Friday, July 29, 2011

Peekaboo Petticoat


Baby Girl has been sprouting up this summer, and all of a sudden looking like a little stork in her too-short dresses.  But, you say, since you are so good at passing along out-grown clothing, why not give away this lovely $2.50 used-clothing-store-find and let the girl have a new dress?  Ah, but you haven't looked closely.  There are horses on this print, and if you think Baby Girl is going to let a bit of exposed undies keep her from wearing this dress to rags, you have another think coming.

After (+ 3 inches)

Normally my way of dealing with highwaters and too-shorts is to add a ruffle; this dress, however came with a ready-made underskirt, crinolined, lace-trimmed, and entirely obscured by the overskirt.  So it was easy to just extend this underskirt to give her a few more inches of length.  Maybe showing a petticoat isn't entirely de rigueur, but in this day of baby thongs, it's the least of my worries.

Why they bothered to put lace on a skirt that is hidden, I'm not entirely sure.

Want to extend the life of some of your little gal's fancy dresses?  Here's how:
I cut off the underskirt (make sure to use a ruler as a guide, or measure and mark the skirt so you don't end up with an uneven edge hanging out after you're done).   Then I dug into my scrap bin for some white muslin, long enough to encircle the entire underskirt and wide enough to add the desired length, plus another inch for seam allowance.  Of course I didn't have a piece that was actually long enough, and had to piece it together from 4 separate scraps, but that is beside the point.

Cutting off the edge of the underskirt:  cut it wide enough for the desired part to show plus a few inches, so that the seam will remain hidden under the overskirt when it is finished

Sew the bottom (lace-edged) half of the underskirt to the length of fabric (the "extension", so to speak) with a straight seam, outside (right side) surfaces together.  When you come to the end of the circle of underskirt, cut off any extra length on the extension, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance on both ends.  Then open up the 2 pieces you've just sewn together, and with the inside (wrong side) facing you, zigzag over the edge of the seam allowance to prevent fraying.  (You can iron it to one side first, or just finger-press it down as you sew).  Sew a seam up the ends of your extension, to form a tube. 
Repeat on the other edge of your extension, sewing it onto the top half of the underskirt that is still attached to the dress.
Sewing extension to bottom edge with straight stitch.

Zigzag over the seam allowance.

Not the prettiest seam, but fast, sturdy, and no-one's going to see it anyway.

And there we go.  Another few months of wear... maybe long enough to get us past this current horse obsession.
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