Fancying Fringe

A number of years ago I purchased a fringed skirt from a Pendleton Wool Women’s Apparel catalogue.  I loved it when it arrived at my door – the fabric was soft and beautiful and the styling was a simple A-line skirt.  Even though I ordered a Petite in my regular size, I should have sent it back for a smaller one; it was just too baggy and too long, even when paired with boots.

The skirt before it’s make-over – very baggy.

Over the years I kept moving it back and forth from my cedar closet with the change of seasons, but I had found myself not wearing it, and wishing I could.  So this year, when once again it emerged out of the cedar depths for the trek into my bedroom closet, I made the decision to do something about it.  I would remake it.  I’m not sure what took me so long to come to this decision, but I was certainly inspired by the fringed Pendleton wool dress featured in one of my recent posts:

The winner of this category of the Make It With Wool contest built her outfit around a piece of black fringed Pendleton wool. (Threads, January 2013, page 52)

First I took out the zipper.  Then I picked out the seam connecting the waist facing to the body of the skirt.  I set the lining/skirt facing sections aside and tackled the skirt.

I had to determine the exact length I wanted the skirt to be, and work up from there.  Since it was not just length that needed to be adjusted, but also the all around fit, I knew I needed to use a reliable skirt pattern to re-cut the front and back sections.  I was so happy with the fit of the slim skirt I had just made, that it was an easy decision to go with that again.  I determined the straight grain of the front and back sections and put the muslin sections on top.

The muslin pattern placed on the front and back skirt sections.

Making sure I have the finished hemline placed correctly.

Since this skirt would not be underlined, I had to transfer the new seam and dart lines with chalk directly onto the wool fabric.  I measured again and again to make sure I had the right length (since I certainly could not make adjustments to the fringed end!) Then I cut, sewed darts and side seams.  I put a new zipper in by hand.

The new hand-picked zipper.

Then I was ready to remake the lining.  This was simpler, as I could use the existing waist facing (just taking it in a bit), which was still basically attached to the lining, and work from the top down. I split open the side seams, took them in commensurate to the re-cut skirt front and back, and re-sewed them.  Once the facing was reattached, all I had to do was cut off and re-sew the lining hem, and then  slipstitch the lining around the zipper.

The re-made lining back inside the skirt, label intact.

My new, old skirt.

A back view.

I am so happy with this re-make.  It’s the perfect skirt to pair with a sweater and tights – and that fringe around the hem makes it fun to wear and just a step above the commonplace.

Now it’s back to sewing from “scratch.”

POST SCRIPT:  I’m delighted to say that Cissie is the winner of my first give-away – the very small Little Black Dress.  Cissie – please send your delivery information to and I’ll get your very small package in the mail right away!


Filed under hand-sewn zippers, Uncategorized, woolens

18 responses to “Fancying Fringe

  1. Susanna

    Fortunately for me, I got to see this skirt on my beautiful Mom in person! It looks gorgeous and is the perfect addition to your growing wardrobe, Mom.

  2. Very nice Karen! Some of my favorite garments are re-made skirts. I bet you wear this skirt all winter long. 🙂

  3. The skirt is definitely the perfect length now – looks great! I have a few of those need-a-little-adjusting-so-I-will-wear-them items in my closet too. (I always wonder why I wait so long before I get around to fixing them so I will actually wear them.)

  4. Really nice! This looks so cozy!

  5. Cissie

    What a perfect skirt. And a great save. You are inspiring me to work on some things in my closet that I can’t bear to discard but can’t wear!

    BTW — I have never won so much as a Bingo game. I’m tickled!

  6. Carol

    Looks great and very comfortable with tights and a sweater! How helpful to have a muslin to go back to. I took note of that “measure twice and cut once” advice. On the JE buttonhole stitch, try adding an extra twist around the needle before pulling through. That is a buttonhole that will outlast the garment, I think.

  7. Great remodel! The fringe really makes it!

  8. Father In Law of expectant mother

    I think the model is a hep cool chick.

  9. It looks super! Some things are just worth a bit of work, and I’d say this is one of them. I’m crazy about the fringe.

  10. Thanks, Lizzie! I wish that Pendleton sold dress-weight fringed wool. I would definitely be a customer.

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