How to Loosen a Skirt That Is Too Tight

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You can loosen a too-tight skirt by adding panels to the side seams.
You can loosen a too-tight skirt by adding panels to the side seams.

Skirts are the most flattering when they fit the lower body without clinging to every curve. Whether a skirt is an A-line or a slim, pencil skirt, the fabric should never pucker on the body. Skirts can be loosened by adding small side panels, which add texture and charm to the garment. This technique allows for exact measurements to create a perfectly fitted skirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1/2-yard opaque material
  • Fabric marker
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Fabric pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing notions

Step 1

Measure the circumference of your hips at the widest point on your body. Note the measurement. Measure the waistband of the skirt you want to widen. Measure the length from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the hem. Add 1 inch to this amount.

Step 2

Subtract the waistband measurement from the hip circumference measurement to get the extra width to add to the skirt. Divide this number in half, and add 1 inch to this final measurement. Lay the material on a flat, even surface. Buy fabric of the same weight and texture as the skirt you are loosening. For example, if you are loosening a light, cotton skirt, match the fabric with another cotton fabric in similar colors. Alternatively, a wool skirt requires matching it with similar fabric. Mark a rectangle on the fabric, using the final waistband measurement and the final measurement for the length of the skirt. Mark a second rectangle, using the same dimensions. These will be your side panels. Cut both rectangles, using a pair of scissors.

Step 3

Turn the skirt inside out and undo the skirt's side seams, using a seam ripper. Pin one long side of a rectangle along the length of one of the skirt panels, with the right sides of the fabrics facing. Use 1/4-inch of fabric to pin the two pieces together. Leave 1/2 inch of the rectangle fabric at the top and the bottom of the skirt for finishing. Attach the second skirt panel to the other side of the same rectangle, leaving 1/2 inch of extra rectangle fabric at the top and bottom of the skirt. Repeat this step with the skirt's other side.

Step 4

Sew along the pinned seams created by the rectangles of cloth and the skirt's side seams. Use a sewing machine, a small stitch and a 5/8-inch seam allowance to secure the new panels into place.

Step 5

Fold down the extra 1/2-inch of fabric along the top waistband on each rectangle panel and pin into place. Repeat with the bottom hem of the panels to hide the raw edges from view. Sew all four folded edges into place using a sewing machine. Turn the skirt right side out.

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