Sewing Business Blog » How To Do Skirt Alterations
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April 2016
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How To Do Skirt Alterations

Improper fit and unsightly wrinkles detract from the appearance of a skirt.  Most adjustments are simple and it’s amazing how much better the skirt will hang.

When deciding on the length of a skirt, keep in mind the best length for YOUR figure and what you’ll feel comfortable wearing.  The current fashionable length may not be the best for you.

Protruding hips make wrinkles on the sides of the skirt front and the grain of the fabric becomes uneven (figure 1).  To correct, raise the front hipline edge of the skirt slightly and ease the extra fullness along the upper hip part of the side seam.

Figure 1

Altering A Skirt

Narrow buttocks cause wrinkles on the back of the skirt (figure 2).  To adjust, deepen the center back waistline curve as shown below.

Figure 2

Altering a skirt

High buttocks cause the back of the skirt to be raised, making side seams slant and the back hemline protrudes (figure 3).  To alter the skirt pattern, raise the center back waistline slightly and draw in the new curve.  Also, make the second back dart a little wider and add to the hipline edges of the skirt to allow for the extra width of the dart.

Figure 3

altering a skirt

Too much of a curve along the hipline causes wrinkles along the sides of the skirt (figure 4), so the hipline should be altered slightly as shown in the following diagram.

Figure 4

altering a skirt

In addition, protruding abdomens make the front of the skirt pull up and the hem move forward.  To allow for a large abdomen, raise the center front waistline of the skirt as necessary and add extra width along the hipline.

Many times it seems like there are too many alterations to make to a pattern, that you wonder if it’s worth the trouble.  Most times I’d say yes, take the time to do it right and get a good fit.  If you are one of those that nothing seems to fit right, I would like to invite you to try your hand at making your own skirt pattern!  You only need a few simple measurements and follow the step by step instructions and diagrams to get a perfect fitting skirt.  We have skirt pattern making classes available for plus size women, average size women and petite women.

If you don’t have pattern paper to make your own patterns, my favorite is Pellon East Pattern 830.  This pattern paper is non-woven, easy to write on and can even be machine washed and dried!

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About The Author

Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author


2 Responses to “How To Do Skirt Alterations”

  1. Gwen says:

    This is really helpful! Thanks! 🙂

  2. Lois says:

    is there any way you send me the photos of this alternation to the email address list above? the figures don’t show.

    Thanking you in advance.

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