Monday, November 12, 2012

My DIY tapered skirt

Here's a little DIY to help you get more teal in your life this fall. Tapering a skirt is a fairly easy refashion, and tapering can modernize and tailor an otherwise blah skirt.
Get a load of this outfit below from J. Crew. Pale blue sweater, teal green Telegraph pencil skirt and the awesome surprise element - leopard pumps. See what $800 and a team of stylists can pull off?
Inspired, I went looking for a less expensive version of the skirt. Fortunately for all of us, teal was a big color about 20 years ago. This means thrift stores have teal.
This particular skirt seen below came with a big awful jacket that I ditched faster than you can say "1980s." The skirt had a great color and nice fabric but still felt frumpy dumpy.  I thought a taper would help.

To taper a skirt, first try it on and then note where the skirt would naturally continue straight or slightly in instead of out. Mark the top of this imaginary line with a pin. Mark your hem with a pin at approximately how far you want the skirt to taper in.

Take the skirt off, turn it inside out and lift up the lining. Use a tape measure to make sure that both sides of the skirt are tapering in the same amount. Also make sure the taper starts at the same spot on the side seam. You want the length of the taper and the angle to be the same on both sides.

Sketch a taper line. Pin along the line (not shown) and try the skirt on. Move around in the skirt to make sure you can sit, walk and so forth.  Then turn the pins perpendicular to the line as show above. Now your taper is ready to sew.

Note: To do this properly, you really should rip out the hem and drop the hem and then sew the taper seam. And then resew the hem. However, if your taper is not too drastic and if you are lazy like me, you can get away with not dropping and resewing the hem. Just sew a straight seam, following the line shown above. Do the same for the other side of the skirt.

See, the seam doesn't look too bad for cheating.

Skirt looks better. Unfortunately gut pleats have not come back like the color teal. You can get around this by losing weight or untucking.

Cardigan:Target. Pumps: thrifted. Bracelet: Mom. Total cost $20. Self styled, thus a little wrinkly.

Would you try tapering a skirt?


  1. Love your taper! :) That is such a great color - who would have thought it would go so well with the blue and leopard pumps? Your shoes are killer!

    1. Thanks. Can't believe somebody got rid of them. But I'm glad they did.

  2. Seriously, you manage to make clothing alterations look easy. I may know how to sew, but somehow tackling clothing freaks me out. I think this post may have mustered my courage...

  3. Love what you did to this skirt! You are so talented :) it looks great!

  4. Oh, I'm dying to learn how to sew. I'm currently working up the courage to buy a sewing machine. The taper looks really great. It is such a flattering silhouette. The rich blue color looks so luxe, especially when paired with the leopard.

    1. Tapering is a pretty easy alteration to start with.

    2. Beautiful, but you have great legs...I think you should hem it up a few inches for an even more youthful look...closer to the knee.

  5. This is a great tip! The skirt looks so much more stylish fitted like that. I too ripped out that J. Crew photo and put it on my inspo board - I loved the colors and the fun leopard pumps. I think your version looks fantastic!
    Thanks for the kind words you wrote about my site - it's still a work in progress..;-)

  6. Wow - I draw my line at cutting fabric for curtains. You did such a great job - and I LOVE IT with those leopard heels!

  7. Ciao/Hello...first time here and Love Your Blog and Your Style.
    You're a Great Artist of Style indeed...This Outfit is so Classy, Elegant...Artistic:Perfect blend of marvellous Colours and...The Skirt looks so much More Charming & Stylish Now...You created a piece of Art!
    Your Bracelet also looks Gorgeous
    Ciao,Greetings from Italy