Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why I Should Not Be a Model. (And a skirt how-to)

I'd been searching and searching for a knee length denim skirt for pretty much ALWAYS.  They don't sell them anymore.  Anywhere.  At least not in my budget... maybe that means I shouldn't be wearing them?  Like it's a sign that they're not stylish?  Whatever.  I still wanted one.  During a trip to the thrift store not too long ago, I found an ankle length denim skirt, which is NOT what I wanted, but I thought I'd give it a chance, especially since it was getting cold out and maybe ankle length was the way to go.
Ankle length was NOT the way for me to go.  Have I told you before that I'm short?  It's true.  I'm short.  That ankle-length skirt was actually a floor-length skirt pooling around my feet, drowning me in fashion faux paux agony.  I could just hear Clinton and Stacy's comments... and they weren't kind.  
However, it fit perfectly through the waist, hips and bum, which is nearly impossible to come by.  I decided I'd keep it and make it work.  I wasn't going to share a full tutorial on this, because it seemed WAY too easy and I didn't take pictures as I went... but then I realized there had to be other short ladies out there who were passing up cute, nicely fitting skirts due to length and I decided why not share some poor computer-generated drawings for you in tutorial form?  Yes, why not indeed.
Shortening a skirt without making it LOOK as if you've shortened it is actually really, really easy.  Really.  You don't even have to hem it.  No, seriously.  I'm serious.  There is NO HEMMING INVOLVED.  Because as you know, I hate hemming.  So really, anyone can do it.  Even my crummy little machine could handle the task, and that's saying something.  Ready for the poor drawings now?  Ok.

Firstly, try your skirt on and mark where you want the skirt to end.  Just put a little pin in it.  You'll want to mark it just below your knee to give yourself some room for seam allowance.
Take your skirt off and cut it straight across at the point you marked, then
cut the hem off of the bottom about an inch above the stitching.
 (You can get rid of that middle section now.  Or turn it into something cool.)  The yellowish green lines above designate the unfinished edges, as I'll be referring to them below.

Ok.  Now, turn your existing hem piece inside out.  Pull it over the bottom of the skirt, lining up the unfinished edges and the side seams.  (The lavender piece above is the hem piece.) Once it's all lined up, pin it in place.  Now use a straight stitch to sew around the whole thing.
Flip the hem piece down, so that the skirt is lying flat and the hem piece is now right side out.  You may want to iron it at this point, but honestly, I didn't.  All you have to do is topstitch around it.  Stick close to both the line you already stitched AND the stitches from the existing hem that may be visible.

 See?  This is the bottom flipped up so you can see where I originally sewed the hem part to the skirt.  The black stitching is the straight stitch AND the top stitch from the underside.

And here is the bottom hem piece flipped back down the right way.  Now all you see is the hem that already existed.  You can't really even tell where I sewed it on.

And that length is MUCH better for a short girl like me.

So.  Let's recap.  
The 4 steps to shortening a skirt (that anyone can do) are:
1. Measure and mark.
2. Cut, cut.
3. Sew.
4. Topstitch.


Here's a close-up of the top stitching.  You can see I tried to stay really close to the stitches that were already on the hem.  Looking close, even the blue thread is visible, but you really cannot tell unless you're staring at it from a few inches away.  And if anyone's face is just a few inches from your hem line, well, that's just weird.

And THIS?  This is why I should get someone to model for me.  And why I should NEVER try to look "serious" or give a "knowing smile."  Just thought I'd share yet another fail, since I seem to be on that kick lately.  Ha!

*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!


Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

This turned out great! I would not have thought to hem it that way!! You really can't see it at all!! I did just find a knee length denim skirt at a thrift store--I'm short too. You are a great model!! Love the drawings too.

Dena said...

Super great idea! Super cute outfit also :) Love the cardi.

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