Are you as excited as I am that Refashionista is finally back? After moving, I wasn’t sure how often I would be able to do this feature, because I only brought a couple of to-be-refashioned items with me. I mean, there’s not point taking a bunch of old clothing with me, right? (Actually, I would have loved to take ALL my junk, but sadly, there just wasn’t enough room in the trunk of the car, nor in our small apartment.) I’d also heard, that there aren’t many thrift or second-hand shops here in Germany – mostly high-end vintage boutique-type of stores with hefty price tags. But, luckily, we have two Humana second-hands here in Cologne. The first time I really felt I belonged here, was when I stepped into a Humana on sales day… Is that weird?
Anyway, I scored a lot of stuff for my shop, but also a little something for me and Rein. This gorgeous black and white striped sweater was one of those finds. Now, me turning a sweater into a skirt is nothing new, of course, but, I did want to show you how to add a lining and make an encased waistband that doesn’t show (instead of a visible elastic one). When you’re making the knit skirt out of a finer sweater, or you want to use a T-shirt for this project, you’ll probably notice that every bump and seam-line will be visible through the skirt, and that’s not flattering, now is it? So, you’d probably want to add more body to the skirt with a lining. Or, perhaps you’d like to make it warmer for the winter time.
Here’s what you need:
- Old fine-knit sweater (The waist of the sweater has to fit your hips)
- T-shirt or jersey fabric
- 3cm-wide elastic the width of you waist measurement
- Sewing machine, matching thread, scissors and pins
You can refer back to my first tutorial on sweater skirts for this part, but here’s the short and sweet.
Cut off the sleeves and the top part of the sweater as shown above. Sew a bell-shape curve on the sides for the hips and to even out the armpits (also shown above). I used my serger/over-locker for the side seams, but you can also use a narrow zig-zag stitch on a regular sewing machine, just make sure to lengthen the stitch and narrow it (the setting on my sewing machine would be 3.5 for the stitch-length and 1.5 for width). You should end up with an outer skirt like the one pictured below.
Next, cut out and sew your lining. Place the skirt you just made on the T-shirt or fabric and cut two layers. Sew the lining pieces together to form an identical inner skirt. You can hem the lining if you like, but since jersey fabric don’t fray, you don’t have to.
Now, place one skirt inside the other, so that the wrong sides are facing out, and the right sides face each other. Make sure to match the side-seams. Sew them together from the waist as shown above with the orange dotted line.
Now you should have this tube 🙂
Place the lining inside the skirt, so that the right sides are facing out this time and the outer skirt is, well, out, and the lining is inside. Fold the waistline so that the seam is flat, but the lining doesn’t show form the outside, and press.
Cut your elastic to the size of your waist. Just put it around your waist, pull as snug as you’d like it to be and cut (leaving a couple of cm for seam allowances). Place the ends of the elastic together, so they overlap by about 2cm, and sew the ends together.
Place the elastic band between the skirt layers, so that the lining goes through the elastic ring. Pull it all the way up the the waist-seam.
Place the seam of the elastic in line with the side-seam of the lining. Carefully turn the outer skirt onto the elastic so that the upper edge of the elastic is flush with the waist-seam. Pin the side seams of all three layers together.
Turn the outer-skirt on right-side out ( the elastic stays between the layers). Start sewing the casing from the right side of the skirt. The seam should be just below the elastic (leave about 0.5cm below the elastic), and the elastic should be against the waistline. Just adjust the placement of the elastic gently as you go along making sure that it’s against the waist-seam and that you’re not sewing over the elastic. I sewed it with a narrow zig-zag on my regular machine.
Since your elastic is probably smaller that your skirt waist, you need to pull the fabric as you go to make sure the payers are flat when you sew over them. This is harder to explain than to do :). Since the elastic is only secured in one spot, it should be easy to move the skirt layers on the elastic so that you don’t have to stretch the elastic while sewing.
Lastly, I sewed the elastic to the skirt layers at the side seam where I pinned it at first. Just so it doesn’t move around or twist and turn inside the casing.
Whew! All done.
I’m usually pretty skeptical about wearing knit pencil skirts, since they do emphasize the thigh area, which is not something I’d like to emphasize much, if you know what I mean. But, I have started wearing more tight knits, and I’m getting over the whole knit-pencil-skirts-make-me-look-fat-thing. I think this one is a hot little number (and my hubby agrees). And, the lining makes it so much more comfortable, and umm, secure. Like, I know everyone’s not going to see my panty-line. I also like, that this let’s me wear it without tights in the summer-time.
That’s it for today, folks! I have a plan for the sleeves as well, so I’m not done with this sweater yet…