Skirt Alteration

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By Yarn and Needlework Contributor Stephanie from the blog Twilly 23

Thrift stores are great places to shop but what if you find the perfect skirt in the wrong size? Instead of passing it by, you could alter it to fit. Even better, the cut off fabric can be upcycled into a matching headband. This tutorial will show you how to do both.





Pick a skirt that is at least one size larger than your regular size. I’m a medium and my skirt was originally an extra large size. Try it on and assess how much you need to cut off.

Simple skirts are basically a tube. Sometimes they are the same width from waist to ankle, other times they flair out at the bottom. If this is your first time altering, choose a simple skirt design.

With a seam ripper, remove the seam from one side of the skirt. Since I wanted a straight skinny skirt I only had to alter one side. Skirts that flare out are better altered on both seams to keep the shape balanced.

After cutting off the excess fabric, sew the new edges together. Make sure to add in seam allowance. If the skirt has special design features you will need to duplicate it on the new seam. My skirt had a side slit on both sides.

For this skirt, I created a new side seam two thirds of the way down the skirt. Then I folded over each edge to create side slits. Using the unaltered slit as my guide, I made two visible seams on the new slit.

Skirts often have waistbands with either elastic, ties or a zipper. This skirt had elastic that was worn out. If necessary, use your seam ripper to remove the waistband.

Cut off excess fabric so the waistband fits comfortably. Make sure to factor in seam allowance before you cut and alter.

After altering the waistband and skirt, sew them back together. I put the new waistband seam below the old seam holes.

My skirt is stretchy enough and altered snug enough that it didn’t need elastic. If yours does, add it in now. This waistband folds over so I sewed the right side seam first so it would be hidden.

Then I folded over the waistband and sewed it onto my new seam.

Now you have a thrifted skirt that fits comfortably. My skirt only cost a few dollars and was a quick fix. Now I have a new lightweight skirt for summer.

Don’t throw out the excess fabric that you cut off. Instead you can turn it into a matching headband.

First remove any seams or folds. In my case, I had to remove the side slit seams before making the headband.

Sew two short ends together. Then sew lengthwise.

This will create a long tube. Turn it right side out and sew the ends closed.

Now you have a new headband that matches your new skirt.

Craft on!

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About Stephanie

Hello everyone. I’m Stephanie and I’m so happy to be the Yarn and Needlework contributor for Think Crafts. A friend taught me to crochet back in 2000 and I’ve been hooked on textile crafts every since. Knitting soon followed, then spinning, needle felting and sewing joined the team. I love making my own clothes and home accessories. Creating fun monsters out of sparkly yarn is my current obsession. I blog about my crafty creations at Twilly 23.

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