• Sewing Quick Alterations

    Posted on 1st August 2014 by Shelley in Tailoring & Sewing.

    Sewing Alterations on Skirt and Jeans

    I wanted to share my way of doing some quick and easy alterations to a skirt and jeans.  I would like to say that this is not how a tailor would alter these garments.   I’m a qualified and experienced tailor, but had to stop after I was in a bus crash.  Now when I do anything I am looking for the easiest and most comfortable way of doing that job.  If you were altering these garments professionally you would be working from the wrong side of the fabric, and would have the right sides together, as it’s all about NOT being able to see that they have been altered at all.     We have a view of back darts here.

    pinned skirt

    Pinned back darts

    This  is the side view of the skirt, so you can see I’m making a dart at the front-side and the back-side, as well as darts in the centre back above.  I have hips so I always have to alter my clothes at the waist.  The front-side is pinned and the back-side has been sewed already.  You will notice the back dart is longer than the front, because your bottom is lower than your belly, so your front darts are nearly always shorter than the back.

    Pinned Skirt

    Front pinned & back sewn


    With my new way of doing this everything is worked on the right side of the fabric.  With this beige denim style skirt you can see I have pinned the darts on the right side, but you are also going to sew them on this side.  You would have measured these out already to make sure you have the same space between the back pockets and on the centre back belt loop.

    back darts on skirt

    Back darts sewn in




    Because this skirt has been made in the style of a denim skirt it has a lot of decorative top-stitching, which means that when we  have finished altering this my way, it will still be very subtle and look like it was made that way, and that is the KEY here.



    Top stitching on skirt

    Back darts top-stitched





    Even although you can’t see the whole skirt here, you can see that this does blend in nicely when the dart you have made is sewn down.  You can either have the darts facing in towards each other or facing away from each other, but do NOT have them facing in the same direction, as you will notice the difference and it won’t look as nice.




    What your looking for is a mirror image.  The point of the pins are showing you the direction I placed the darts in before sewing them down.

    sewing on skirt

    Direction of back darts








    I do this type of darting on my jeans all the time now, as there are always double stitch lines and a lot of top stitching, as you can see here.


    Darting ondenim  jeans

    Back dart on jeans

    With this particular pair of jeans the waistband was really thick and bulky, so I couldn’t get it under the foot of my machine (and it’s an industrial machine I use).  I had to reduce the waist in the proper way by picking out the waistband however I did do the dart my way.


    darts on jeans

    Back right leg dart



    This is the right back leg of a pair of my lose-fit jeans you are looking at here.  Even although these jeans are a slouch style there was still some extra fabric on the back leg that didn’t look right.  Now I would NEVER do this to a pair of smart trousers or even smart jeans, but with this style I could get away with it, because they are slouch and have lots of top-stitching.  I pinned the length and width of the fabric I wanted to remove and made a dart, then top-stitched over the top, just like I did for the skirt, and I did it on both sides obviously.




    They look great and do not look like they have been altered at all!  It just looks like it was part of the design.  Doing alterations this way takes you about half the time too.


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