Tuesday, May 27, 2014

DIY Skirt Transformation With Matching Headscarf
A Zero Waste Alteration

Have you ever had a skirt with an old elastic waistband, that was so worn out, it didn't fit anymore? Or even better, a skirt that has an elastic waist band that is 10+ sizes too big? Well, it's your lucky day, because it is a super simple alteration, and I'm here to show you how to 1) make the skirt customized to YOUR SIZE and shorter, and 2) utilize the excess fabric for a matching head scarf. 
This skirt is simple with pleats all around, no zipper, and an invisible hem. The waistband is a separate piece of fabric, with the elastic top stitched with three rows of stitches. 

You will need:
  • skirt
  • elastic
  • scissors
  • chalk hem marker
  • pins
  • sewing machine with an invisible hem stitch or a hand needle
  • hem tape / seam binding
  • rolled hem foot (optional)
  • straight razor blade or seam ripper
  • large safety pin

Start with a razor blade or seam ripper, and remove the old elastic.
Fold down the waistband, and sew all the way around, leaving a 1-2" space to string the new elastic back through.
Wrap elastic around your waist, add one inch, and cut elastic. Or measure you waist with a tape measure and add one inch, cut elastic. If you want the skirt to sit lower on your hips, measure lower and cut to that measurement.
Insert safety pin through end of the elastic.
Feeling the safety pin through the fabric, string it through the waistband. Be careful not to lose the other end of the elastic in the waistband. String all the way through and pin the two ends together.
Stitch vertically, connecting the two ends of the elastic. Tuck in waistband and stitch the small 1-2" opening closed.
Top stitch the waistband, recreating the original stitches.
Not pictured, use a chalk hem marker if you choose to shorten the skirt. Cut 1 1/2" below chalk hem mark. Sew hem tape or seam binding to the raw edge of the skirt. Use an invisible stitch on a sewing machine or sew by hand (See this tutorial for more detailed instructions).
Using your extra fabric, you can make a simple headscarf. A rolled hem foot makes a nice edge on the scarf. And a super fun foot to add to your repertoire. Making this scarf utilizes your scraps and makes a ZERO WASTE alteration. Plus, my personal favorite part about a head scarf, it hides my messy hair that I didn't have time to fix this morning.
Once you get comfortable with this type of alteration, or open yourself up to the idea of changing your clothes, you will find yourself holding onto skirts that are just a bit off, until you can find those few hours a week to get on your machine. If your'e the reader that is just reading this tutorial to see how exactly to do it, TRY IT. You can do it! It's a blast.

Questions? Comments! I'd love to see your projects and versions of this tutorial!

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  1. LOVE IT! Instead of investing in fabric this is a great way to bring life to an old skirt that you could pick up for a few dollars at a thrift store or garage sale or the back of gramma's closet.

    1. Exactly. This skirt was just a few dollars and I couldn't resist!

  2. Super cute! Did you cut away any width? It looks like your just bring in the waist with your elastic? Pinned:)

    1. Yup. I didn't take out any of the width. Just gathered it with the elastic waistband :)

  3. Loving it more with the extra headscarf! Great sewing project!