Refashion Runway: Stripes!

As some of you may already know, I’m taking part in the ‘Refashion Runway’ competition hosted by The Renegade Seamstress. The competition is essentially a series of Refashioning challenges; this week’s theme is ‘stripes’. You can see the other entries for this week’s challenge, and vote for your favourites, here.

I’m starting with this tiny, tiny skirt from the Cancer Research shop in Lewisham (£4). There’s nothing wrong with it, other than it’s far, far too short. Bottom of the waistband to the hem is just 35cm! On me (5’8″) this is practically indecent.



In order to add some stripes, I bought some cotton sateen in black which has roughly the same amount of sheen as the skirt and is roughly the same weight. The plan is to insert some stripes to make the skirt longer. I’m going for very thick stripes as these are the fashion right now (and it’s less work!).


After some quick calculations on the back of an envelope, I decided on inserting three black stripes, each 7cm wide. That leaves me with three blue stripes at 7cm plus the waistband part at 8cm. Total length of the skirt below the waistband would then be a much more acceptable 50cm.

First step was to cut off the bottom stripe at 7cm + 1cm seam allowance.

Before cutting off the second stripe I had to remove the in-seam pockets. Don’t worry; I’ll put them back!


To cut off the third stripe I had to unpick the bottom half of the zip, and cut the stitches between the lining and the zip.


Here’s a quick snap of how the second blue stripe looks laid out flat: curved! It was slightly surprising that the curvature was that pronounced (it’s folded in half in this pic), but not a deal breaker.

I considered cutting curved black sections for about five minutes before cutting square ones. The reason is that if the black sections were curved, it would be difficult to make all the sections join up in a smooth line at the side seams without cutting off a significant amount. The black cotton sateen has a little bit of stretch to it, making it easy to fit straight stripes to the curved pieces of skirt.


The front went together quite easily… the only thing to remember was to match the centres of the blue stripes so the side seams would still line up.


For the first black stripe at the back, I made a seam at centre back, leaving about half of it open for the zip.


Once the bottom stripes had been joined on, it was looking messy as the front and back were still joined together on these pieces. I carefully trimmed the black sections so they roughly matched the side seam line.


Next I tackled the pockets. Rather than unpick all the stitching and overlocking, I just cut it off. So my new pockets are a bit smaller than the old ones, but no big deal.


I used the same method to insert the pockets as I did for the ‘Dior’ skirt, being careful to try and match the stripes. It almost matches…


Last but not least, I finished the zip off. The result is actually not bad!


Here’s me modelling my new, longer length stripy skirt.






What do you think? If you liked this project, why not head over to Refashion Runway and vote for me to appear in next week’s challenges! Thanks!



  1. giddyauntlola

    Awesome. Every time I go into a charity shop I am trying to squint my view of what I see to imagine how I could re-fashion it to something else.

    • charityshopchic

      That’s the way to do it giddyauntlola, before you know it you’ll have an overflowing stash of random ugly clothes just waiting for a bit of TLC. Have fun!

  2. jenny_o

    Great way to make the skirt longer, and I like how you styled it – really shows it to best advantage.

  3. diaryofamadmama

    LOVE this! You are so talented! If I tried this refashion, there’s no way it would turn out as nicely as yours! And it looks gorgeous with the sparkly top! ;) Great job! :)

  4. Billie

    Voted! I think you have a great eye for what works. I look at the blue skirt and see…a blue skirt. Terrific restyle.

    • charityshopchic

      Thank you for reading – this is a really useful technique and I’m thinking of trying it on some tops that are too short too! It’s all about colour blocking! Have fun!

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