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Makeover Monday: A Tale of Two Skirts, Part Two

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Previously on Makeover Monday, I showed you how to create a peplum out of a full skirt, and prepare it to be attached to a pencil skirt. Today, we’ll finish this project by sewing the peplum to the skirt, then reattaching the partially-removed zipper and the waistband.

Let’s get started, continuing from last week’s post, which got us to the point of pinning the peplum in place and adjusting the gathers.

1. Pin and machine-baste the gathered peplum to grey skirt.

Red Alert! If the zipper on your skirt is not an invisible zipper, like mine, reattach your zipper before adding the peplum.

Adding peplum to skirt

Adding peplum to skirt. As shown, make sure that the seam allowance of your pencil skirt are folded out; this is where you will reattach your zipper. And fold the zipper-opening edges of your peplum under before pinning it to the skirt. Machine-baste, using previous stitching line as your guide.

Tip: My grey skirt is made with a stretch woven fabric, so to build a little extra ease into the waist, I’m using a shallow zigzag stitch to baste and to stitch for flexibility.

Pressing after basting

Pressing after basting. Press from the top of the peplum just down to the basting line; you don’t want to crush the life out of the gathers, but flattening above the stitching will make it easier to sew the waistband on later.

2. Enlarge the center back opening of the overskirt to accommodate the zipper (if necessary). If you enlarge this opening, restitch the top of this seam to secure. If desired (or necessary), finish the peplum seam allowances.

Peplum zipper opening

Peplum zipper opening. If necessary, enlarge this opening to accommodate the skirt zipper (to slightly below the bottom of the zipper) by removing stitches from the peplum center back seam; finish by restitching the top of this seam to secure.

3. Reattach waistband (unfolded edge) to top of skirt; first, restitch the seams at top of waistband:

Restitch waistband seams

Restitch waistband seams, if necessary; on my skirt, this is the seam at the top of the 2-piece waistband, but if yours is 1-piece (folded over at top),  you can ignore this step.

Now, with right sides together, pin the waistband to the skirt, aligning the basting line at the top of the skirt with the original stitching line of the waistband seam:

Pinning the waistband

Pinning the waistband. Align the original stitching line of your waistband as closely as possible to the corresponding line on the skirt, very slightly below the peplum basting line.

Tip: In this photo, you may be able to see that the right edge of the waistband doesn’t go all the way to the right edge of the skirt; this is due to the seam allowance having been trimmed down when the skirt was made originally. I’ve lined up the stitching lines, not the cut edges. I’ll just have to be extra careful when sewing, since there’s a much smaller seam allowance to work with.

Finish seam; I serged mine, but zigzag is just fine too. This step helps to compress the fullness from the gathered peplum to reduce bulk in the waistband. Press seam up towards waistband.

4. Reattach zipper ends. Pin in place along original stitching line and baste, keeping peplum completely out of the way.

Red Alert! Mine is an invisible zipper, which is installed in a different way than regular zippers; the important thing here is that you reattach yours the same way as it was originally installed.

Reattaching zipper ends

Reattaching zipper ends. Pin zipper in place (shown at left), then hand-baste (right), keeping peplum completely free. Machine-stitch in place and remove basting threads. Please note that these instructions apply to an invisible zipper only! See Red Alert, above.

Tip: Use a contrasting color of thread for basting; this makes it so much easier to distinguish the basting line from the final stitching line.

5. Finish inside of waistband. Fold waistband to inside of skirt; pin in place. Hand-sew, using an invisible-hem stitch, as shown (4). Press lightly.

Finishing waistband

Finishing the waistband. Be sure to keep the zipper teeth free. (Note: in Photo 4, the waistband is shown upside-down; the grey edge nearest the bottom is actually the top of the waistband.)

Reattach hook and eye (if any). Here’s my waistband after hand-stitching and reattaching the hook and eye:

Finished waistband

Finished waistband at center back, after hand-stitching waistband on inside of skirt, then reattaching the hook and eye at top of waistband.

Variation ideas:

1. Instead of replacing the original skirt’s waistband, make a new one from contrasting fabric. It might also be possible to use the waistband from your second skirt (like the one I used to make my peplum); this has the obvious advantage of matching the peplum. As I mentioned in the first part of this tutorial, removing the original waistband gives you the chance to make any necessary alterations to the waist measurement.

2. Make your peplum the same length all the way around, rather than the hi-low hemline on mine. (This certainly makes the cutting part easier!)

3. Another alternative to replacing the waistband after adding your peplum is adding a bodice to turn your skirt into a dress! Chances are, you already have a pattern that could be adapted for this project; it would be easiest to start with a design that has a seam at the waistline.

RED ALERT! If you’re going to do this, plan ahead with a 22″ long zipper (or length required by pattern), and completely remove the original skirt’s zipper.

Here’s a pattern I have (complete with peplum!) that would work well for this:

Vogue 8849 sewing pattern

Vogue 8849 sewing pattern. Use just the bodice and add it to your skirt to make a dress, and/or use the peplum part of this pattern instead of cutting up a second skirt! (Illustration courtesy of Vogue Patterns; click on the picture to see this pattern.)

And here’s my newly-peplumed skirt, shown with a jersey top I just made (Vogue 8790, View B):

Finished skirt with top

Finished skirt with top. (Click on the photo to see the pattern for the top.)

Bonus: This is now a TTTW (Take Tango to Work) skirt!

Honestly, I wasn’t wearing either of these skirts at all before thinking up this project— now I can wear both at once, including for tango. (Talk about the best of times!) And you don’t have to be a Charles Dickens fan to revolutionize a plain pencil skirt!

Special announcement! Between Makeover Monday and Thrift-Shop Thursday, it’s not always easy to find enough time for all the other stuff I’d like to write about here, especially when there are lengthy tutorials involved. So starting this week, instead of posting on Makeover Monday and on Thrift-Shop Thursday each week, I’m going to be alternating weeks. For example, this week I’ll give you my Makeover Monday post, next week we’ll have one on Thrift-Shop Thursday, and so on. In between, I’ll be bringing you lots of fun new ideas and inspiration!

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Author: colormusing

I'm a writer, color palette creator, and designer of fashion, costumes, graphics, knitwear patterns, and yarn.

One thought on “Makeover Monday: A Tale of Two Skirts, Part Two

  1. Pingback: Makeover Monday: A Tale of Two Skirts | Changing Your Clothes

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