Saturday, January 21, 2017

Skirt Alterations

As I mentioned in my post, yesterday, I decided to alter one of the skirts my mother had sewn me, way back in the 1980s, probably around 1985 or 86.  Which makes this skirt about 30 years old!  I held on to it, even when it became too tight around the waist, because I loved the fabric and the colors .  Then, as I mentioned before, several years ago, I let it out to make it bigger.  I unpicked every seam (my mother had allowed generous seam allowances), sewed narrower seams, opened up the waist band (my mother had used one piece of fabric for the front and back of the waist band; I cut it in half, lengthwise and used it to extend the length, and used a scrap piece of fabric for the back of the waist band) and made a bigger skirt.

The skirt showed a little bit of wear and tear at the time I made it bigger.  I noticed that there was a worn spot and I darned it:

The Darning on the Wrong Side

I don't think it is too noticeable - I found it easily because I knew it was there:


The Darning from the Right Side


Then, after my cancer treatment, I lost weight and the waist band of the skirt settled somewhere around my hips.  So, yesterday, I unpicked the waist band, measured my current waist, and put a safety pin to mark my current waist measurement; the waist band was 5 inches too long:

5 Inches too Long

The skirt is a flared skirt, but I thought that a couple of darts would be fine to adjust the waist, without having to unpick the side seams to take it in (I wanted to avoid having to set in the in-seam pockets, again!)


Back Darts



I started out putting two darts in the back of the skirt, trying to space them equally on either side of the back zipper.  I made each dart 1 inch wide on each side, which means the amount of fabric taken in at the waist is actually 2 inches, per dart.  Then, I decided to put two more darts in the front, as well.  Those of you who know how to sew can see where this is going, don't you?


Close up of one of the darts



I sewed the darts in place, quite happily and pinned the waist band to the top of the skirt, leaving a little bit of a tab with the button hole, to overlap:


Waist Band Pinned in Place

Sewed the waist band in place and went to iron it:


Oops!

See where the safety pin is?  It should be above the top of the zipper!  I made the darts too deep!  By making each one 2 inches total, I took in the skirt a total of 8 inches at the waist!  If my mother was living, she would have told me that's what happens when you don't baste and try on!


The Tab to Overlap

Will I have to unpick and start all over again?  I tried it on:



Back to Front and Inside Out

It seemed to fit - a little snug, but not tight!  What do I do with the extra bit that's too long?  I didn't want to cut it off, in case I decided to re-do the skirt!  So, I folded it in and sewed it to the inside by hand.  Then, sewed on the button:



Reusing the Same Button


Since the button doesn't have a shank, I made one by wrapping the thread several times around itself:



Button "Shank"

And tried it on:



Back to Front


Trying not to show any midriff! 


Showing the Front

It seems to fit well enough.  Not tight, at all.  I can wear it with my purple sweater or the cream colored one.   I will give it a final ironing and hang it up, ready to wear to the office, next week!

Next on the agenda - fixing new elastic to the waist bands of my underskirts!




18 comments:

  1. I was lost the entire post. I know nothing about sewing. But I do like the skirt, very pretty

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    1. Thank you, Jess. As I said before, one of my favorite skirts.

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    2. HAHA, I was going to post the exact same comment as Jess!! I'm happy it all worked out for you in the end, Bless! You'll do anything not to go clothes shopping, won't you? lol.

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    3. You guessed it, Nathalie! :) If I can make over the clothes I already have, I won't need to go shopping! :D Well, eventually I will need to shop for at least a couple of items, but, in the meantime, I am happy to "shop from my closet".

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  2. You are so creative Bless! That's some skillful darning ... the mending is hardly noticeable. You're finding a brand new wardrobe right in your own closet. Are underskirts the same as slips?

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn. :) Yes, they are slips or maybe I should say half-slips? Only the skirt portion.

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  3. I'm impressed with the darning. That's something I've never learned to do. Also, I'm impressed with the altering. That I know how to do, but I'm not very good at it. That may be because I'm not very patient.

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    1. Thank you! The way I was taught to darn was to draw threads going one way (vertically, for example) and then, weave the needle in and out of those threads, going the other way (horizontally). Ideally, when done with matching thread, the newly "woven" area would be indistinguishable from the regular fabric. In reality, it often isn't! But the mended area in my skirt is less than one square inch and it doesn't show unless you look for it.

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  4. I can see why you wanted to hang onto the skirt and alter it, as the fabric is obviously excellent. You did well! My own attempts at alterations have often been less than successful, but I have a better idea now of what is doable and what will be a disaster! I managed to take in some pant legs and hips a few weeks ago as the fit was really poor and I'm happy to say that it worked out fine.

    Bushlady

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    1. Bushlady, the fabric is 100% wool, and very soft and supple. I love the way it drapes when I wear it. :)

      Well done with altering the pants! I haven't tried altering pants (except for hemming them), but there's always a first time, isn't there?

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  5. The darning doesn't show at all. You did a great job with the altering. Isn't it great when you can fix a favourite and not have to give it up?

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. Yes, now I can wear a favorite skirt again for at least a little longer. :)

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  6. I like the fabric as well Bless. I can do basic sewing but there's no way I'd know how to alter something and even more importantly get it to fit so I'm very impressed with your skills. xx

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne. :) Some items are not worth the time and effort of altering, unless they really mean something special to you; but, occasionally, I'll buy something for the fabric or because of the price and alter it. For example, I found a grey, 100% wool, fully lined skirt for $1 at a thrift store, several years ago. I knew it was too tight for me, but it had potential (darts and a pleat) so I bought it anyway, just for the fabric. I knew I couldn't buy that amount of wool fabric for $1 at the fabric store. I unpicked the entire skirt, cut off the lining (synthetic fabric and not enough to reuse), and remade the skirt. It'll probably be taken in, again!

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  7. The skirt is so pretty and I am so happy that it all worked out and fit..[LOVE when that happens..smile]
    Happy mending..

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    1. Thank you, Judy. Yes, I'd have been a bit upset if it didn't fit after all that effort! I'd have unpicked and re-adjusted, of course, but it would have been annoying, to say the least. :)

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