Vintage Sewing

help please

September 7, 2010

Hi guys
I bought this beautiful velvet skirt from a thrift shop but it is waaaaay too tight, like 3 inchs too tight!
I am in love with the material so want to refashion it but am not sure how.
I dont like super short skirts so dont really want to chop it and reposition waist band.
Any ideas?
It is 8 gore, each gore has about a 5/8 inch seam.
It doesnt have any extra on the hem or the waistband seam.
Thanks heaps
  1. I would let out all the seams and then use some plain velvet and make a new waistband or make a facing instead. Then I would probably make the waist into a matching headband! Its lovely good luck!

  2. I'd be careful of trying to let out the seams between gores, as you'll always be able to see the marks of the original with velvet. The idea of adding width between panels with narrow strips of plain velvet is an interesting one though, even if you have to reduce the size of the original gores a little (otherwise your skirt will suddenly be huge!).

  3. When I look at the shape I see a cape (oh, I just wrote a poem!). Would you be able to cut in down the the middle back (where I assume the zipper is located) and remove the zipper. Finish the edges and turn down and tack the waist band into a collar. Add a snap to the top and sew a decorative button. If the gores are placed "properly" you might also open them up on either side of the front opening (which used to be the back) for your arms to fit through? It would be really cute over a turtleneck and jeans, or a pencil skirt. Let us know what you do!

  4. Since it is gored, you could have some fun with alternating your printed velvet with a solid velvet (making those solid gores just a scootch wider) or some other solid fabric.(Denim, for example, would have a nice early-70s look. Ditto corduroy.)

    You could use a substantial black lace for the alterating gores, add a simple lining and make it a bit dressy.

    The leftover velvet gores could be used to help finish the waist and add cuffs and collar to a jacket.

    When you've remade the skirt, please post pics!

  5. How pretty! I would definitely add small gorges of plain velvet between the print to get an almost striped effect. You could use the leftover fabric for a headband or handbag.

    It's a lovely skirt!

  6. There would be color fadig and needle marks any time you attempted to let out seams in a vintage garment. I am afraid that attempting to insert additional fabric might result in a garment that is too big, but if I were to do this, I would use a heavy ribbon or satin.
    But what might work is to carefully remove the waistband and trim the waist 1/16 inch all around. Try on and check the size, trim a TINY bit more if necessary. You probably will not be able to use the original waistband so use a black or a contrast satin (picking up a color in the skirt)or a velvet in a contrasting color. A new black velvet might make the older velvet look faded.

  7. Cut above the hip line and make a contrasting yoke out of a matching fabric, black for a subtle effect or pick up the red or grey from the flowers for more WOW!! If you decide not to remake into a skirt, that fabric would make a fantastic hat.


  8. wow you guys are so creative! I am inspired again!
    I love the cape idea but dont think I would wear one, so I think I will go with the idea of ribbon between gores I think – picking up the olive green of the leaves and then increase the size of the waistband with a ribbon also. If that fails i will do the contrast yoke plus band on bottom.
    I will post my results!
    Thanks HEAPS

  9. The really easy solution would be to cut the waistband off and then sew it on to thin elastic, on the inside. This is a finish often used on RTW skirts and will give you a lot more ease, you probably won't even need to keep the zip.

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