Thursday, June 9, 2011

Adjusting skirts: ditching the waistband

After having two children, my shape has changed a bit.  I still weigh the same as before children, but my waist is bigger.  Because of that, I have found that wearing skirts with a waist is very constricting.  I have made several skirts using an Amy Butler pattern, the Barcelona skirt.  It fits below the waist for comfort, but above the hip bones so it does not fall off (a problem that I have with so many of these jeans that you buy now!).  I have found this skirt fits me despite a few pounds up or down.  So, I decided to reconstruct some of my favorite skirts that I have which have waistbands and that I find constricting.  I don't want to get rid of the skirts, I like them, but they are just not that comfortable to wear.  So, here is the process I used to modify these four skirts.

The one that I am going to show for this process is a skirt that I bought while I was nursing and very skinny.  The skirt still fits in the hips, but is WAY too tight in the waist.  Rather than get rid of it, I decided to get rid of the waist band.  This is a white linen, bias cut skirt.  Obviously I did not iron it for this photo.  I am going to show how I reconstructed this skirt.

First, I tried the skirt on and noted where my hip bones were and marked them with two pins.  I then took off the skirt and removed the zipper by carefully cutting the stitches holding it to the seams.

Next, I opened up the seam since the zipper will be placed lower in the seam.

I found that if I cut the waist band off where it was without cutting any lower, with a 1/2" seam allowance, it would be at the right place to sit on my hips.  So, using the waist band as a guide, I cut the waist band off.

Next, I sewed the zipper back in allowing for a 1/2 inch seam at the top.  After the zipper was in and I tested it.  I then put the seams together and using the zipper foot, I stitched down starting at the last zipper stitch and just to the outside of it, I stitched down to the seam that I had left intact.

Because this skirt is a bias cut skirt which would stretch because of its cut, I took cotton waist tape and used it to stabilize the waist of the skirt.  I took the skirt with  its right side out, placed the lining over the skirt with wrongside out, and then placed the tape on top of that and pinned this sandwich carefully together.  I stitched from the back zipper opening on one side all the way around to the other.

Finally, I turned the lining and the cotton tape to the inside of the skirt.  I pressed the lining and tape to the inside, and finally I topstitched it all in place.

The skirt fits beautifully, and I was able to wear it comfortably to my daughter's ballet performance and even got some compliments on the skirt!!  However, once I started writing this, I realized that I did not have a photo of the final product.  I will have to take one and  upload it soon.