Today I’m giving you a tutorial for an outdated skirt refashion. While you may not have or be able to find exactly the same kind of skirt, this tutorial is meant to get your creative juices flowing, and teach you techniques you could apply to multiple types of skirts.
In the 1960s, my great-grandma was the mom to multiple teenage girls. Although they were a relatively humble farm family, she managed to dress her girls in fashionable sixties shift dresses. She did it by finding outdated dresses from the fifties with four yards worth of fabric in the skirt. She would take apart the dress and put it back together as a trendy shift dress.
Listening to my grandma tell this story fascinated and inspired me. What a fabulous use of resources and skill! This outdated skirt refashion embodies the same idea, although it’s a little simpler than altering a whole dress. While it does involve a fair amount of unpicking seams, it is worth it in the end to create a more professional look.
Outdated (90s) skirt (mine had super poofy pleats in the front, plus it was too long)
That’s pretty much all the materials you need other than the usual thread, stich ripper, scissors, etc.
Remove the front panels of fabric. Do this by unpicking the side seams and the waistband seams. By the time you’re done you should have completely taken the front piece (or in my case, two pieces) off of the skirt.
I unpicked the pleats and flattened them out (to eliminate the poofyness). Then I pressed the fabric to really get rid of those pleats.
Measure the front half of the waistband.
- Add an inch for seam allowances. Then lay your front piece of skirt down, mark the center, and mark where the width you measured ends.
- Cut your skirt down to the width you measured. (I took the pockets off my skirt first , which gave me issues later, so make sure that if your pockets add width to the front of your skirt you leave them on while you cut the front piece. )*
Step four: This is how I reattached my pockets.
- Pin or place the edge of the pocket (the one that used to be sewn to the front edge of the skirt) right sides together on the new edge of the front of the skirt.
- Sew that seam, press, trim, fold back over and topstitch the same way it was topstitched before. I hadn’t cut the shape of my skirt perfectly, so I trimmed it to be straight here
Flip the pockets behind the front of the skirt. Now sew the side seams right sides together. Since there’s lots of layers I pinned them all together.
Sandwich the top of the skirt front between both sides of the waistband and top stitch where the stitching used to be (this is where I had to fudge a little).
Step seven: Hem the skirt in the updated length you would like.
And…that’s how I did it! Now, go find an old skirt, take it apart, and put it together. Now you have a new skirt!
*I reveal my mistakes and my process for a couple of reasons. One, because my goal for this blog is to be authentic and real. Second, I want you to realize that even as you make mistakes, you can recover from them, learn from them, and become a better seamstress. Then you’ll be better prepared to avoid mistakes when sewing for others.
I’ve also added this tutorial to Made by You Monday on Skip to My Lou. Go check out the rest of the crafty links here.