Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Recycling t-shirts to a skater skirt

This tutorial was inspired by my husband having a wardrobe clearout, I always hover around to get first dibs scavenging buttons and any fabrics I can recycle ,so was really pleased when two t-shirts came my way. I really fancy having a jersey skater style skirt to go over leggings or to wear as is, for the 3 days of summer we have in the UK.
Here is what you will need:

A waist length of 2 inch deep elastic, whatever colour you choose as this will be your visible waistband
A couple of t-shirts to recycle of similar weight jerseys otherwise the skirt won't hang correctly, I used large men's , but whatever you have to hand that will yield enough fabric for your skirt fabric



recycling t-shirts to skater skirt supplies


First measure your waist size, we will call this measurement W and cut a piece of the two inch deep elastic to this size.
You will now need to measure from your waist to where on your leg you want the hem of the skirt to hit, we will call this measurement L
Grab your t-shirts and measure this length L from the hem up on your t-shirts as you will use this existing hem as the hem of your skirt and cut across your t-shirts you are using.

Cutting recycled t-shirts to size
The number of t-shirts you require will depend on your measurement W, that you have , you want roughly 11/2W plus 1 inch for every panel you add in, I will explain this in a minute.

After cutting your t-shirts you will have jersey tubes, cut down the side seams of your t-shirts so you now have panels of jersey.You are going to place your panels of jersey together , use the formula above to give you the size of panels you will need, have them all of equal size, have some skinnier than others, the choice is yours , as long as the width of your panels all add up to the formula above, and they are all the same length.
Just a note I tried with a larger width of fabric and it was too hard gathering it all together, so I found the above formula worked better.
Line all your panels up, and pin together right side to right side, line them all up so that the hems are all even , as you want the hem to be even on your skirt.

You are now going to sew all your panels together to form a tube, I used a serger, but if you are using a sewing machine, you will need to use a ballpoint needle for jersey and sew with a 5/8" seam allowance, and zigzag the edge for a finished look.

You will now have a jersey tube, now you need to either serge or zigzag along the top edge of your jersey tube, opposite end to the hem.

Now we need to create the waistband, grab your length of 2 inch elastic and sew it together to form a loop, using a 3/8" seam allowance, making sure there are no twists, open out the seam allowance flat and sew down the seam allowance with a zigzag stitch as shown below, this is the inside of your waistband.

Sewing elastic waistband of skirt

Now you need toile your waistband flat on the table, with your stitched end at one end, right side out and lie your jersey tube under it right side out , you are going to pin your tube at either end of the waistband with approx. 5/8"of the jersey fabric on the bottom inside of your waistband. Now find the centre points of both ends and pin again, pinning one layer of jersey every time, you will now have the skirt pinned to the waistband in 4 places.
Pinning waistband to recycled t-shirts


Now pin your jersey to your skirt, halfway between these pins again and you will have 8 pins attaching your waistband to the skirt, check to make sure you have not pinned anything you shouldn't.
Now with your machine set on a straight stitch using your presser foot as a guide you are going to sew your waistband to your skirt, now go slowly.

Sewing waistband to skirt

Make sure that the stitching is catching the jersey at the back as well as the waistband , you may need to stretch the elastic waistband to the length of jersey between the pins, the easiest way to do this is if you are right handed, stretch the elastic gently with your right hand at the front and gently guide the elastic out the back pulling slightly with your left hand, sorry I couldn't get a picture of this, I had no free hands at this point.

Just take your time with this bit.

And here you have a jersey skater skirt

Recycled skater skirt finished


And here you have a little jersey skirt, my skirt is a little boring in the colours , I used what I had at the time, but you could use any combo of colours, create a patchwork design, use old band t-shirts, and make this skirt in any size, child or woman . If you make one of these skirts I would love to see it.
Until next time happy recycling





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