March 27, 2013

Lizzie Makes... Tips On Altering Thrifted Skirts

It's no secret that Diana and I frequent Goodwill for unique clothes to sell, or clothes that could use a little TLC. I especially like to keep an eye out for out-dated clothes that could easily become fashionable again with a few alterations here and there.

So, I thought I'd share with you how I alter my skirts!

I got this one at Goodwill for $4.29. Your typical granny skirt: long, sheer, floral. But, I really liked this pattern so I snatched it right up! It's super easy to hem a skirt, provided you have a sewing maching (and even by hand, it isn't too difficult; just more time consuming).

First, decide how long you want your finnished product to be. I typically don't wear anything an inch above my knee, so I tried it on and had my sister put pins in to mark the knee. 

Be sure you're wearing the skirt at the right point on your body. If it's going to be at the hips, measure it while you're wearing it there. It it's going to be a high-waisted skirt, measure while it's at your waist.

Next, turn it inside out. Lay it on a flat surface and cut off the excess. Leave about 3 inches more than you want in length so you can have a good hem. Then fold the 3 inches to the exact length you want it and pin all the way around.

I have just pinned the excess 3 inches here.

To make things easier, you can iron your hem after you pin it. Depending on the fabric, this can make the sewing part go more smoothly.

Alright, now for the sewing! Thread your machine with the correct color of thread. If you don't know how to do this, Google it. I would provide instructions but seriously, it's different for every kind of sewing machine. So just type in your model of machine and you shouldn't have too much trouble!

Starting about a quarter inch from the edge of your fold, begin to sew your hem. Work at a steady pace and attempt to keep the seam even and straight. This could take some practice, so try it for the first time on a scrap piece of fabric to get the feel of it.

As you go along, take out the pins BEFORE you get to them. Sewing over a pin could break your needle (not to mention bend up your pins).

 Once you've completed your hem, cut your threads and turn your skirt right side out. Ironing it is optional; it'll give you a nice crisp hem. In my case, I wanted the hemline to fall naturally, so I didn't iron it.

Here's my finished product. Not a granny skirt anymore, huh?
(Sorry about the poor quality. I'll get a better pic up soon.)

This is such a great thing to do because it's cheap, unique, and fun. Not to mention all your friends will envy your awesome sewing skills.

Experiment. Make a skirt a hi-low. Make an asymmetrical hemline. Test different fabric types. Work with pleats. Work with layers. Just keep trying out different techniques and styles; you'll end up with a very diverse closet, trust me :)


Have you ever altered a find from a thrift store? Have any advice or experience? What is your favorite technique when sewing? Leave us a comment!

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