by Karen DIY

DIY Short Skirt Styles Lengthened

I tried Amazon and Ebay and found quite a few of these, but not the right size.

My first-grader-to-be visited recently. She fell in love with a dress I keep for all the grandgirls in the princess bedroom. Unfortunately it was too short to wear outside the palace. When she left, I told her I would try to find one in her size. I spent several sessions looking on the internet. The largest size was 6x, and even ebay didn’t offer any that size for sale. With her birthday looming, I started working outside the box. I found several dresses close to the style she liked, but they fell into the too-fancy-to-wear-everyday category, and I wanted her to have it to enjoy for more than for just one or two fancy parties.

The right price, but almost the wrong size.

When I started looking at tutus, the idea clicked. I could easily make a dress with a t-shirt and a large size tutu. I found a t-shirt I loved in the right size, but those tutus all seemed too short. Finally I ordered one that looked like it would work for length, but I was unsure enough that I wouldn’t have done it if it hadn’t cost under $5. When it arrived, I almost sent it back. The size guidelines said, “6 to 7 year old.” The waist was barely 16 inches. My 3-year-old granddaughter could wear it as a floor-length skirt!

If the elastic had been sewn into the waistband all the way around the waist, I probably would have given up.

After looking at it a few days, I thought I’d give it a try before throwing in the towel.  I started by snipping the thread of the stitches in the back seam and catching the elastic. That was the problem. Once I pulled it out, sha-bam! It was perfect.

Without the tight elastic, the stretchy waist was workable.


A few hand stitches closed the seam easily and then when I sewed the t-shirt in place, the seam held just right.
Since the t-shirt was quite a bit wider at the waist, I added a one inch dart on each side. I still had to stretch the skirt waist to match, but it didn’t pucker that way.

Lining up the inside seams took a little precision handling, but I pinned the out side of the skirt and shirt together carefully and used a zigzag stitch to lay the seams overlapping each other. This kept the t-shirt hem out of sight. After a lot of time thinking, the actual time spent unsewing and then sewing was less than 15 minutes.

The zigzag stitch gave the seam more give and helped the gathered tulle lay better.

I can’t wait to see her tear off the wrapping paper!

I don’t know if it’s harder for her to wait for her birthday, or me!