That might sound like an impossible task but don’t give up on a skirt you love just because you shortened it – and now hems are dropping. DIY it! Here are several ways to lengthen a skirt from an article by Barbara Emodi I saved from Threads magazine many years ago. I have used two of these ideas – and created one of my own – to lengthen skirts I didn’t want to part with.
The floral skirt in the center is the easiest solution, so I’ll describe it first. The skirt has to have a side seam perpendicular to the hem so you can cut the skirt horizontally into two pieces and extend the length with a sewn-in fabric strip insert. Be sure to match grainlines and select a fabric with a similar hand (feel, texture, drape, weight). To give it extra length and more pizazz, try adding several strips of different colors and/or textures. An interesting or decorative topstitch can finish it off beautifully.
The red skirt on the left has a waistband that has been converted to a knit yoke that can be folded over, or not (along the lines of a yoga pant). This also makes the skirt more comfortable to wear. Remember with knits you need to use a zigzag stitch and different needle and thread.
The polka skirt on the right has a wavy insert that adds a lot of style along with the length. This style would be even cuter with a color coordinated rickrack trim at the top and bottom of the “wave.”
If you would like step-by-step directions on how to achieve any of these lengthening looks, please let me know. I’ve got ’em.
I am also trying a fourth method right now. I have a pretty, shimmery bottle green A-line skirt that has a built-in slip. I had shortened it to just below my knee but I want to try a new, longer length with it. I am going to use some vintage black lace (circa 1940s) in several layers at the bottom. I’ll report back if it works!
– Paula Rath