How Do You Shorten A Long Skirt Without Cutting It

There are several reasons why women wish to make their long skirts shorter. You might want to change your style, or you wish to alter your skirt so that it fits perfectly on your younger sibling. Otherwise, the existing length does not flatter your figure anymore. 

Manufacturers these days do not realize that all women are not long-legged supermodels. The majority of them are vertically challenged and cannot purchase any clothing from the online stores and fit perfectly. 

So, how can you shorten the length of your long skirt without cutting it? To obtain the answer to this question, you need to check the information provided in this article. 

How Do You Shorten A Long Skirt Without Cutting It?

There are two simple ways, which can help you shorten up your long skirt without cutting it off. The first way is by using a double-sided adhesive at the skirt’s hem. The second way is to hem your skirt with the help of the stitching method. 

shorten a long skirt without cutting it

If you have excellent stitching skills and have access to materials, you can choose the method you want to shorten your skirt’s length. There is no need to stop yourself from buying the skirt you like because it’s a bit too long. You can make its length shorter without cutting it. 

You already know about the techniques through which you make your skirt’s length shorter. So, let’s check out both methods in detail. 

Method 1. Shorten a Long Skirt Without Sewing

Materials Required

Before you begin your work, you need to gather the following items:

  • An iron. 
  • Iron-on fabric adhesive.
  • Pair of scissors for cutting the adhesive tape.
  • Thread remover and seam ripper.
  • The skirt you want to shorten.

Step 1

Place the skirt on a flat surface or a table and turn it inside-out. After that, put the correct length of the skirt at the top. 

Step 2

Use a skirt that carries a shape at the bottom or has a similar flare and trace it all the way right across the hemline.

Step 3

skirt waist measure

If you are not utilizing a skirt like the model, you can use the measuring tape to measure your waistline and way down to your leg. It will give you an idea of how much you have to shorten down the skirt. 

When you place the measuring tape on the skirt, don’t forget to mark the spot. Try to make several marks on the skirt so that you can easily join them to create a curve line. 

Also, be careful that you don’t make one side of your skirt a bit too short than the other side. Take care of the sides as well. It’s because if you make the curves way too shallow or deep, the skirt’s sides will be longer or shorter than the middle area. 

Step 4

Now, you have to fold your skirt right on the line. Check to see that all the sides of the skirts are even, and then press on the new hemline with an iron. 

Depending on the type of skirt you use, there might be some wrinkles. That is why you have to iron the skirt well to make it flat as possible. If you are just shortening only a few inches, the creases will easily blend with the skirt.

Step 5

You have to apply the iron-on tape carefully and then use the iron to press on it. Rather than applying the tape on the entire hem at one go, it will be a good idea to work with half the skirt at a time. Be careful that you don’t wobble when applying the team and keep the hemline even and straight.

Step 6

Now, you have to turn your skirt right-side and iron on it one more time for good measure. 

Method 2. The Sewing Method

Materials Required

materials required for skirt sewing

When you have decided to shorten the length of the skirt through the sewing technique, you will require some tools and materials for the job. They are:

  • Matching thread.
  • A skirt. [A dress will also do]
  • Fabric shears.
  • Yardstick.
  • Lace or ribbon.
  • Sewing gauge.
  • Needles. 
  • Tailor’s chalk.
  • Pins. 

Once you have accumulated all these items, you are all set to begin your work. 

Step 1. Plan The Hem

Begin your work with a dress or a skirt that carries an unfinished hem. Try to leave out one or two inches of the material when you are stitching your clothing piece. If you want to alter the dress or the skirt, just cut the hem or simply unpick it. 

When you have a bit more curves, it will be better to have additional fabric to work on. Please put on the skirt and check to see whether it sits on your body perfectly. 

Step 2. Mark And Measure The Hem

You can take the help of the yardstick rather than measuring the material from your waist down. You just have to measure it from the floor up. Doing so will help in ensuring that the hem is even all the way around. You can mark the areas where you want to finish the hem with a tailor’s chalk or pins.

You can take the help of a friend or a family member when you are wearing the dress or the skirt and want someone to measure and mark the hem on your behalf. 

Step 3. Mark The Cutting Line

To mark the cutting line, you need to use a stitching gauge and set it to 1 inch and place a mark on the cutting line right beneath the marked and measured hemline. You can use a water-soluble pen or a tailor’s chalk to place markings all around the skirt. 

Now, you just have to cut along the line and get rid of the extra material.

Step 4. Attach Laces On The Raw Edges

Opt for a lace that will match perfectly with the weight of the material so that it hangs perfectly. You can use a ribbon or a lace that comes with a contrasting color for the hemline. 

So, to attach the lace, you have to pin it towards the right-hand side of the hem. After that, you have to stitch up the lace to the material. Make sure you are sewing 1/8 inch from the lake’s edge. 

Step 5. Press The Hem And Pin It Up

Under this step, you have to press and fold up the hem towards the wrong side of your skirt. This will allow the fold to match perfectly with the finished length that you want. You have to utilize the sewing gauge one more time. Doing so will ensure that the hem is even. 

Step 6. Use The Hand Stitching Technique To Sew The Hem

Opt for a hand needle and thread it with a thread. After that, stitch up the lace’s top areas to the front side of the skirt with the blind stitch method. Try to make tiny stitches so that they are not that visible on the hem. To receive a crisp finish, make sure to press on the hem one last time. 

Additional Steps To Shorten The Long Skirt/Dress

There are several other ways to shorten the length of your skirt with no hassle easily. 

waist belt for skirt

Step 1: One of the best ways is using a waist belt. If the skirt is super long, using a belt will be the right thing to do. You can select the size, shade, and style of the strap according to your needs. 

If it’s your first time using a belt, try to go for a thin belt. It will not look eye-catching, and the full attention will be on the skirt or dress you are wearing. 

Step 2: Another great way to shorten the length of your skirt is by tying a knot. You do not need any materials and tools for the job, as you only need to tie a knot. You need first to decide where you wish to place the knots. The size of the knot and where you want to put it will depend on the event and you. 

Can I Use Pins To Make My Skirt Shorter?

use pins to make skirt shorter

Yes, of course, you can. You can use safety pins as they stand out as a simple way to shorten the length of your skirt. The method is ideal for individuals who are not good at sewing or stitching. 

Once you have decided how short you want the skirt to be, mark that particular area. You have to make sure that the length, which is right beneath the marked area, is consistent. Fold up the clothing within the skirt’s circumference and use the pins to attach both layers carefully. 

How To Know If My Skirt Is A Circle Or A Standard One?

The best way to know whether you have a standard or a circle skirt is through the hem. All circle skirts carry a more prominent hem, and when you place it on a flat surface, it will look exactly like a circle. 

On the other hand, the regular or standard hem does not carry any detailing, which gives out a look as if it’s been altered.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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