Update a Denim Skirt for Summer

It was time to admit that my favourite denim skirt was a bit too short for me. An A-line mini, I’ve worn it in summer with saddles, pulling on tights and boots for winter. The wear and tear of washing it over so many years has taken its toll and I got fed up of constantly pulling it down. So the skirt was listed on eBay and given a new lease of life by a happy customer.

This left a whole in my wardrobe and I needed something to replace such a staple item. As the weather turned warmer I pulled out my summer clothes from under my bed and remembered a long A-line denim skirt that I bought a few years ago. 1970’s style, I hadn’t worn it much as found the heavy weight denim too hot during last year’s heat wave. I got out my fabric scissors and took half an hour to create a new skirt.

How to shorten a denim skirt

  1. Put on the skirt and work out where you want the hem to finish
  2. Place a safety pin to mark the place and check you are happy with it
  3. Take off the skirt and lay on a flat surface
  4. Using a tape measure, measure the length from the top of the waist to the new hem
  5. Take a piece of tailors chalk. Measure from the waist to the hem marking the spot with the chalk creating apx 2cm line
  6. Working horizontally, measure the length of the skirt making a mark every 5cm.
  7. Once this has been done, draw up the dots to mark a line where the new hem is going to be
  8. Try the skirt on again to make sure it is the length you want
  9. Using sharp fabric scissors, cut along the line of tailors chalk. Cut one layer at a time rather than through the front and back.
  10. Try the skirt on again. The skirt can’t be lengthened but it can be shorter if it isn’t quite right
  11. Using a sewing machine, stitch around the hem 1cm in from the raw edge. Use either a matching thread or contrast.
  12. This line of stitching prevents the hem fraying too much. Sew a second line a few mm away from the first to give a twin stitching effect. Only if you are confident with your sewing, it isn’t essential
  13. The raw edge will naturally start to fray helped along with washing. Trim any threads that get too long and annoying

I’m really happy with my upcycled skirt – not too long, not too short. I’ve already worn it loads and it is easy to match with different tops. Have you got an item of clothing you have hardly worn because it isn’t quite right? Or maybe it is your favourite and needs a bit of TLC. Come along to our Fast Fashion Therapy workshop in East London to learn how to mend and alter your clothes. We have equipment and some materials for everyone to use. Book your space via our Facebook Page, beginners and more experienced sewers welcome. See you there!