This is the skirt that I'm going to wear to the wedding this weekend. I started with the Summer Festival Skirt/Dress from Dharma Trading. I didn't have much hope for this skirt looking good on me. The wide elastic waist/top is not flattering on me as a dress or skirt. But I figured I'd give it a try anyway.
This is what the top looks like. You know these dresses. They are ubiquitous at the beach every summer. They look horrible on a short person with big boobs. I liked the dye results so much that I wanted to try to salvage it. It worked and it only took about a hour. Here's what I did.
The inside of the waist/bodice is gathered with rows of elastic thread. It's really easy to pull the elastic out. I just picked the ends out of the seam allowances and the elastic pulled out easily. I knew that I'd be cutting this down so I just cut the top hem off.
Then I pressed the whole thing flat.
Next I tried different widths of elastic and finally chose to use 2" wide elastic. I did a test fit to determine how much of the wide band needed to be cut off. I needed 2 times the width of the elastic plus about 1/4". From the waist seam I cut the band 4 1/4" wide.
I folded the band to the inside and lined up the cut edge with the seam edge. I sewed it from the skirt side so I could stitch right over the existing waist seam. I left a 2" opening to feed in the elastic. I stitched over the edge with an overcast stitch on my sewing machine. I could have accomplished this even faster on the serger but I wanted to try out the overcast stitch on my new sewing machine.
This shows the stitching and the opening. I cut the elastic and made sure that I could stretch it out enough so that the waistband could be stretched completely flat but still be tight enough around my waist when it's relaxed. I fed the elastic into the waistband and stitched it together. I tried on the skirt to make sure it was going to fit and then closed the opening.
I could have stopped right here but I don't like this look for an elastic waist so I took some time to distribute the gathers evenly and held everything in place with pins placed about every 5". Next I did 3 rows of stitching around the waistband through all layers. I stretch between the pins to flatten out the gathers as I stitch. I used a longer stitch length for this, about 4.0.
Doesn't that look tons better?
I don't have a belt to wear with this so I took two of the shoulder straps to create a false tie at the waist.
And that's how this became my favorite of the 2 skirts and the one that I'll wear this weekend.
Both of the dyed t-shirts came from Wal-Mart. I like the because they are contoured a bit. They were a very surprising find one day when I was wandering around the store between hardware and grocery.