31 Days · DIY · Style · Thrifts

31 Days: The Thrift Project – Day 28: Work in Progress Skirt

So, remember yesterday’s costume post? Let’s click over to enjoy that one more time, shall we?

Because today’s is not so perfect. But I’m posting anyway because I did actually “complete” this project.

I tried to take a before photo of this dress. Apparently the lack of contrast between the creamy color of the dress and the blinding whiteness of my skin was too much for my camera to handle. This is the best one in the bunch. And I can’t blame Husband – these were all done by me with a timer. Please put on your sunglasses before proceeding. Seriously, you have been warned.

So, it is one of those stretchy top dresses that you see a lot during the summer. This one has little straps, but it’s the same style as many strapless ones – elastic sewing in several rows at the top and a fuller skirt at the bottom.

With a close up, you can see that the fabric is actually a floral. Hard to tell above. The print is what drew me to this dress. I’ve been wanting to make a cream-colored skirt for a while, and I thought this would be a good one.

The first thing I did was remove the brown satin edging at the bottom. Once again, I started with seam ripping and quickly realized I just didn’t have the time.

So I just chopped it off to hem later.

Next I cut the skirt away from the elastic part, but I kept one of the elastic stitches to keep the skirt attached to the lining fabric, basically just to make sewing easier.

Then I made an elastic waistband. This is not a repeat of a previous technique. Oh no, if only it had been that easy.

See, this dress had a lot of extra fabric at the top, so even with the elastic stretched as far as possible, it wouldn’t even come close to the length. So I created some gathers.

I needed to cut off the elastic thread, so I ran a straight stitch just below it to keep the skirt and the lining fabric together.

Then I measured 6 inches down from the straight stitch and marked it with chalk. I switched out the thread and bobbin to green and pink (so it could easily be seen), and loosened the tension on the machine to create a long, loose stitch along the chalk line to create gathers.

Pink on the inside.

I slowly and CAREFULLY pulled the pink threads to gather the skirt into a tighter circumference around the waist. I then pinned the skirt to the elastic, allowing 3 inches of fabric to hang over the top, and sewed them together.

I then wrapped the elastic with the remaining fabric and pinned it down. (You can see the black straight stitch showing just above the raw edges. All of this will be on the inside of the skirt and will not be seen.) I ran a straight stitch across the bottom, close to where the black thread is. So far, the edges are still raw. We’ll see what I decide to do with them later.

Husband just came in from trimming ivy out front. I told him this was a failure skirt. He said, “No, it’s a work in progress.” That is absolutely true.

Here it is. The skirt actually looks really good – it just needs some more finishing work. I do think this might be the best hem job I’ve ever done.

And this is not my cat. We call her Callie. She’s a neighborhood cat, I suppose, because she doesn’t belong to anyone. She’s apparently been living under our patio table for the last few days. I’m sure before retirement, she was a lounge singer in the shady part of town. She has the scratchiest meow I’ve ever heard, and she’s missing some chunks from her ear, which leads me to believe she’s seen a bar fight or two. She greets us at the door every time we step outside. BB wants her to come in the house. I keep repeating to him, “We don’t pet cats we don’t know.” And BG just crawls to the back door and screeches at her. Fun times around our house.


  • This post is part of a 31 Day series. Find all the posts in this series here.
  • Want to receive updates by email? Click “Follow” in the lower right corner and keep up with how The Thrift Project is coming along.

3 thoughts on “31 Days: The Thrift Project – Day 28: Work in Progress Skirt

  1. Callie may be the black sheep of Margo’s California family. She does look like she could be related to the late Margo, may she rest in peace. I do miss her!


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