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skirt to tight

mooseinalabama | Posted in General Discussion on

I bought a beautiful straight skirt at the thrift store and it’s to tight aroung my hips.  Is there a creative way to enlarge the skirt besides just adding fabric on the sides which I did I  and it doesn’t look right?  I just wanted to try something else to give it style, If I can. I am not a real experience sewer but I’m learning and loving it. The skirt was longer than I wanted so i got extra material when I cut the lenght. When I let out the side seams there wasn’t enough fabric to make the skirt fit looser.   


  1. jjgg | | #1

    How is the length? can you 'shorten' the skirt by raising it up (sort of how I used to roll the top of the skirt up after school when I had to wear a uniform? - ie - lower the waistline.

    1. mooseinalabama | | #3

      Thank you for responding to my question. Unfortunately i cannot shorten the skirt anymore than what I have already done when i cut a lot of the lenght off . What originally happen is that I took the skirt apart at the side seams and took material off the front -it was a mock wrap skirt-I kept the back intact because it had a zipper. Then i stupidly took a pattern i had for a skirt and just applied the pattern front piece to the front panel of the skirt. Needless to say everythinbg turned out wrong. I'm still learning. So I took the extra material I had from when i cut the length and attached it to the side seams. It blends pretty good but I was wondering if there was a creative way to enlarge skirts that I don't know about when you dont have enough at the side seams. I really want to salvage this skirt its beautiful. 

      1. jjgg | | #6

        OK, so at this point the object id to creatively hide the inserts. You could add a matching insert in center front, or 2 at the side fronts, you could just embroider or bead the inserts and make it a fashion statement.I once had to lengthen a dress for a client by adding a band of different fabric around the bottom edge of the dress, it was 6 inches deep, to make it blend in, I added a (narrower) band at the bottom of the sleeves to tie it all together. The end result looked like it was done very intentionally from the start.

        1. User avater
          JunkQueen | | #7

          Now this brought back a sweet memory. I had a RTW pink brocade sheath dress in my high school and college and early married years that had started life being too short at just barely knee length. This was before short skirts and I am tall. Mother cut it off even shorter and added pink satin pleats to make it longer. She sewed about a 2" band over the seam and added a flat bow in front. To pull it together, she added a pink satin band and bow to the scoop neck line, too. I wore it for many years. Well, until it was too long!!!I had forgotten that dress. Thanks for the memory.

          1. Ralphetta | | #8

            I agree that there are many creative ways to make things longer. However, I've seen very few successful attempts to use fabric/trim insertion to make things wider. It almost always looks makeshift and desperate. I hope I'm not offending anyone, but in my opinion the results just aren't worth the extensive time and effort because it very seldom looks good. I would not encourage anyone to do it. Again, it's my honest opinion and not meant to be rude.

            Edited 3/9/2009 3:51 pm ET by Ralphetta

      2. Teaf5 | | #9

        If it's a mock wrap skirt, it already has an asymmetrical front, correct?  I'm guessing that it looks as if it wraps to the left front.  If you concentrate the added material on that side rather than on both sides, it will more likely look like it was intended as a design element.  Leave it smooth around the back, smooth around the right front, and then panelled or even pleated between the end of the "wrap" edge and the left side seam.

        If you can't salvage it as a skirt, you might consider using the fabric for a tote, a vest, or as an accent on another garment.  While you're experimenting, try taking out the zipper and putting it back in; changing the location of a zipper is a valuable skill, and it would work on this skirt by moving it to the left side.


        1. mooseinalabama | | #10

          I just now read the responses to my question of how to widen a skirt creatively. I work 2 jobs and got home at 8:30 cst. I appreciate all the advice. I am going to try and salvage if not experiment with this skirt. It's just that pretty to me and i can't give up yet. But if i do I'll make a scarf and belt of some type out of the material. I'll let you all know when i finish with it. Thank you again.  

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #11

            I hope I am not too late to add my two cents worth. There are alternate design areas where you can add fabric. Consider where a princess line would be. The area where a dart would be in the front of a skirt. It is possible to add fabric there and make it an interesting seam or two. Possibly two flat felled seams? It is flat and top stitched, and one could even be left open at the bottom like a slit. Yes, you would possibly have to make a wider insertion of fabric to make it look right, but it certainly would add some textural interest. Just a thought. Cathy

          2. mooseinalabama | | #12

            Thanks Cathy for your idea. That is a possibility and i might try it i also thought about something in the front. I just appreciate everyone's response. Thank you again...tonight i got home at 9:45 pm from my job tomorrow will be a normal day home at 6!

  2. starzoe | | #2

    If the skirt is wider at the hem than the waist have you considered remaking it, turning it upside down? I did this with an ultrasuede skirt and it worked a treat.

    1. mooseinalabama | | #4

      Thank you for your suggestion. I didn't think about turning the skirt up side down. I just wish there was a way to  do it as is because as I said in the other post it already has a zipper in it.

  3. Ralphetta | | #5

    If you encounter this same problem any time in the future, remember that lifting/shortening a skirt from the top creates extra width around the hips. I guess you could still do that with this skirt and then sew the fabric you've cut off, back onto the bottom with a tuck over the seam or some kind of braid, etc., that would make it look like a design feature. People on this site sometimes joke about their "wadders", the frustrating projects that just don't work out right and get shoved into a box. Even experienced people sometimes make them. It's really frustrating.

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