After I realized how easy it is to switch out the waistband of a skirt (DIY: Adding Elastic to a Too Small Skirt), I’ve been looking at my closet with fresh eyes. I had a couple items that had hit the donate/sell pile that I realized I could make work for me by making some easy changes… and if it didn’t work out and I ruined the piece, I had already planned to get rid of them so it wouldn’t upset me much!
Item 1: Karna Zabete for Target Dress
Problem: The sleeves.
I thrifted this dress years ago and never really loved the sleeves. They have a lot of volume and then button tight at the wrists. However, I love the shirtdress shape, so when I wore this to work, I’d hide the sleeves with a blazer or a cardigan. While it solved the problem of the sleeves getting my way, I’d totally overheat due to the polyester fabric.
I had this all ready to go in the donate bag when I realized I could just cut the sleeves off!
I randomly got super lucky too, because the sleeve hem inside the dress is totally finished. So by cutting the sleeves carefully with my super sharp sewing scissors, you can barely see where I removed them!
Now that the dress is sleeveless, I added it back into my closet.
Item #2: Anthropologie Tulle Skirt
I knew this Anthropologie tulle skirt was a gamble when I purchased it off Poshmark — I typically wear a large in the Maeve brand and this was a medium. Also, the seller had dyed the skirt green herself and disclosed some dye inconsistency. It was only $20 though and I thought it had promise.
As it turns out, it was super unflattering over the tummy area and not a good candidate for me to chop off the top and add an elastic band. However, I had also been looking for some kind of fun ‘slip’ type of skirt that I could layer under other skirts for visual interest and potential poofyness.
Something like this skirt that I missed out on:
I tried the tulle skirt UNDER a bunch of my other skirts and it looked super adorable! However, the sewn in slip was causing issues – it stuck out at the bottom, it was one too many layers, and it just felt kind of uncomfortable.
So, I cut it out. Easy peasy, lemon squeezie!
I forgot to take a photo of it as an ‘underskirt’ but you’ll be seeing this in my style posts very soon because I can’t wait to wear it.
Item #3: Boss Hugo Boss Metallic Skirt
Problem: The waistband is too small.
I thrifted this skirt in July 2022 knowing that the waistband was a bit *aspirational*. Well, it still didn’t fit in December 2023 and I was thinking I’d like to wear it to work for the holidays, so I decided to cut the waistband off and replace it with elastic. I also cut out the interior slip, because it was weird and clingy, so now I just have to remember to throw on a slip when I wear this skirt.
Now I get all the pretty copper shine and none of the I-can’t-breathe feeling!
Item #4: Rachael Zoe Velvet Skirt
Problem: It looked terrible on me.
I picked this soft velvet skirt up at T.J.Maxx on clearance for $24 and it was super ill-fitting on me (the dressing rooms were closed). The top tier was weirdly tight on my butt and tummy and the waistband was also oddly loose. I decided to snip off the waistband and add elastic to the top of the skirt, basically getting rid of the top tier for more swishy movement.
The velvet was a pain the butt to sew and it kept making my thread angry, so this quick update took a little longer (with more cursing) than I expected. It also doesn’t look fantastic when you look super close… but honestly, I don’t care enough to rip out the stitches and try again. It’s mostly hidden by the elastic band runching. Who really looks that close at my waist anyway??
I’m satisfied with the change and will wear this skirt now. However, I probably just should have returned it to T.J.Maxx and gotten my $24 back… lesson learned!