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Okay, just a warning. This tutorial is not for the faint of heart. It contains the super scandalous process of altering brand. So if you think that’s some sort of cardinal sin, turn back now.

Haha so now that I’m done warning you all of my terribly scandalous activities, today I’m going to show you how to take out a half-elastic waistband. I find that in brand skirts especially the half-elastic just doesn’t do much, like maybe an inch or so of extra stretch. Certain skirts that’s totally fine for me, but a few have been just snug enough that it’s uncomfortable, so I take the elastic out.

So first a few tips for altering brand. First, make sure you want to do this. If it’s something you feel like you won’t wear very often or something you don’t really love, it might be for the best to sell it or trade it. This particular skirt I’ve had for a while and is a print I adore so I know I’m not going to get rid of it anytime soon. Second, calm down. I know the prospect of altering brand can be really daunting, but think of it as just any other skirt. If things go wrong, fix them like you normally would.

Okay! Now that all of that is over, let’s get down to business.

Here’s your elastic waistband! The three lines I’ve drawn in indicate stitching that needs to be taken out. This might vary slightly from brand to brand and skirt to skirt, but I believe most of them are similarly constructed. There’s a line where the elastic is attached to the rest of the waistband, a line to connect the waist band to the skirt, and a line in the middle of the elastic. You’re going to want to pick out all three of these. If you go a little bit past where the elastic ends, don’t worry about it. We’ll just stitch it all up later.

This is what you’ll get when it’s coming apart. The skirt and the lining will be gathered together, and the waistband may or may not have interfacing in the elasticated part.

Well I guess this isn’t a step either. But here’s what it will look like all unpicked! Sad skirt is sad. You’ll definitely want to go in and trim all those threads before you move on to the next step!

Next you’ll want to pin it in place. Simply sandwich the skirt layers in between the waistband layers. Be careful to make sure the gathering line is above your future sewing line! Then sew, sew, sew! Try to sew in the same line that you picked the stitches out of, it will look neater that way.

Here’s the inside of my finished skirt…

And the outside! With a good pressing no one will ever notice it had elastic in the first place.

In the end the waistband ended up being about 28 inches around as opposed to the original probably 25 flat, 26 stretched. So 3 full inches added! And lots more comfort to me, especially if I’m going to be wearing something tucked in. I hope this was helpful! I’m so excited to be able to wear this skirt out more.

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