing machine sitting in my living room after seeing this post. That red skirt looks fabulous on you after those alterations!

Hannah Tattoos and Pearls

Anonymous said...

Wow that did look complicated! But the end result is awesome! How long did it take you?

Mary Ann said...

Kat - hard to say because I worked on it in short spans over the course of a few days....pausing for pics, etc. I'd guess 1-2 hours.

Katie- Hems for Her said...

I am so impressed. I really should learn to sew. It could open a whole new world to me. But I almost needed a glass of wine just reading about all you had to do! ;) Have a great weekend!

Rachel said...

Great job, and a great tutorial!

Joy said...

I think the skirt turned out great! If you don't mind me asking, what kind of sewing machine do you use? I've been thinking about purchasing one. Let me know if you have a recommendation. Have a lovely weekend!

GirlieBlogger@Beauty Fashion Blog Seattle said...

Fantastic job! Too bad I hate sewing :O(

Mary Ann said...

Joy - I can't give you a recommendation because my machine is leftover from the 1970s - it was my mom's. My serger is a Pfaff and I bought it second-hand about 10 years ago. ;-)

leonie fanning said...

oh good for u i recently bought a sewing machine and am learning to use it. they are quite frightening at the beginning but i will stick wit u. hope u enjoyed that glass of vino. have a great weekend kisses from Dublin Xxx leonie.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully done! And your instructions are super clear. I'm bookmarking this for inspiration!

I've got a sewing machine but almost never have the patience to tackle something like this - and my basic repair pile is insane right now! (Always the problem with vintage dresses.) But hopefully I'll start sewing again!

Fashion babel said...

Well now it suits you perfectly!Great job!
I have new post here, so if you are bored or either interested, check it out!
xo, L.

Raquel Zorraquin said...

IIII like this post, it could help me some day!!!!!!! :D

❤love❤ R.

Ask Erena said...

What an amazing post! Thank you for your lovely comments. Following you now.
hugs from New York,
Ask Erena

Sara Shoemaker said...

good for you!! this is my goal to alter my own clothes. this is awesome. the fit you've created here is amazing. and I LOVE your cute little bunny!

The House of Shoes

Amy Fashion Blog said...

Looks great and a great find

Leigh Powell Hines (Hines-Sight Blog) said...

You always have great finds.

Gina said...

You have amazing skills. I'm so jealous. The skirt looks like it was custom-made for you from the start.


Style Eyes said...

A really handy step ny step tutorial and I love the finished result.

Adeola Naomi said...

Amazing DIY!
Thanks for your sweet comment, am your newest follower!!!

Fernanda said...

Thanks for sharing this! I did not know hoe to adjust a skirt before!

Damon Daniel said...