A classic, feminine look from the 1950s and 1960s that still holds great sartorial power today, the pencil skirt emphasizes curves without overdoing sex appeal. This figure-fitting, upside-down vase shape might make walking impossible without its signature back-seam slit, which loosens the tight hemline. Altering an overly long pencil skirt to fit a shorter stature also shortens the slit, and thus changes the ease of movement. Select a skirt with an extra-long slit or alter the slit while hemming for a perfect fit.

Things You'll Need

Measure the length of the slit from top to hem.

Measure the amount of length that needs removal and add 1/2 inch. Unpick the hem stitching with a seam ripper, including the stitching on the seam slit, and measure the hem allowance. Add this amount to the removal amount.

Cut the final amount in Step 2 from the outer shell fabric and the lining fabric. Cut the layers separately.

Measure the hem slit length and subtract this number from the amount in Step 1 to get the final slit extension measurement. Mark the extension on the center back seam with a sewing pin.

Turn the shell and lining layers inside out and unpick the center back seam, stitching all the way up to the pin.

Match the lining and shell fabric on each side of the newly lengthened slit. Pin the edges of the slit together. Make sure the seam-allowance edges match.

Stitch along each slit side, matching the original stitching line. Make a 1 inch long horizontal line of stitching across the top of the slit to stabilize it.

Match the edges of the lining and shell at the hem. Sew 1/2 inch away from the edges. Leave a 3 inch wide opening.

Turn the skirt right side out through the opening. Slipstitch the opening closed.