Tag Archives: foldover elastic for skirt

Fashion Magazine Inspired Refashions

I’m not someone who follows fashion trends; I like simple, basic clothes.  This summer I was thumbing through a fashion magazine, I believe it was “In Style”, and decided I would try something different.

White and Yellow Inspiration for Refashion Inspired by two fashion trends: “be breezy in white” and “brighten your look with yellow”, I searched the thrift store for white and yellow items for my refashion.  These are colors I don’t generally wear.  White can be harsh and stark to wear and yellow can look unflattering with some skin tones.

I found a yellow button-down cotton shirt and a white cotton skirt with black floral embellishment.  Close enough!

yellow shirt and white skirt before refashionThe shirt was just your basic boxy shirt with a breast pocket, and the skirt had a waistband, a side zipper and stitched down pleats starting several inches below the waist.  The skirt was too small for me at the waist, but hit at my lower calf giving me the plenty of extra length to make changes.

This is a long post so I moved up my reveal:

Yellow Shirt and White Skirt before and after

Here’s what I did:

I cut off the collar and sleeves of the shirt, and removed the pocket.  Then I cut about two inches from the bottom of the shirt, and used it to make an applied casing on the inside of the shirt at the waist for a drawstring, and made the drawstring with the shirt fabric as well.  I didn’t have enough length for the drawstring so I used a piece of elastic, and attached the shirt fabric ties at both sides.  I made small eyelet buttonholes 1 and 1/2 inches in from the fabric edges for the openings for the drawstring.

Inside of shirt showing applied casing for drawstringeyelet openings for drawstring sewn 1 1/2 inch from edges of shirt I made a new buttonhole at the top of the shirt and used yellow bias tape I already had to finish the neckline. I also added armseye darts to snug up the armhole.

Sleeveless or sleeves?  I debated this with myself, and decided to make cap sleeves from the original sleeves.  They don’t go all the way around the armhole so I still needed to use bias tape to finish the armholes.

cutting cap sleeve from original sleeve

Inside of cap sleeve showing bias tape

Inside of cap sleeve showing bias tape

On to the skirt:  I removed the invisible zipper and cut  several inches off the top to make a knee length skirt.  Because I was cutting away more than the waistband, my too small skirt was now too big and I cut a wedge off of the sides.

I used my favorite finishing on a refashioned skirt:  a zipper plus 1 inch foldover elastic for a waistband.  This is the third time I’ve used this technique; it’s also featured in my most popular post  “Easy fix for too small skirt”. 

I like the ease of putting on a skirt with a side opening, and the slight stretch to the waist results in a good fit while keeping a flat look to the waistband instead of a gathered one.  I started with the waist about 1 and 1/2 half inch bigger than I wanted before adding the elastic.

Is this an easy fix?  Well, not exactly, unless you or someone you know can tackle putting in a zipper. I used this Colette tutorial   for installing an invisible zipper.

I sewed the foldover elastic to the wrong side stretching the elastic only slightly, then trimmed the excess fabric, and folded over with my fingers to cover the zigzags as I sewed the elastic to the right side to finish.

sewing foldover elastic to right side of skirtnew top of skirt with foldover elastic

I tried several different ways of styling my new white and yellow separates with a few added pieces.  I substituted navy for the alternate outfit for the shirt because I don’t have any white pants or shorts.

skirt with yellow tank and white shirt tied at waist

Refashioned yellow shirt with Sparky

So, do I look breezy and bright?  Or should I step away from the yellow and white?

Which outfit do you like best?  Do you wear white or yellow?

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Easy Fix for Too Small Skirt

Thrifting has been getting more popular in recent years.  I now have the convenience of a church run thrift store right in my neighborhood strip mall.  One Saturday a month they have a one-half-off sale, and I can get clothes for much less than at Goodwill.  One drawback is there isn’t a changing room at this store.

I saw a full skirt that I liked but I thought it might be too small at the waist for me.  I bought it anyway!  It sat on the sewing pile for too long when I could have been wearing it this summer.Too Small Skirt It had a lining and an invisible zipper at the side.  What I did is an easy fix for a skirt that’s too tight at the waist but has a little extra length.  I removed the zipper and the waistband.  I was left with a skirt with four pleats.  I reinserted the invisible zipper and then used foldover elastic for a new waistband.

I looked up tips on sewing with foldover elastic.  I found this post and video on Disparate Disciplines to be the most helpful.  I followed the tip to sew the elastic to the wrong side first with a big wide zig-zag, and then fold over and sew the elastic down on the right side with a narrow inconspicuous zig-zag stitch close to the end of the elastic.

Foldover Elastic from Wrong SideFoldover Elastic Right SideYou have to stretch the elastic while sewing.  How much you stretch it determines whether the fabric is flat or gathered.  After taking off the waistband, the waist was too large so I stretched the elastic quite a bit, but I should have narrowed the waist seams as well first.  I added a hook to the elastic above the zipper to snug it up a bit more.

Skirt Finished with Foldover Elastic Waist

Finished Skirt after Changing Waistband

When I sewed the elastic to the skirt I also included the lining. Afterwards, I went to the table to get a needle from  my new handmade strawberry needlebook to hand sew the lining to the zipper.  I frantically searched and searched for days but no needlebook!  How ironic given that I was happy that all my favorite needles had a secure home of their own.  I last had it when I was taking more photos of it, and probably put it down on the sofa as I was taking other photos.  I cast a suspicious eye on the four- legged inhabitant of the house thinking he might have grabbed the soft squishy “toy” when my attention was elsewhere.  I even looked outside behind shrubs but never found a trace of it or any needles.

Foldover elastic is an easy option for a waistband, similar to a bias tape waistband but with more stretch.  I’m happy with my altered skirt and I’ll definitely be using this technique again.