We have recently re-released the 241 Fifties' Fit and Flare pattern - in a larger size range and with a few better fit adjustments. The dress in this pattern has a fitted waist, waist darts, dolman sleeves, and a full skirt. There are also pockets in the front seams of the dress! The pattern also offers 3 neckline views to make.
One of the easiest adjustments to make for our 241 Fifties' Fit and Flare dress is to shorten the skirt. I am going to show you how to do that in this blog post. The same technique can be used to make a longer skirt for this pattern as well.
From the package, the skirt falls to about calf length on a 5'6" person. But, if you want it shorter, as I did, you need to do more than just fold out the amount of fabric to shorten from the lengthen/shorten lines, as you might with another pattern. To start with, this pattern does not have lengthen/shorten lines for the skirts because they are cut so that the fabric falls on the bias. It is also a very full skirt and the width of the skirt increases quite a bit over the length. This makes it very hard to just fold out the length desired.
So, you need to measure where you want the skirt to fall, and take out that amount from around the hem of each skirt piece.
For me, I wanted the skirt at just above knee length. I measured where that would fall on one pattern piece of the skirt, and marked it on the pattern piece. I did this by holding the pattern piece at my waist and marking it. This step could also be done with a measuring tape and measuring down from the waist to the desired length, and transferring that measurement to your pattern piece. It also really helps to have someone to help you measure, because if you are bending down to mark on your own body, the pattern or tape will shift and your measuring will not be accurate.
I decided to take out 8-1/2" from the skirt to get to the length I wanted. But, be sure to take into account a 1/2" (13mm) hem allowance, which will be folded out of the length you are going to cut. Add that 1/2" back in to the length you want. So, I ended up taking 8" out of the length of the skirt.
To do this, I first I measured 8" up from them, all the way around the hem on a skirt piece, marking the length every inch or so.
Then, I used a tailors curved ruler to connect and smooth the markings I'd made. This gives a nice and even cut line to use.
Then, I simply cut off the extra fabric from the skirt pattern piece. I did this for each skirt pattern piece.
A few other things to consider, this skirt ends up having a lot of fabric on the bias, so you should let it hand for a day before hemming. Then measure the skirt from the ground and see if you need to adjust the hem to be even. The dress I made had a pretty stable fabric, but I still ended up cutting about 1/2" (13mm) off on some sides of the hem to even it out.
You can measure from the ground when your dress is on a dress form or another body (again, it helps to have someone here to assist). Mark the shortest point and measure along the hem, from the ground, to that point. Again, connect the lines with a curved ruler and chalk (or other marking device), and cut off the extra fabric. Now it is ready to hem.
And, you've created a shorter skirt! And a very cute dress!
December 06, 2023 1 Comment on Shortening the Skirt of 241 Fifties' Fit and Flare