From XXXL band t-shirt to cute skirt in less than 2 hours.
When I went to see one of my favorite bands recently, I found an amazing t-shirt in the bargain bin at the merch table for only $10. I can never turn down a bargain, so I bought it... even though it was a XXXL. I've been wanting a new knee-length skirt recently, so this is how I went from super gigantic baggy t-shirt to cute, versatile skirt pretty quickly.
(The 2 hour time is based on the fact that I have to hand-sew everything. If you have a sewing machine, this project will be even faster!)
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Lay your shirt on a good cutting surface. I usually use the kitchen floor, or a large table.
Use the tape measure to find your waist measurement (the part of your waist where you want the skirt to sit- I like my skirts to hang down on my hips, so that's where I measured). Take that number, and divide it by 2.
Now, grab your chalk and tape measure. Take the result of the division you just did and add a half inch (1/2") for seam allowance. Use the chalk to mark a straight line on the shirt.
Measure from where the waist of your skirt will be, to about an inch or two past your knees. Take that length, plus 1/2" for the hem, and make a mark on the shirt.
Now, for the slightly tricky part! To keep the skirt from being too tight so that its easier to move around in, you'll want to give it a slight a-line shape. I just added 4" total to my waist measurement. Mark that on the shirt.
Carefully cut out the A-line shape. If your shirt has a design, be sure to turn it right-side in before you pin your front and back pieces together.
Using a whipstitch, sew straight down the side seams. Be sure to leave 1/2" at the bottom for your hem, and if you are going to add elastic to the waistband, leave another 3/4" at the top.
Pin and sew the 1/2" hem at the bottom, also with a whipstitch.
Optional: if you are adding an elastic waistband, also fold this down and pin, making a pocket to thread your elastic through. Leave one side open.
Measure out a piece of elastic that feels comfortable to you. Add a safety pin to the end (this makes it easier to thread through the waist). Pull the elastic all the way through, and sew it together, then sew the last bit shut.
Alternately, you can use a piece of cotton ribbing for a waistband. Or, you could use none at all, though I've never tried that and I'm not sure how it would fit.
Decide on how wide you want your ruffle to be. Take the bottom measurement of your skirt and add about 6" of length to this piece, since it will get shorter when the fabric folds and well... ruffles. I made mine 3" wide and I cut a piece from my leftover shirt that was about 26" long.
Using a running stitch, I quickly sewed along the top of the piece, approximately 1/4" from the edge. Then, I carefully pulled the thread tighter, so the fabric started to ruffle.
Using safety pins, I arranged the folds the way I liked around the bottom hem of my skirt. (The safety pins keep everything in place better than straight pins, in my opinion. At least for hand sewing! And especially if you need to try your project on.)
Using my trusty whipstitch, I attached the ruffle to the bottom of the skirt, and TA DA! Instant cuteness.