How to Make a Leather Skirt Bigger

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You can make a leather skirt bigger by adding upholstery fabric and a long metal zipper. In just an hour or two, you'll be ready to rock that skirt with your own signature style.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk and a washable marking pen
  • Sharp scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Upholstery fabric sample
  • 110/18 needle for sewing leather
  • Metal zipper, the length of the skirt
  • Seam ripper
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Pins
  • Clips
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Tip

  • Check the discount bin at your fabric store for samples of discontinued upholstery fabric. The sturdy fabric holds up well with the leather.

Step 1

If your skirt is too long, determine the newly desired length of the skirt. Measure and mark the new length around the bottom of the skirt with a piece of chalk.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 2

Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut along the chalk lines.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 3

To determine how much extra you'll need to add to the width of your skirt, measure the circumference around the largest part of your hips and write this measurement down. Now measure across the skirt at the same hip area, multiply this number by 2 to get the circumference of the skirt, and write this number down. Subtract the circumference of the skirt from the circumference of your hips. This is the amount of extra width you'll need.

For example: If the circumference of your hips is 36 inches and the circumference of your skirt is 34 inches then 36-34=2. You'll need to increase the width of your skirt by 2 inches.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 4

Now determine how wide you'd like the fabric panel to be. Add an inch for the two 1/2-inch seam allowances of the fabric panel.

For example: If you'd like the fabric panel to be 11 inches then 11+1=12. Your fabric panel will be 12 inches wide.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 5

To determine how much to cut from the front of your skirt, you'll need to do some math. First write down the desired width of your fabric panel, then subtract how much you'll need for the extra width of your skirt that you determined in Step 3. Then subtract an inch for the two 1/2-inch seam allowances in the leather.

For example: If your desired panel is 12 inches and the extra width you needed is 2 inches, then 12-2=10-1=9. You'll need to cut a 9-inch piece from the center front of the leather skirt.

Mark the area you need to cut out with a piece of chalk, centered on the front of the skirt.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 6

Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut along the chalk lines.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 7

Cut out the width of the fabric panel using your measurements from Step 4. Add an inch to the length for a 1/2-inch hem on the top and the bottom.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 8

Use a zig zag stitch to finish the edges of the fabric panel, or you can finish the edges with a serger, if you're lucky enough to have one.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 9

Hem the top and the bottom of the panel by first pressing 1/2 inch toward the wrong side of the fabric.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 10

Pin the hem in place, and then sew the hem in place. Be sure to remove the pins as you sew.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 11

Use the cut-out piece of leather as a guide to determine where to place the darts in the fabric panel.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 12

Measure and mark the placements of the darts on the fabric panel.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 13

Fold and pin the placement of the new darts with the right sides together.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 14

Sew at an angle along the pin line. Don't backstitch at the point of the dart; instead leave long thread tails.

Sew darts.
Sew darts. (Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 15

Press the darts toward the center of the panel.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 16

Hand tie the thread tails at the point of each dart to help it lay flat.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 17

Since leather is so thick, use clips instead of pins to secure one edge of the fabric panel to one edge of the leather skirt. Clip with the right sides together and the darts at the top.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 18

Use a leather needle (110/18) and a medium stitch length to sew one edge of the fabric panel to one edge of the leather skirt, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Remove the clips as you sew.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 19

Clip the other edge of the fabric panel to the other edge of the leather skirt with the right sides together. This time, baste them together using the longest stitch length because this is the seam you'll be placing the zipper in.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 20

If you're using a reclaimed zipper, use a seam ripper to remove it from its former garment. (This zipper is from an old leather coat.) If you're using a new zipper, you can skip this step.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Step 21

To install the zipper along one edge of the fabric panel, follow the directions from the article, How to Sew a Zipper into Clothing. Make sure you are placing the zipper so it opens from the bottom of your skirt, so you can unzip it and reveal a little leg.

(Image: Beth Huntington)
(Image: Beth Huntington)

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