Modest Extension to Skirts

Shavuo Tov!

We occasionally receive feedback and inquiries from our audience, and would like to share this particular idea with you and request feedback.

The writer requests anonymity:

Some women have a hard time finding skirts that are long enough at a cheap price point.

Some mothers have a very, very hard time keeping up with their daughters' needing longer skirts as they grow, when the skirt is still attractive and the waist still fits. And they are on limited budgets.

So, you should sell Ruffles.

To lengthen the skirts, particularly the children's skirts.

Maybe there should be a Ruffle Lady in the communities, who can sew a little, and appliques the ruffle neatly to the hem. And perhaps she chooses which one will look right, as a stylist.

Maybe she will referred to as Ruffelina. She might have a hand-held sewing machine that she carries around with her as she make house calls, with her huge bag of ruffles to choose from right there in your house. For the woman and her daughters, both.

It needs to be made easy and cheap to be modest. The hem ruffles should be in refined, frum taste, and not coquettish, fancy or gaudy.

Just an idea, for anybody who might use it.

We appreciate this idea .  Additional considerations for those planning on using the ruffles as hem extenders.

  • Ruffles take a lot of yardage, at least 2 times the width of the hem.
  • The material for the ruffles should match the material for the garment. (woven with woven, knit with knit, lightweight with lightweight, etc.)
  • The colors for the ruffles should coordinate nicely with the garment.  
  • If you use lace material as your ruffle, do not sew it under the skirt as it will look like an undergarment showing.  In order to avoid this false appearance, you may also embellish the skirt with the same lace material as pockets or tiers so that they blend in with the overall garment to look like part of the outer garment.
Additional ideas for use of ruffles as an extender include:
  • Extending the hemline of a blouse that is not long enough to cover the torso when the wearer lifts up her arm to reach something.  
  • Extending the hemline of a 3/4 sleeve for accent.
For those who don't sew, you may also consider getting this item that helps you create gathers on your fabric, available on Amazon.

For those who draft and sew, consider designing your skirt with possibilities for letting down the hemline.  One idea that comes to mind is to make the skirt a few inches longer and sew horizontal pleats along the bottom section of the skirts.  Each pleat can be undone and ironed when needed to lengthen the skirt.

What do you think of this article?  Please comment below.  Thank you.


Anonymous said…
That is an interesting product from Amazon.

Might one also consider a very slightly gathered ruffle made of felt? Felt doesn't need to be hemmed.

The Ruffle Lady may want to buy a hemmer attachment for her sewing machine, to hem the ruffles.

The sideways pleats at the hem, that can come out later, is a terrific idea. Perhaps one could apply a washable ribbon on top of any remaining stitching lines that didn't iron out, to mask them.
modestanytime said…
Felt is poorer quality than regular fabric and may not blend well with the garment. May also not last because of its weight and quality. Knit fabric usually does not fray, but may not blend well with garments made of woven materials.

In addition, ruffles may change the design of a garment that is meant for formal wear and make it look more casual and peasant-like.
tamar in brooklyn said…
there are so many options for adding length to a skirt. one of the simple ones it add it on top. if you normally wear your tops over your skirt (untucked) you can cut off the waistband and add inches at the top, finishing with an elastic waistband. the added material does not need to be an exact match if it remains hidden under the top.
you can add a circular ruffle, cutting a circle of fabric and adding it to the bottom, this gives a gentle flouncing ruffle, not a gathered one. you can add gathered satin, gauze, netting, silky fabrics to the bottom. if your skirt is solid, the addition can be a print, something to add interest. i often add a lengthening panel of velvet, then you can add a bit of velvet to the pockets or for girls, a velvet applique or bow on the skirt. i have lengthened skirts by cutting the bottom off about 4 inches from the bottom, inserting a band of complimentary fabric and then reattaching the bottom. this can be good for formal and casual skirts.
Anonymous said…
Never mind adding a few inches to a skirt when you make a garment from scratch...I have a 10 yo daughter who grows up a *lot* and side-to-side very little. I put 12" hems (or longer!!) on her skirts (mostly straight-cut and gathered at the waist to make it easy) and she's worn some dresses for 3-4 years. Luckily her tastes haven't changed significantly in that long or I don't know what I'd do. :)

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