I have a very similar pattern to the one that was made up for the show - New Look 6483. It doesn't have a hi-lo hem but that's OK because I'm not time travelling back to 2012.
Hand sewing a button loop, pfft I don't think so. I usually just use a bit of shirring elastic or sacrifice a hair bobble in an appropriate colour. For the fabric I would use Tula Pink Raccoon Sky I am obsessed with this fabric and raccoons in general as I think my cat looks like a raccoon (we were adopted by a stray cat,whom in turn we officially adopted, he is beautiful and grumpy)
See he totes looks like a raccoon!
The Refashion Challenge
The original skirt looked something like this, but obviously not blurry ( I can't find a picture of the actual skirts they used and this is the closed thing my google-fu could find)
I would have chopped it into something like this -
I think there would be enough fabric in the cut off length to create a circular ruffle. I would probably cut some contrast bias tape to hem the ruffle.
I thought this was a real stinker of a challenge, silk - in the first week of the competition, harsh! I imagine the men felt pretty uncomfortable measuring and fitting their models as well.
I would have gone with this amazing McCall's pattern
Probably made up in an orangey red silk charmeuse...
.. with a crazy lace overlay on the bust, but not on the hem as that would be scratchy.