Sunday, September 18, 2011

Resizing a size 4 skirt

Now, obviously, I am not a size 4 but I saw this skirt into Frenchies and I had to have it. I had a wild idea: how do you turn a size 4 skirt into a skirt that would fit me?

Of course, this won't work for every skirt. If it is already knee length then you are out of luck unless you want to wear a mini skirt. This particular skirt was flouncy and came to the ground so I was in luck.

I don't have a "before" picture, but here is the after:

What I did is I took a skirt that fit me perfectly and laid it over this skirt. I lined them both up at the bottom hems. At the top, I cut the white skirt where the waist of the other skirt hit me with two inches of seam allowance.

Next, I folded down the waist to see how much I needed for the elastic. After measuring, I found that I needed 1 cm then 1 inch for the elastic, with some room to move around. 

I folded the seam for the first seam allowance:

Then I folded that under and down about 1 inch and a little bit to allow the elastic some room.

I continued this folding pattern and pinned it down to the skirt.

Then, I sewed the waistband down close to the edge but not all of the way around. I left about two inches open between where I started and where I ended.

Now it's time to add the elastic. I used a large safety pin that I hooked into the elastic and closed shut. I learned the hard way to tape this safety pin around the closure before pulling it through the waistband so I recommend that to you on this step.

I inserted the safety pinned elastic into the opening in the skirt and started to gently pull it through by scrunching the fabric up then pulling it back like a scrunchie.

Once I had pulled the elastic all the way through, I put the two ends together. I made sure that the elastic was not twisted somewhere so that they lined up perfectly and I cut off any excess.

I sewed these two cut ends of the elastic together with a straight stitch, which I backstitched a few times. Then I did the zipper stitch over the cut ends (even though they wouldn't show).

I put the elastic into the waistband then I pinned the hole in the waistband shut and sewed it down.

And voila, I have this wonderful elasticized skirt that fits me (without being tight). I love it! Hard to believe that it used to be a size 4 skirt.

Here's a close-up of the elastic waistband:

Estimated time for this project: 2 hours. Most of this time was used up fitting the elastic waistband and pulling the elastic through. Other than that, it was very easy to do. The bottom and seams are already finished which was a great bonus for me. 


  • This was a very long skirt so it was easy to cut it at a place that fit me better so that it would be a knee-length skirt. 
  • I'm not sure how well this will work with a size 4 skirt that is fitted instead of swingy or flouncy but I will try it. 
  • I was going to add a lining under the skirt in white cotton but I decided not to as I made a slip to go under all of my skirts instead of lining every one of them. But, it is an option. 
  • When I was pulling the elastic through, I had to keep it straight. It had a tendency to stretch and curl so I had to constantly smooth it out. 
  • I could have done some work on the skirt itself but I didn't. One idea, is to take a bright-colored thread in your color of choice and top stitch down all of the seams and edges for some detail.
  • I could have added other details like embroidery or lace under the edge in a matching or contrasting color.

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