There are many ways to add length to a skirt and this tutorial describes one of the ones that I love – adding a fabric band and rick-rack/lace. Whether the skirt was originally the correct length and then the child suddenly grew (they tend to do that I find!), or it was always a bit too short, adding length to the bottom can give the item a longer lease of life!
This tutorial works for any skirt, or dress, that has parallel sides (rather than circle or A-line skirts with curved hems). If you made the original clothing yourself, you may still have some of the fabric lying around that you could use (this is what I have used in the tutorial) or alternatively you could select a coordinating fabric. You will need enough fabric and trim to go all the way around the bottom of the skirt, plus a bit extra for the seam allowances.
1. Try on the skirt and measure how much longer you would like it to be. I decided here that I wanted an extra 3″.
2. Grab a piece of paper and draw a horizontal line for the bottom of the skirt. Measure down the length you want to add and then draw another horizontal line.
3. Lay the trim that you wish to use across the skirt line so that just the top of the trim (where you want to sew) overlaps the line.
4. Draw a line just under the bottom of the trim to show where the top of the extra fabric will start. The trim will overlap where it will be stitched.
5. Measure the height of the extra fabric. Here it is 2 1/2″. This fabric will need hemming at the top and bottom. The original skirt used 3/4″ for the hems so I kept these hems the same. I added 2 x 3/4″ (for the top and bottom hem) to the 2 1/2″ to get 4″.
6. Measure the bottom of the skirt. The skirt I used has one back seam. I layed it flat, measured across and doubled the amount. This skirt only has one seam so I added 3/4″ (3/8″ for each end). If the original skirt has a seam on each side you will need two strips of fabric rather than one continuous band and add extra for all the seam allowances.
7. Cut a strip of fabric the height calculated in step 5 and the width in step 6 (or two strips if needing 2 seams).
8. Join the pieces together to make a circular band, using the same seam allowances as the original skirt. Finish the edges using the same method as the skirt (here I zig-zagged them).
9. Stitch a hem at the top of the band (use the allowance calculated in step 5).
10. Repeat for the bottom of the band.
11. Press (iron) the hems etc.
12. Place the rick-rack so that 1″ is to the left of the seam and pin about 1 1/2″ to the right of the seam.
13. Stitch the rick-rack to band, starting at the pin. Stitch near the edge of the fabric so that just the end curves of the rick-rack are attached.
14. Continue stitching, stopping about 1 1/2″ before the seam.
15. Trim the ends of the rick-rack so that they overlap by about 1″.
16. Lay the rick-rack ends where they would be attached to the band and pin together (do not pin to the band).
17. Carefully pull the pinned rick-rack away from the band and put under the sewing machine foot. Lower the foot and remove the pin. Zig-zag stitch over the join several times to secure the pieces together.
18. Trim off the excess rick-rack from each end, taking care not to cut the stitching.
19. Stitch down the rest of the rick-rack onto the band.
20 . Stitch the other side of the rick-rack onto the bottom of the skirt, lining up the seams. It is easier to start stitching a little way away from the join.
21. It is finished!