Tailoring Skirts

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I must admit that while everyone else has been complaining about the economy and pay cuts, I have secretly sorta been enjoying it. Don't get me wrong, I feel terrible for anyone who has lost their job. My husband's paycheck is less than what it used to be, our house is worth less, and our stocks are down, but I don't care. We were living within our means and didn't have to make any changes to our already thrifty lifestyle. I am happy and enjoying that being thrifty is now the thing to do.  It is actually cool to be thrifty and creative; whereas before I was just considered cheap. I think this economy is making people more creative and has been a good thing for some people.

I love DownEast basics clothing and visit their store frequently looking for deals. Last Spring I hit a big sale where everything was 50% off the clearance price making some of my favorite fall and winter skirts only $5 each (normally they are $30-$40)!!! The only problem was that they were all too big. Not a problem for me and I scooped up 3 of my favorite skirts while women looked at me thinking that I had gotten the only size small skirts in the store and bummed that they couldn't find any.

Skirts are soooo easy to adjust the size. All you have to do is sew up the side to fit you. I sewed 2 of the skirts up right away and wore them a few times before I pulled out my Spring clothes. Tonight I sewed up the 3rd and am ready for Fall.

Here is what I did (Sorry about the terrible photos, my sewing machine is in the basement):
First I tried on the skirt and marked where I wanted to take it in. Then I turned the skirt inside out and sewed the side of the skirt up at the markings.
After trying on the skirt to make sure it fit, I cut down the side of the skirt.
Then I sewed up the sides of the skirt and built-in liner. Since I don't have a serger I  did a zig-zag stitch along all of the raw edges after I sewed them up.
Here is a close-up of the stitch and then my zig-zag stitch to finish it off.
At the waist I took a needle and thread and stitched the seam open.

This skirt was a size medium, so I only had to take it in a couple of inches. The other 2 skirts were large and I had to take them in a lot more which made the belt loops uneven. For those skirts I just took off the belt loops and sewed them back on evenly.

I had some left-over material from all 3 skirts, so I made headbands. I was able to make larger headbands out of the larger sized skirts and a thin headband out of the medium skirt.

I needed some elastic for the headband, but couldn't find any. I had a bunch of clothes I was going to take to the thrift store and stole some elastic from them.

I bought the leather black boots at a thrift store. The skirt, headband, and boots all together cost $15.

I just bought these leather brown boots at a thrift store. This skirt with headband and boots was only $15. The boots were a lighter brown and I just rubbed some leather conditioner on them to darken them up and get rid of some scuffs.

Now it is time for you to link up your Penny Pinching ideas!
Here are the rules:

  1. Add the permalink to the specific blog post, not your general blog address.
  2. Link back to the party from your post so that your readers can join in the fun! If you have my Penny Pinching Party button on your blog I may even feature your link when I highlight my favorite Penny Pinching ideas.


  1. I was just thinking the same thing yesterday! I believe everything happens for a reason and with the whole economy "struggling" it is showing how we all need to always pull together not just in tough times.

    Awesome job on those skirts too! Your my kind of shopper!

  2. Oh my gosh we have done this for years, I love to take old dress & remake to skirts...I'll have to pull out some old photos

  3. Oh those skirts are fabulous! I used to sew quite a bit, but have been lagging in that area recently. I never even thought about buying larger sizes and sewing them to fit- expecially since the fabric is so pretty! I love the headband idea too- now you've got me itching to drag out my machine :-)

  4. Thanks so much for hosting this party! Those skirts look amazing - I love those patterns!

  5. I have thought about doing this, but I'm only 5'2 so then I have a length issue. What is the best way to hem a skirt like these since it needs more of a rounded hem?

  6. Those skirts are uber-cute! Thanks for the blog party!

  7. I love to take old dress & remake to skirts...I'll have to pull out some old photos Domain registration india

  8. great ideas! i also make my own laundry detergent, but I use Ivory soap instead of Fels Naptha. I like the "fresh" non-scent it gives my clothes. Sometimes I throw in a Tablespoon or so of baking soda too.