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I love going to thrift stores.  It’s so much fun to look at all the items that people have cast off and imagine them being something new and fresh!  Yesterday, I found this skirt for a mere $3…

It was a size 18.  But look at that fabric!  Gorgeous.

It was a size 18. But look at that fabric! Gorgeous.

Following is how I refashioned it to fit me.  But first…

My Tips for Thrifting Refashion Projects

1. Find a good print. Cute fabric always what I look for first when I go thrifting.  If you don’t like the fabric, chances are you’re not going to wear what you make.

2. Check the size. It’s always better to go large when you can — extra fabric is always a safe bet.

3. Think about the possibilities before you buy.  In other words, make sure the item is refashion-able. Does it have a lot of seams that will need ripping? Will it be feasible to work with? Make sure the refashion you have in mind will be worth your time.

4.  Make sure the item is a good buy!  Just because it came from a thrift shop doesn’t mean it’s a good deal.  Know when your thrift shop’s sales are.  Why buy an $8 dress when you can get it for $3?

5.  Know when to splurge!  Obviously, thrift shops are probably never going to have the same items twice.  (Unless it really it horrendous and people keep donating it again.)  If you find a piece you know you can do something with, and you know you would actually wear it, and you’ve been looking for something like it for ages — go for it!  You’ll still be saving money — it’s a thrift shop.

And now, see how I transformed my size 18 skirt!

1.  First I marked where I wanted the new waistband to fall and cut off the top about 2 inches above that mark.  Because of the fringe on the bottom, I wanted the skirt to end just above the ground.  Also, there was a zipper I had to cut through — I zipped it up first.

Snip!

Snip!

2.  I laid a well-fitting skirt over the fabric and traced around the edges.  I pinned along these lines and tried it on — I had to adjust my pins a bit.  Always remember to try on your project at every stage!  Moving pins is easier than seam ripping.  After I got the fit I wanted, I sewed along my new chalk lines, pinked the seams, and ironed the seams open.

Hmm, another brightly printed maxi...what does that tell you about my personal style?

Hmm, another brightly printed maxi…what does that tell you about my personal style?

See my new chalk lines near the top of the skirt?  I had to widen those a bit from my original tracing.

See my new chalk lines near the top of the skirt? I had to widen those a bit from my original tracing.

3.  Now it was time to make my elastic casing.  I measured with my elastic around my waist where I wanted the skirt to sit and cut it with a little extra.  Then I marked two lines around my waistband — one at 1 inch below the raw edge and one at 2 inches below the raw edge.  I folded my raw edge down to the 1 inch mark, pinned, and ironed the crease.  Then I removed the pins and folded that down to the next mark, pinning and ironing.  Then I sewed my casing closed, making sure to stay on the very edge of my casing so the elastic would have room to go through.  Finally I just stuck a safety pin through my elastic and fed it through the casing.  Once that was done I just sewed my casing shut.

My two marks -- 1 inch and 2 inch

My two marks — 1 inch and 2 inch

Ironing the first part down...

Ironing the first part down…

Casing is sewn shut! You could either clip that extra elastic off or leave it in case you ever want to tighten or loosen your skirt.  I left mine.

Casing is sewn shut! You could either clip that extra elastic off or leave it in case you ever want to tighten or loosen your skirt. I left mine.

This is the finished product!

Ta da!  No longer a size 18.  Yay.

Ta da! No longer a size 18. Yay.

I think it'll be a perfect fall skirt.

I think it’ll be a perfect fall skirt.

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