Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Advice needed! Lengthening a skirt


Yellow rose print fabric 1950s styleNot long now until the Vintage Nostalgia Show! That’s a fab weekend event in the Wylye valley. I am very excited. We went for the first time last year, on a bit of a whim, and had such a great time that I bought tickets for 2014 as soon as they went on sale. This year I’m making a bit more effort with my outfits, but not too much - I don’t want to put pressure on myself and kill the joy of it all. Last year people dressed in a mixture of styles, from authentic vintage to modern outfits, so being picture-perfect isn’t a necessity anyhow.



(Incidentally, while I will have good photos taken by Mr Robot to put up here after the event, I will also be popping up images on Instagram, data connection permitting, while things are happening. I’m mim_crinolinerobot on Instagram, if you fancy a look.)

Yellow rose print fabric 1950s style skirtOne of the things I’m thinking of wearing this year is this skirt. I love the print. The skirt is actually a modern one, bought from Oasis a couple of years ago... and therein lies the problem. The fabric is fantastic, but it’s too short for a proper vintage look, being a little above my knee. This leaves me with a choice: wear it as it is, or try to lengthen it. But how do you lengthen a skirt?

My ideas for lengthening 
1: As the print includes a grey lace pattern, I could put some grey lace round the bottom. I like this idea because it’s quick, easy and won’t involve damaging the skirt. I’m not sure how easy it will be to find lace stiff enough to work with the skirt, though, and deep lace would prove costly.

2: Put a band of fabric in a different colour round the bottom. I’m not sure about this idea; it’s non-destructive, but it risks looking like an obvious fix-up. Perhaps two bands, one of yellow and one of green, might work.

3: Carefully cut a strip from the bottom of the skirt, and insert a band of fabric between it and the main part of the skirt. On the plus side, this might look more unified than adding a band to the bottom. However, I have no sewing machine so it’d be all done by hand, and I’m terrified of muffing it up.

I’ve been looking for the same style of skirt on eBay as the best option would be a combination of ideas 2 and 3, to put a band of contrast colour, then a chunk of the same fabric cut from the second skirt, so a lot of the added length would be a perfect match for the original, but so far I’ve been unable to find one.

What would you do?

16 comments :

  1. Gorgeous skirt though I can understand your dilemma! I am guessing there is not much hem to speak of, that you could unpick and press the bejezus out of to remove the crease, so I think If it were me I would probably favour option 2 with two colours, though it is certainly a tricky one good luck with it!

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    1. No, it's a modern one so the makers were pretty stingy with the materials. I think I'll have a look in my local fabric shop and try the two-tone option.

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  2. How super exciting does the event sound! I can't go, was really tempted, but the OH is away on a boy's weekend and I haven't got anyone else to drag along!! As for the skirt, I'd be tempted just to wear it as it is. How much hem does it have to let down? I'd be tempted with the two contrasting colour bands as an option. Good luck with your alterations, if you go ahead! P x

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    1. Not much hem, sadly - an inch, which wouldn't make much difference.

      It's a really lovely event - if you can make it next year, I recommend it! Though it's becoming more popular, I think tickets are scarcer this year than they were last year.

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  3. A band wouldn't necessarily look obvious, if you get something that tones well.
    It's a pity you have no machine...can you borrow one?
    There are a number of tutorials on the net for this.
    Lace...possibly use interfacing or fix it over some grey cotton before using it?
    Or maybe double it so that it is thicker.
    I do wish that not all skirts were so short. It seems impossible now to find a modern dress or skirt that isn't barely covering one's backside.
    Even with fabulous legs it doesn't mean a woman always wants them on show.

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    1. It seemed silly to make a 50s-looking skirt so short, I thought, but then if it stops people cutting up the genuine article, there's something to be said for vintage-style modern length options.

      I hadn't thought of doubling the lace, that's a good idea.

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  4. Lovely print on the skirt. I think a two colour band would work well and is probably the easiest fix.

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    1. Two-colour band deffo seems the best option - if the fabric shop has the right sort of thing, I'm going to give it a go.

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  5. Before I even reached your first idea, lace was what I was thinking. Dresses and skirts trimmed with lace are so tremendously pretty (why we don't see it more often is beyond me!) and I think that it (lace) would compliment this elegant, beautiful skirt fabulously.

    Big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Thank you deeply for your caring, support comment (re: my new Etsy shop). Normally, I agree, taking a tech breather would be the way to go, but that's trickier now for sure. I'm trying to scale back a fair bit most weekends though, which is when I'm typically out there sourcing for items now, so that does help (plus I'm hoping to spend a few days in Vancouver next month, which should deliver some much needed R&R, too).

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    1. I'm thinking of the two-band option, but if I can find the right sort of grey lace, that could form one of the bands.

      No probs on the comment, I get really annoyed when I see that people online have had unpleasant comments - usually anonymous ones too, which suggests the commenter *knows* he or she is being unpleasant. It's rude and uncalled for! You don't deserve that.

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  6. I lenghtened a dress I made with option two but then took the whole thing apart and made it into an apron! The dress was navy with white daisies on with yellowish red middles, so I used some navy fabric to add about five inches of length and then trimmed it with a daisy trim and above that added some skinny red ribbon. It did work, but the dress saw me almost sewn into the bodice and it was awfully uncomfortable hence why I fashioned it into something else. Good luck with your skirt, it's very pretty x

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    1. Interesting! It's good to know the technique can work.

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  7. Very beautiful skirt! Instead of adding the lace to the bottom, how about a lace or solid fabric insert about 3 inches up from the bottom so it looks more intentional. ie cut about 3 inches or whatever looks best off of the bottom, insert a width of whatever you fancy and then sew the bit that you cut off back on the bottom!

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    1. That is one thing I considered, though Im a bit nervous of cutting into the cloth in case I mess it up completely. My friend Naomi has offered to adapt it for me, though.

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  8. You are probably at the Show with your altered skirt right now! What did you end up doing? (I just found you on Ig, that's what brought me here.) A couple years ago i solved that same problem by removing the waistband and adding fabric at the top. But I have a machine, and wore a top that reached my hips, so the fix was covered.

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    1. In the end the weather was bad so I didn't take it! It was a tad too summery for the overcast conditions.

      I'd never have though of adding fabric at the top, that's an interesting solution.

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