Tuesday, March 22, 2011

081: tutorial - scalloped hem skirt

I've been on a mission for the perfect vintage leather shorts for forever now... I always find myself scouring the racks at second hand shops for leather items but I've had no luck as of yet! Last time I went thrifting though, I settled for a leather skirt for about $4 & it's wonderfully soft & almost a perfect fit on me.

It sits just right at my natural waist, but the length falls just above my knee... and I hate mid-length skirts on myself because I think they tend to shorten my legs.

The reason I've been wanting leather shorts is because I've been dying to scallop the hem... I've been LOVING beautiful scalloped hem shorts and skirts because it's such a simple and subtle detail that really adds a touch of lacey-ness to an outfit. So I decided to try it out on this too-long skirt!

pretty simple skirt made of 4 panels of real leather

I don't own a LOT of leather clothing items, but I noticed that the hem is actually glued up instead of sewn.

here's the concept! I was gonna go for a simple bumpy scallop with some perforations following the curve... & leather is the PERFECT material for this type of detail cause you can get nice sharp edges that don't require any finishing.

pinking shears seemed like the perfect thing to use to get a more detailed edge... so I practiced a couple of curves on some bamboo scraps :)

with the skirt inside-out, I started chalking up where the bottom hem would be. (I am shortening mine by about 3.5")

I measured out the width of the hem so that I could figure out the width of each scallop. At 18" wide, I made it so the skirt would have 6 scallops across at 3" wide each. cause nobody likes uneven scallops. HA.

So then I proceeded to be anal as hell & drew an upper line that would be the tops of the curves & marked the center points of boxes so that I would have a good point of reference for cutting even curves.

the first cut!

then just follow your fancy grid & scallop yourself alolng the whole hem. these pinking shears cut through the leather like a hot knife through butter. It was a much better leather cutting experience than slashing combat boots. hahah

flip dat skirt back rightside out & it'll look sickkkkkkk.
you could be done right there but I wanted to be a bit fancier.

grab your leather punch! Mine has holes ranging from 2mm to 4.8mm

Just as my awesomely detailed sketch illustrated, I punched holes that followed the curve

I used the 4.8mm and 2.5mm punch for the larger & smaller holes.

perforate that entire b!

& there you go! about 150 holes later, I've got a scalloped hem leather skirt! YES!

vintage & diy-ed leather scallop skirt by me, dress shirt from suzy shier, skull scarf from stitches, shoes by jessica simpson, sunglasses from zenni

rah rah rah
hopefully I can find some more leather bottoms & make some for the shop soon!


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  1. holy wowzaaaaaaaaaaaaz! love the lace detail you added to th scalloped edges! i've been looking for the perfect jersey scalloped skirt and am now considering going to hunt for a skirt to reconstruct.


  2. This is friggin awesome! Wonderfully done! Thanks for the tutorial, it's quite easy to follow.

  3. Awesome tutorial, and the skirt looks so fresh!! Great look :)

  4. Okay so I already commented on Chictopia but Holy Friggin Shiz this is awesome. I'm so doing my own this weekend!!!!!

  5. I'm going to do this, though not quite so short. Ingenious idea!

  6. AWESOME! Now I have to thrift myself a skirt/shorts to do this with.

  7. you look hot!
    I'll never have the patience to try this DIY (because of the holes, mainly LOL), but the result is amazing! :D

  8. Love this! I just got an ultrasuede skirt at the salvation army and I've been trying to decide how to hem it, but I think I'll do this instead! thanks!

  9. absolutely amaziiing! followed you :)

  10. I think it looks wonderful... Great job!

  11. you look hot!
    I'll never have the patience to try this DIY (because of the holes, mainly LOL), but the result is amazing! :D

  12. this is an awesome diy!


  13. These are seriously amazing!!!  Where do you find a leather hole punch?  I'm obviously not in the right section at the craft store!  I love this!

  14. i just got given a leather skirt and was waiting for inspiration of what to do with it and here it is. love this idea! looks great, 
    Followed you on blog loving. Check out my DIY and vintage blog if you have time.http://aciddreamsandsugarhighs.blogspot.com/ 


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