Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Taking back my closet - the gray skirt edition

Big shocking announcement: I. Love. Clothes. I love to shop for them, love to buy them, love to borrow them, lend them, and, most of all, I love to wear them. I own some pretty fantastic pieces and, despite my rule about getting rid of something after a year of disuse, I have held on to more than one article of ill-fitting clothing just because it would be so perfect if...
Well no more, internet!  I have decided to take back my closet. Some things will have to be professionally tailored but others I have been inspired to fix myself thanks to my new best friend Ashley. Okay, so I've never actually met Ashley but I've taken her blog out for coffee a number of times and I'm totally smitten. Read it, she's awesome!
Okay, enough background.  I started the assault on my closet with this too-big wool skirt:
I got it the fall after I had Emily and by the next year could no longer wear it. I know, I know, curse me for losing the baby-weight. What I could not lose was this skirt.  It is an absolute work wardrobe staple so I've been wearing it with a giant safety pin along each side seam for a few years now. I was sort of afraid to have it taken in for real because, well, I'm a woman.  The weight could come back at any second thanks to bloating, or medication, or an irresistible cheesecake.   But then, I had an epiphany - elastic!
I laid out the skirt and marked off eight inches in the middle of the back waist. This is where the elastic will attach.  Then I cut a six inch piece of elastic:
Next, using a simple straight stitch, I sewed one end of the elastic onto the inside of the waistband where I'd drawn the chalk:
Note how the elastic is pointing away from the actual area it will be occupying.  that's so I can fold it over itself hiding the raw edge.

Next I made a slit in the inner fabric of the waistband where each of my chalk marks are.  By inner fabric I mean the part that sits against my skin. I then attached a large safety pin to the loose end of the elastic and began feeding it through the fabric tube that makes the waistband:
Side note: I totally missed my calling as a hand model.
Basically, you wiggle and scrunch the fabric along the safety pin and elastic until the pin pops out the other side. You can see its shiny little head peeking out on the upper right corner of this photo:
After that you pretty much just have to sew the end down and call it a day.I didn't like those slits being open and the raw edge of the elastic showing on the e3nd I didn't/couldn't fold over itself.  After I distributed the gathers evenly along the elastic I hand-sewed two (of the gathers) together on each end to hide the work I'd done.
 From the outside you can't even tell I really did anything.

I essentially took two inches off the waistband without having to actually give up the two inches.  And I can finally wear this skirt without two bulges along the sides.  Wee!

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