Monday, April 23, 2018

Revamping a Second Hand Skirt

I recently picked up a second hand wench-style skirt to use as an underskirt. Although worn, it is good, heavy cotton drill and still has life left in it. I needed to take it up, so I added two tucks in the skirt. This is a great way to take up skirts that have already been hemmed, as you don't need to cut to re-hem, and the tucks help to hold the bottom of the skirt out. Skirt tucks can be seen in some full length late period portraits like these:
Portrait of Infantas Isabella Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela  1570
Image from:,_1570.jpg

Alonso S├ínchez Coello's portrait of  The Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela, 1575
Image from: via Pinterest
Portrait of a Moravian Woman- attributed to Pieter Pietersz the Younger
Image from:

Detail of Portrait presumed to be Henrietta Maria of France by French School
Image from:

It is also a great way to take up the hems on kid's gowns - a tuck can be released every time there is a growth spurt.

Portrait of an Unknown Girl by School of Bronzino
Image from:

To add the tucks I marked out two lines on the inside of the skirt. (I then marked out two more for another potential set of tucks, just in case.) I moved line one up to meet line two (looping the fabric in front) and pinned in place. I then sewed the lines together with a relaxed whip stitch.
The lines for the tucks marked in chalk. The space between the lines dictates how big the tuck will be.

(One tuck didn't take the skirt up enough so I added another tuck using the same method.)

 The underskirt (outside) with the tucks completed

The inside of the underskirt, showing how the tucks lie 

The completed tucks hold the skirt out nicely

When the tucks were finished, I added some white ribbon around the hem as a trim.

The stitching lines holding down the white ribbon trim

 I'm pretty pleased with how the whole thing has turned out; the tucks make the skirt bell out nicely.

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