When You Have a Shirt to Skirt
Materials Needed: a big, old, man shirt and a sewing machine 😛
Grab a skirt that fits just right and measure its width at the waist. This will be measurement #1. Ok, now go steal an old shirt from Mr. Husbandman
Cut that baby into pieces! So there are 3 parts to this: That bottom will the pleated skirt part, the middle will be the paper bag ruffle on top, and the top will be cut up to be the waistband. Sleeves will be used as extra fabric and pockets.
PART 1: PLEATED SKIRT. Take the bottom section of the shirt you just cut, and measure and mark it into even sections around the top. I dotted mine into eighths.
Pleat the skirt by matching up the dots with one another until equals measurement #1. You'll have to play around with the pleats to reach the waist measurement that you want.
Pleat close up! Hey! 🙂 Part One: done! Ok, before you move on the Part Two though, unbutton this pleated skirt part and lay it flat. Measure its width - this will be measurement #2. Measurement #2 should be an inch or two longer than measurement #1 because there is an overlap where it buttons (I hope that makes sense :P)
PART 2: PAPER BAG DETAIL. Take the strip cut from the middle of the shirt and some material from the sleeves is necessary, and sew together a strip that is double of measurement #2.
MINI TUTORIAL ON RUFFLES: That big strip of fabric we just sewed together? Fold that in half lengthwise and sew the two ends shut. Flip it inside out (now the seams you just sewed are hidden, right?) and, on the longest stich length, stitch two straight lines down the raw edge, leaving the threads at the ends long
To ruffle up the fabric, grab the strings you left long on either side. See how there are four - two on "top" and two on the "bottom"? Grab a pair of "top"s and leave "bottom"s loose.
Holding those two "top"s tightly in your fingers, gently but firmly pull the string (as if pulling it out) while your other hand slides the fabric down (to scrunch it). With practice, ruffling gets pretty easy! 🙂 Ruffle the entire piece, and then tease the ruffles back out evenly until it is equal to measurement #2. Woohoo! Part Two is done! 🙂
PART 3: WAISTBAND. Grab that top section with the collar and cut the back into strips. Mine are about an inch and half wide? I used the back near the collar because it had a double layer of fabric.
Sew those two together, end to end, so you have a long strip, then finish the ends by rolling them over twice and sewing it down. This long strip should equal measurement #2. That's Part 3!
PIECING IT ALL TOGETHER. Pin the strip to the pleated bottom, right sides together (if your fabric has a right side)
Sew it down and....
Tada! 🙂 🙂
And repeat for the ruffle on top: pin the ruffle to the waistband right sides together. Sew it down and...
TA DA DA!
TIP: I knew I would need a button at the top of my waistband, but I don't know how to use my button hole foot on my machine yet. 😦 So I cheated by sewing on a strip with an existing button hole (just sandwich it in there when you're sewing your waistband in)...
Use a seam ripper to rip through the waist band underneath the button hole...
and hand sew a button!
Something else I did was use fusible webbing to fuse the seams of the ruffle and the pleated skirt section on to the waistband. I then cut another waistband strip and sewed it to cover the webbing. Sorry no pictures 😦 but hey - PARTS 1, 2, 3 - DONE! 🙂 This is ready to wear, so you should try it on! But read on if you want a few more special details...
PART 4: DETAILS. First, belt loops! So I took what was leftover from the shirt remnant near the collar and cut it into a rectangle, and then I cut THAT into little rectangles.
Fold each in half and sew shut, lengthwise
Use a pen or knitting needle or whatever to flip them inside out.
Fold down the top and bottom and place on your waistband with pins. Trim excess if they are too long (mine were)
Sew them down and voila!
Next detail: pockets! What girl doesn't like pockets on her skirt? 🙂 Cut the cuffs off of the sleeves.
Cut those in half width wise and arrange them to make a "u" shape with a straight top.
Sew the two pieces together, right sides in. Fold over the straight line so the raw edge won't be exposed at the top. Iron everything down flat.
Figure out where to place your pockets and pin them down.
Sew them down (make sure you're only sewing around the "U", NOT the top - leave that open!) Heyy...guess what?
Pocket love! ❤
Wear this as your final summer hurrah