I started this project on the 12th of December and I was really optimistic and completely underestimated the task I was setting myself. I won't lie - I got up to the last step and had to put it down and walk away for an hour or so out of sheer frustration. An hour turned into 3 weeks. Alas, I have finally finished. I found this skirt at a charity store and I bought it for my trip to India. Not wanting to be one to succumb to the typical Jodhpur pants trend, yet not wanting to offend locals and wear mini skirts I decided to travel with a little style and loads of comfort and opted for maxi skirts and loose fitted cotton tops. I found this skirt for something like $8 and I loved the retro 70's style floral print. However it wasn't very well made to begin with as I was constantly hitching it up and tying knots in it while travelling due to it not fitting me properly and the elasticised waist band being nearly worn out.
So, inspired by a Zimmermann maxi skirt (pictured below) from their Halcyon Days SS 11/12 RTW collection, I decided to overhaul my skirt to emulate the style. This is probably the biggest makeover project I have ever taken on. My thoughts were that the skirt was pretty average anyway and anything that I did to it couldn't have been much worse. I just took my time and thought of the best way to tackle such an ambitious task. (Sorry for the lack of process photos I lost some of them along the way, so have given as detailed instructions as possible).
- One little side note, I was lucky enough to work doing backstage photography at a lot of designer shows during fashion week back in May and Zimmermann was the first show I went to. When I first saw this skirt I fell head over heels and it was a great way to start the week!
- Long floral maxi skirt OR floral fabric if you're making from scratch
- Sewing machine/needle and thread
- White ribbon
- Invisible zipper (that matches the background colour of your skirt (mine was black)
1. I cut off the elasticised waistline. Then I grabbed my favourite bodycon skirt and took its measurements as it is a similar length to what I wanted the top fitted mini part of the skirt to look like. I measured the length (and added 2cm for hemming) and cut the skirt to this length (careful not to ruin the bottom section as I needed this later).
|The original skirt; After cutting off the waistband and the bottom half.|
3. I then had to work out how much to cut off so that the skirt fit me properly. I wanted the skirt to be high-waisted so took the measurements across my high-waisted bodycon skirt. The fabric of the floral skirt was not stretchy and I was afraid I wouldn't leave enough room for my hips so I really took my time on this part. Remember, it's better to cut less than too much!
4. Once I figured out the measurements of my waist and the hips I made the skirt the same width from hip to knee (see in the photo of the Zimmermann skirt how it seems to be quite a straight cut from the hips down).
5. Sew in an invisible zipper to one side.
6. I made sure it was all good and fitted everywhere. If you're attempting this project, make sure that the fitted part sits flush everywhere. If any parts need to be taken in even more then now is the time to do it. I then sewed another hem at the bottom (I decided against attempting the triangular hem).
7. Now back to the bottom half that I cut off earlier. This part is going to be the floaty section. I cut the bottom of the skirt into four even sections lengthways and then hemmed each one.
8. I pinned each section onto the inside of the skirt, about 10cm from the bottom and then sewed them all down.
9. Sewing the white ribbon on to give the structured look was the most fiddly and time consuming process. I feel like it paid off though.
|Conveying a sense of movement with the floaty sections - apologies for lack of styling!|