How do I take in an A-line skirt?
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  1. #1
    Registered User The Muse's Avatar
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    Default How do I take in an A-line skirt?

    I found an adorable a-line skirt secondhand for less than $1, but it's slightly too big and I'd like to take it in. I've looked for an online tutorial, but all I can find are ways to turn it into something else, like a pencil skirt.

    I want to keep the a-line, I just need to bring it in about 1.5". It has a zipper on the side instead of the back, so there's got to be a somewhat easy way to do this. Can I just sew a new seam up the side that doesn't have the zipper?

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    Not that I know of. If the zipper were in the back you take the Waistband off and zip off 3/4" on ea side so its even. BUT seeing the zipper is on the side you can only take the 1 1/2 off the non zipper side prob. throwing the A-line off noticibly. Now if your crazy or a good sewer you can take the zipper out,bring it in and replace the zipper. Could you just eat more cookies so it fit? ok thats prob. a no?

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    Any possibility of removing the zipper altogether, taking it in, and replacing waist band with elastic? That's what I would have to do since my zipper technique lacks.

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Muse View Post
    I'd like to take it in.

    I want to keep the a-line, I just need to bring it in about 1.5". It has a zipper on the side instead of the back,?
    Might not be much help........but.............

    I am guessing that you mean "at the waist"............is that right? Is there somewhere on the waist band where you can fold it over 3/4 inch AROUND..........that is what you need..........since it will double when folded..............

    Caution.......if you run the seam up just ONE SIDE you will end up with a 'lop sided' A line............

    If it is just at the waist there should be a way you could do it without the side seam being affected.........what is on the waist band? Does the zipper go clear to the top? A button? Hook?

    Someone here that alters clothes should be more help.............I try not to have to alter---other than I have to add length to everything I make.

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    SueBee-I thought about that too. So if she takes the zipper out and sews that up,then she can undo that section of the waistband,slip the elastic in on a safety pin and sew it together by hand. Then she can sew the band back but there will be a funky seam where the closure on the waist was. But she could wear a sweater over it? That is what I would do if I didnt just donate it back.

    FF-my take was the sides.
    I used to do this in high school as I was a sz. 5 and altered clothes off the clearance rack. In those days Mariannes was where I shopped. I used to pay $5. for a pair and reconstruct.

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    Registered User The Muse's Avatar
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    It has a button above the zipper, and I need to take it in all the way from the hem to the waist because if I just take it in at the waist, there's going to be extra fabric around the hips. Elastic is a good idea, but I'm not sure if it will still look bulky.

    Worse comes to worse, I can redonate it. I knew it might be too big when I bought it, but there wasn't a fitting room, and I couldn't tell for sure over jeans. But at that price, I figured it was worth trying.

    Please keep the suggestions coming. I'm a beginner to intermediate sewer.

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    Registered User The Muse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalwarrior2 View Post
    FF-my take was the sides.
    Yes, it's too big at the waist and hips, so it needs to come in at the sides, length is fine.

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalwarrior2 View Post
    FF-my take was the sides.
    .
    Guess I couldn't figure out why you would want to take in the 'sides' of an A-line..........hmmmmm........that is losing the design. That is why I figured the waist.

    Depending on how the zipper is in...........is going to effect whatever she does..........does it goes clear up through the waist band?.......or stop and then there is a button-hook-- or something............

    I HATE altering clothes................so I try not to do it........would rather make a whole new one from scratch than try to alter!

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    Registered User The Muse's Avatar
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    Duplicate post.

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    I would take it in with a seam on the side opposite the zipper. If the waistband is 1 1/2" too big, I'd take it in with a seam that large down the side to maintain the symmetry, unless that would make it too snug over the hips.

    Is the waistband large or small? For I large waistband I'd unpick the band where I'm taking it in, then reattach it to the skirt after taking it in. For I tiny waistband that would be covered by a shirt, I might just take it in without unpicking and reattaching. jmo.

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    Honestly, for less than $1 and if you really like it, I'd just give it a go with the elastic waistband, sort of ignoring the buttonhole, and wear a longish sweater/blouse over it to cover the bulkiness. Perhaps a thin belt over the top to nip in the waist area.

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    As long as you keep the seam opposite the zipper even all the way down, it should still be symetrical. Of course, I'd do anything to keep from ripping out the original zipper. Do you have a fitting buddy? If so, put on the skirt right side out. Have your buddy pin the seam opposite the zipper with straight pins. Check to see the hang of the skirt. When it looks good, take it off with pins in place. Turn wrong side out. Use tailor's chalk to mark the new seam right over the pins. Repin at the chalk marks and sew your new seam. You will have taken the waist band out in that area. Reattach waist and resew hem. When I took an alterations class the instructor suggested getting clothing pieces from GW to practice our skills.

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    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    Is the skirt lined or unlined?
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    Do you have another a-line skirt that fits? If so turn both skirts inside out. Lay the skirt that fits on top of the skirt that is to large. Match up the top of the waistband. Then look at the sides. If they are the same width apart then match the skirt that fits to the side of the larger skirt with the zipper. Take tailors chalk and on the other side mark the outline of the skirt that fits. Pin and sew up the line that you just drew all the way up the side to the top.

    That would be my way of altering as long as the fabric was not bulky. Since it was a dollar might be worth it to try. Never know when you might need the skills again. I just made bell bottom jeans into boot jeans. Now need to finish the hem.

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    Turn the skirt wrong side out. Pin in the side seam at the point you'd like it to be. Turn it right side out and carefully put it on. If everything hangs right, then you'll know it works to just take in the side seam.

    If you can take in just the side seam, rip the waistband off the skirt a couple of inches or so on either side of where you pinned the new seam. Cut the waistband at the old seam. Sew the new seam. Overcast it so it won't ravel. Seam the waistband so the seam will match the new side seam. Sew the waistband back on by seaming the RIGHT side of the waistband to the WRONG side of the skirt, if the waistband is top stitched. If it isn't, then sew the RIGHT SIDE of the waistband to the RIGHT side of the skirt. Either way, use the same sewing lines as the original. Fold the waistband as it was originally. If the unstitched edge is on the outside and the waistband was originally topstitched, then just topstitch again by machine. If it's on the inside, then blind stitch the waistband in place inside by hand.

    Hope that makes some sense.
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