Tag Archives: skirt waistband

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.