Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Shortening a Skirt

There's nothing fabulous on my sewing table at the moment. Indeed, as you're reading this I'm hopefully nipping down the A1 to get home! 

So I've just put together a quick post about shortening the length if a skirt. 

I picked up a lovely (probably 80s) olive green skirt from a charity shop in Cupar for 99p the other day. I'm getting a good 30s or 40s vibe from it if I style it right, but currently, it's just too long! 

To make life slightly more interesting, it's got false buttons up the front, a zipper and button that actually fasten the skirt at the back and a split in the middle at the back to give you that extra bit of freedom of movement. 

Here's what I plan to do. It's probably an evenings work for me with one of my sewing machines. Although the last skirt I shortened I did by hand, and it didn't take too long! 

1) decide how long you want the skirt to be. 

Mine will be 67cm from the waistband. This is the same length I use from my circle skirts (found by measuring my petticoat!) and I find it fairly flattering on me. 

2) hand sew the split at the back closed so it can't be seen from the outside. 

Because the split will end up being stupidly short if I left it, I'm going to sew it up by hand just catching a few threads from behind so it will just look like a continuation of the seam at the back of the skirt. 

3) measure the length of your skirt from the waistband and  mark using a straight edge with washable pen/pencil or tailors chalk. 

Or be lazy like me and iron a crease in as you go.....

4) add a two cm hem to this line and cut off the bottom section of skirt. 

5) fold over twice up to your drawn line, iron and pin your hem. 

I hate ironing but it makes such a huge difference in sewing! 

6) stitch all the way around your hem just less than 1cm from the edge of your skirt making sure you get the folded material behind. 

When I hand sewed a hem I used a very basic running stitch. With the machine sewing, I'll use a matching colour thread and try to match the stitch length to the rest of the seams or hems on the skirt to make it look less obviously altered. 

7) iron again (must I...?) and wear your newly shortened less frumpy feeling skirt with pride! 

Jo :-)

P.S. do you remember you can shorten things in charity shops? What was the last thing you altered? 

P.P.S. apologies for the rubbish photos. I haven't sewn it yet as I've got an eight hour drive ahead of me today! To Essex!! 

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