I considered making a skirt from scratch but then thought that if I found a suitable skirt in a charity shop it would be quicker and easier to convert it. Luckily, this was one of those rare times when you find exactly what you're looking for in a charity shop, so with such serendipity I had to complete this project. The skirt looked hardly worn, was in my size, and fabric alone would have cost more than the skirt, never mind the time spent sewing.
Here's the guide to my maternity restyle:
What you need:
- Denim Skirt
- 1/2 metre Double knit or ribbed knit in colour to match your skirt (I used ribbed knit that came in a tubular form)
- French Curve
- Bias Binding
1. Get a skirt in your usual size.
(wearing a black bump band for modesty, just in case you think I'm exposing my pants...)
2. Try on the skirt to see how it sits on your figure. A hipster style could be converted by cutting off and replacing the waistband with an elasticated band. You could cut off part of the zipped fly and sew up the fly, also retaining the pockets. However this skirt was high waisted so needed a different type of alteration. You can see from the photo that I will need to take a section out of the front of the skirt, over the stomach.
3. Mark roughly on the skirt which area you would like to be elasticated. My alteration will cut off a section of the front including the zipped fly and pockets but the back will be unaffected. It's a shame to lose the pockets, but I couldn't think of a non-fiddly way to retain them.
4. Use a French Curve to help you mark neat and symmetrical lines on the skirt to show which section will be removed so the stretch fabric can be inset. Then mark 1/2" above this line to indicate your cutting line - this allows for a 1/2" seam.
5. Cut along the cutting line. If your skirt has rivets like mine, you might want to alter your cutting lines to cut these off. I tried removing them using a screwdriver but to no avail, those things are well attached.
6. Take your stretch fabric and cut 2 rectangles at a size to fit generously in the cut-out area (the width of the skirt). With the stretch fabric held right sides together, hem across the top to sew the layers together.
7. Pin your rectangular stretch panel into the gap and try on the skirt. Make sure it fits nice and snugly because it is designed to stretch (of course!) and you don't want it to be too loose. I'd also advise basting the panel in and wearing the skirt for a while to see how it sits on you as this will avoid having to unpick/cut the panel later on if it turns out to be a bit loose (ask me how I know...)
8. Once happy with the placement of the panel in the skirt, on the inside cut the panel down to 1/2" from the edge of the hole cut in the skirt.
9. From the inside of the skirt, sew the panel in using a 1/2" seam allowance. Try on the skirt to check you are happy with the fit.
10. Topstitch and turn inside out to neaten the edges of the fabric using bias binding.
11. Et Voila! Skirt is complete.
Denim skirt £2
Ribbed Knit fabric £3.50
I'm really chuffed at how well this alteration turned out and it was pretty straightforward not to mention much cheaper and more ethical than buying a new maternity denim skirt. This type of alteration would also work on high waisted trousers too.