Adventures in Dressmaking: Vintage skirt transformation!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Vintage skirt transformation!

I actually feel kinda bad about this one, folks... you loved this skirt in this post where I wore it with the lace tank I created from and old tee and a lacy top.  It was super fun!  I loved that outfit, too!

I said in the post I had thought about cutting it off to make it shorter, and maybe it would be more wearable that way.  So many of you said no, don't do it!  But, I actually felt really self-conscious about it because, as you can see in this pic, it's, um, not symmetrical.

Yes, somehow either the years of weight on a circle and in places bias-cut skirt have unevenly stretched this knit wool skirt out, or it was never even because it was cheaply manufactured to begin with (which I'm pretty sure it was).  See?

Booo.

So I did want to shorten it, and actually now I kind of regret what I did... oooops!  (You were right, it would have been cuter longer!)

On the bright side, by reading this you'll learn how to shorten a circle skirt (kind of a pain to hem it evenly, as the manufacturers of the skirt found out when they made it in the factory!).  This one's only a partial circle skirt, but the rules are the same!

Basically I had to try it on and have my mom sketch the length I wanted, every few inches, as if radiating from the waistband.  We walked around me with a tape measure measuring the same length all around, every few inches, because think about it like a donut laying flat, with a point in the center--if you don't measure all the lines from the exact center point, the line you create with the tape measure will be on a different path--does that make sense?

Then I cut at the chalk lines, and put in a small machine hem.  Putting the actual hem seam in on a circle skirt is no picnic, either, because the grain is slightly different every millimeter, actually!  So I was very slow and methodical... and eventually, here it is!

Now it's a flippy, mini-length, fun with tights for winter when I want just a pop of brightness.  I like it this way, too, although now looking back, the longer length was quite lady-like and pretty!  Maybe I'll make myself another skirt of that length (and actually cut it and hem it evenly!)!

Which side of the length controversy are you on?  Don't be too mad at me! ;)

27 comments:

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  1. I like it both lengths, but I wouldn't have been able to handle the asymmetry in the long one. It looks cute short - completely different..but cute! It's funny how the length changes its personality entirely. Nice job.

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  2. I was one of the people begging you not to cut it!

    You did a good job, but I still prefer the original version. But you are so talented that you could make a very nice circle skirt, as they are so easy to make. I love this tutorial: http://ficklesense.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-to-make-circle-skirt-full-34-12-14.html

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    1. Thanks for the link! I WILL make another, don't worry ;)

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  3. I still prefer the longer length. You should make one up!

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  4. I like the long one for fall/winter, but I think you'll be able to rock the short one in the spring and summer.

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  5. The longer length was classier. I'm not being mean but the short one looks like an ice-skater's costume. Well, they're fun too, I suppose.

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  6. I liked the longer one better too, I would have cut it just enough to even the hem length but still have it longer. Then again I'm a fan of longer skirts in general, if it does't at least hit my knees I think it's too short.

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  7. I would have gone for slightly above knee length.. and I'm interested to hear that you don't normally measure skirts like that to hem them. I've always done it that way, but I guess I have to because my butt sticks out so far that just marking it as it lay on a table would make it so short in the back that it would be ridiculous.

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  8. I like the look of the longer one more, but I'd be much more likely to wear the shorter one. :)

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  9. I always say, the fuller the skirt, the longer the hem. That way you don't have to worry about sitting, windy days and stooping to pick up those dropped items. I really like short skirts on you, but with a more fitted, straighter silhouette.

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  10. I really like both looks - but I'll stand up for the shorter version. It's super cute, and the ice skater look is definitely in right now (hello, American Apparel). It will be very wearable for warm summer days, bike rides, and picnics (with bloomers or bike shorts underneath)

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  11. You are so lucky to be able to pull off short skirts. I don't have the legs for it. The long version seemed matronly, and you are so not that.

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  12. You can definitely wear a skirt that short, it looks great on you. BUT I do prefer it long, it was elegant and classy.

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  13. I knew you were going to do this when you first showed it! You look cute on your usual short skirt, but I preferred the long version of this one (I don't think it was a bit matronlsy...sorry Lil. I don't blame you for wanting to straighten it out though. So, you just need to add a long circle skirt to your to-do list.

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  14. It is a little short for my taste-BUT I actually like it shorter on you, I think it is a cute skirt! I also like long skirts but on this one I like the shorter version in the case of it not being symmetrical before- iv been making a lot of skirts recently and I had the hardest time hemming and made myself a duct tape dress form (pictures and links on my blog) and it seemed to help a ton! I enjoy your blog- thanks for sharing:-)

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    1. Cool! Dress forms can be VERY helpful, for hemming too!

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  15. The newly shortened skirt is classy and perfect. You can always make another, longer one out of another nice fabric! Great job!

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  16. I love the color of that skirt so much!

    xoxo,

    colormenana.blogspot.com

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  17. I think the first one was way too long for the color (the bright pink begs for a short, cute length), but maybe two or three inches longer would have been more to your taste. I think it's hard with a circle skirt to be too short...as I found out with some dresses I made for a Hawaii trip, with the wind, they just don't stay put! But with tights, this is super cute!

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  18. I just love the color of this skirt! It really looks nice on you, and its perfect for spring... Right on trend!

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  19. the long version was gorgeous! i love the bright color on a more modest-length skirt. now it doesn't have as much of an impact, although it does look good on you.

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  20. I still like it :) Would have looked amazing short in the front and long in the back :)
    xx

    www.queenoffunkydiy.blogspot.com

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  21. I love the short version! The long one is just too old-fashioned (not in a good way)to my taste.

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  22. I love the longer version it's more elegant :-) but you look really cute and girly with the shorter cut :-)

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  23. Thanks for your kind but honest opinions, ladies!! I really appreciate it!

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