This skirt has quite the story... I saw it in the window of Modern Millie, the amazing vintage / consignment shop in town, and couldn't stop thinking about it. I stopped by the shop a few days later and it was still there! I knew I had to have it.
Except... there were problems. The salesgirl warned me, as she was taking it off the mannequin, that the waist was small. Really small. Like, 18" of small. So small, in fact, that she couldn't take it off the mannequin's hips and had to fight to get it off over her shoulders. Ummm... a problem, for sure, but how fantastic is that print?!? "It needs some love," the salesgirl said, and I knew I was the one to give it, so I bought it.
When I got it home, I did some investigation, and here's what I've figured out:
- This skirt is homemade (see gathering stitches showing under the waistband)
- This skirt was probably for a child (see tiny waist, and hem that was let down twice)
- This skirt is old: selvage was still attached, and the fabric design is copyright 1953!
Thankfully, the skirt was also long enough that I could make the necessary alterations. Here's what I did:
- Used my seam-ripper to remove the existing waistband
- Carefully un-gathered skirt
- Pressed the heck out of it (check out the fading!)
- Cut 3" off the top of the skirt
- Cut a slit down the center back to remove the hole and insert a zipper
- Sewed a seam in the center back and inserted a zipper
- Re-gathered the skirt to fit my waist
- Fashioned a 1" waistband from the 3" I cut off the top
- Attached waistband to re-gathered skirt and added a snap closure
And here is the finished skirt! It really wasn't that much work to fix it, and the new length hits a few inches above my knees, which is perfect! Also, because the skirt is made of two lengths of fabric sewn selvage to selvage (there are two sets of selvages--one at each side seam), there's still a lot of volume. And that print! Oh my--I am in love!