Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lilac skirt makeover

Recently, I keep reading fashion magazines and they feature this gorgeous lilac-amethyst colour. It is a colour that suits me really well and I have been waiting for it to come out in stores. It has not made it out  much here in NZ yet, and the only other thing I have is that purple ruffle dress I made. However the other day thrift shopping, I found this skirt:

It is the perfect colour, but was mid ankle length, a couple of sizes too big and elastic waisted. Elastic waists might me comfortable, but they are not flattering on me, as they add  extra bulk to my middle. The dress was also not fitted, it fell straight to the ground. I wanted it to be more like the skirt in this pic...

image from

So the changes to make: make it high waisted,  my size, and make it contour my body better

Step one. Remove elastic. I cut the fabric on the inner seam so no one will see, and took the elastic out. I should have ironed it now, but I am lazy. This is the outcome.

Just a smidge too big!!

Step 2. Take in the skirt. My skirt had a side seam, so I took all the excess out through the back. I turned it inside out and put on my mannequin, and unpicked the lining so it wouldn't get stuck in my new seam. I pinned the excess out through the back, trying to make it follow the contours of my mannequin's body, and made sure it joined the slit at the back as I didn't want to have to adjust that. I sewed along where I pinned. I resewed the lining back together, following my new seam. It meant I ended up with a triangle of skirt and lining as leftover. If my skirt had a back zip, I would have taken the excess out from the sides, trying to make sure I took it evenly from each side.

The leftover triangle. I have drawn on it, and will show you what to do with it next time
Step 3. Now I had to fit it to my waist as there was excess at the front. While the skirt was still inside out, I simply pinched either side of the centre front and put a pin in. I tried to make them in the same place on either side, and even length and width. It worked out well, but you could measure it if you liked. I ironed my new seam and darts flat. I was lucky, as by making it a high waisted skirt, it took the length to a flattering below knee length so I didn't have to adjust that.

What I wore: I am wearing a thrifted light blue patterned ruffle shirt
a brooch I will show you how to make in the next blog update
a sparkly hair clip I bought in China
a light pink belt that goes with a dress I bought from a thrift store
light pink pointy heels I bought on sale from the Shoe Warehouse.


  As I had raised the height, I also needed to check the back slit was not inappropriately high, but it was fine. I am lucky with that. My new skirt was done!! Next time I will tell you how I made the matching brooch I am wearing in the pictures. Now I am just dreaming of finding lilac patent leather heels. Have you seen any  in stores in NZ yet?

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