Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mending Monday: Taking In A Skirt With Pleats and a Side Zip

Yes, I'm aware it is actually Tuesday, lol. I had this ready to go but didn't get to take an 'after' picture until this morning. So here goes!

I know the title is a little intimidating, but it will make sense as you read on :) This skirt has been in my possession for around 3 years now. I got it at a thrift store and wanted to adjust the fit. At the time I didn't realize how complicated this alteration would be, but didn't have the know-how to do it. So, it has hung in my closet ever since.
Cute, huh? It's actually just a Mossimo brand skirt from Target, but it is surprisingly well made. Anyway, what needed to be changed you may ask?
It was a size 20W! Not that I'm a size 6 or anything, but this was way to big on me - it wouldn't even stay up at all, lol.
To figure out how much to adjust it, I put the skirt on and held it up where I wanted it to sit. I pinched the excess together and stuck pins into the seam where the new seam would need to go. Then I took it off and measured the distance between the 2 pins. I know the picture looks like 4.25" in the picture, but the fabric was a little ripply there - it actually needed about 5" taken out! Now, when I bought this I thought that I knew that it had a side zipper, so I thought I would just take it in at the other side seam and call it a day. This would have been a fine plan ... if the skirt didn't have pleats across the front. If I just took it all from the one side, it would have shifted the pleats and looked ridiculous. So, I decided to take the plunge and rip the seams open and get to work doing things the right way.
The more I dug into this skirt, the more interesting/complicated it got. The zipper cam out no problem, except I did slip and rip the fabric - but it was in the section that would be cut off anyway so it was ok. Once the actual side seam was open, I had to rip out the enclosed waistband. The waistband not only functioned as a waist band, the seam there is top stitching that holds the paper-bag style skirt on. So it had to look nice when I put the stitching back :)
Next came marking my new stitch lines. I had to divide 4 so that I could take it in evenly on all the fabric edges. This meant that each side came in 1.25" from the previous stitch line. I marked it in chalk, put the zipper back in one side and then sewed just the front of the waistband on the opposite side. I tapered the seam down from my new stitch line to the old stitch line at the sequin section so I didn't have to worry about cutting into the sequins. Next I had to figure out how to get the waistband enclosed again, lol.
I started off at the zipper. I cut off the excess, pressed about 1/4" under and sewed the very top (to make sure the zipper tape top wasn't visible) and then at the old bottom of the waistband (this held the skirt up as well). I left the edge along the zipper open on the back to be done later.
I stitched the whole side of the skirt down from the paper bag section and tapered down to the sequins again. I had to stitch at the top a few different time and then check it until it ended up exactly the same length as the waistband so there would be no puckering.
I also wanted to reinforce the top of the seam now that it had cut edges that were folded under, so I just topstitched around the entire top.
The nice thing is that the topstitching is a normal feature on ready-to-wear clothes, so it looks like it was always there :)
 The only remaining thing to do was to stitch down the opening I left inside next to the zipper. Since I didn't want to have to remake the entire waistband, I just tacked it at the top and bottom with the machine, meaning I needed to hand stitch this part.
 It was short, so it wasn't a big deal. I hid the end of the thread in the opening and just stitched it down like a blind hem. You can't see if from the front at all.
Then I had to re-attach the hook and eye (I put the zipper a smidge low, so this wasn't an option). Technically it was finished at that point.
The last step for me was just a silly one. The tag still said 20W, but the skirt no longer was, so I just used my seam ripper to pull out the embroidered number...
And it was now just a skirt with no official size :) Easy-peasy.
I know it's a crappy picture, but it's all I could manage before work (and I really wanted to post this!). Now the skirt fits! It's a miracle :) I've worn it several times already and it fits great. This is yet another testament to how much I learned in the Tailoring Ready-To-Wear Class on Craftsy. I'm such a nerd with it too, every time someone compliments my skirt I just want to turn over the waistband to show them what I did, lol.

I am now addicted to altering skirts. It's great because you get all the satisfaction of making something from something that was unusable before without having to cut out the fabric (my sewing nemesis).

I love my new skirt and am so proud that I did it!

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