Thursday, June 11, 2015

#ThreadsOnThursday: Letting Out the Denim Skirt

Now that I am working in the fashion industry again, I have been hankering to sew a little something to wear.  But I am not interested in starting from scratch with a yard or two of fabric and a pattern.  Right now, I am wanting to alter existing items to make new items, or take a favorite item I no longer fit in and make it fit again.  My over 40 metabolism has slowed down and somethings just don't fit.  After a few years of trying to get the weight off by eating well and exercising I realize it's time to move on and get larger items or alter existing ones.  This a also a great way to save money, keep a high quality garment, and maintain a well fitting garment.  I am a pear shaped figure whose waist is one size smaller than her hip.  Often, the waistband on my jeans and skirts will gap at the back or I can't wear every brand.  Sometimes it's easier to alter a brand that used to fit, then to shop new and have to take in the waist.  So, today I am sharing how I altered a favorite skirt from Loft to fit again.  The skirt is a size 8 and I am some where between a 10 and a 12.  Here's how I got my skirt to fit again:

A denim skirt
An old pair of jeans
Sewing machine
Quilters see through ruler
Rotary Cutter

  1. Try on the skirt and determine what you need to add to make it fit again.  I estimated I needed 2 1/2" inches finished to get a good fit.
  2. Divide the needed width to be added in 2 and that is your finished side stripe width, so for my new skirt the finished stripe width will be 1 1/4".
  3. Add the seam allowance on both sides to your strip width.  So, I added 1/2" seam allowance on both my side stripe for a cut width of my stripe as 2 1/4".  I cut my stripes from old jeans from my sons.  I keep their old jeans with torn knees and cut them up for sewing projects.  For this skirt I used the back of the jean leg to cut my stripes.
  4. Using the seam ripper, open the side seams on each side of the skirt.  Be sure to rip the zipper out on ONE side ONLY of the side seam where it is placed if you have it.  If your skirt has a back zipper, you're in luck no worries about reapplying the zipper on one side!
  5. Press open the seams you ripped out and remove access thread.
  6. Sew the side seam with no zipper to the stripe in denim from your jeans and finish seam allowances (see photo above).
  7. Sew stripe on the zipper side of the skirt to the side without the zipper (back panel).
  8. Sew the zipper into the skirt if it is a hidden zipper BEFORE you sew the side seam.  I found a tutorial on how to do this without a hidden zipper foot on Youtube here. 
  9. I have used this technique to alter a black and white dress with a tuxedo stripe on the side and it looks great too!  You can find that here. 

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