Sunday, March 20, 2011

More Shirt Skirts

Another thing I like to make that are so easy is the Shirt Skirt.  I made one last year and it is my bi-weekly rotation of either pjs or hanging around clothes.  I followed the basic steps that I did in an earlier post (Shirt Skirt) but changed it slightly.  Instead of an elastic waist, I used a shoe string and instead of sewing all the way to the bottom of the front, I stopped just under the second to last button to give it a slit in the front.  Keep reading and I will show you....

I made four skirts but I will demonstrate on one shirt to show how I made the others.  My first shirt came from an estate sale for $1.  I think it was bought in Hawaii because not only did the brand tag say Tailor Hawaii, it was essentially a Hawaiian shirt.

Aloha Mr. Shirt

This shirt also had some cool buttons:

I wonder what those symbols mean?

The first thing I did was iron the shirt, but I didn't worry about the sleeves.  Then I unstitched the pocket on the front and set it aside.  Then I laid the shirt out on my cutting mat and lined up the bottom hems.  I took a rotary cutting ruler (a yard stick or long ruler would work)  and used a rotary cutter and cut it from armpit to armpit - straight across.

A shirt, shoestring and thread is all we will need

At this point, I no longer need the top part of the shirt for the skirt.  I will put it in my scrap bag, because you never know when this will come in handy (I love buttons, so I take off all of the buttons and keep them in a jar).  Now, I am only working with the bottom portion of the shirt.  I am now calling this the skirt.  The top button on the skirt was removed and I also removed the buttons that are often found on the inside towards the bottom.

I pinned the bottom skirt front closed and sewed down the front along the button panel.  At the last button, I went about an inch further and stopped and stitched across to meet the stitching on the opposite side of the button panel.

I went back to the iron and ironed my drawstring casing by folding in about 1/4" and then about an inch.  I pinned it so when I sew, it will sew the 1/4" hem, making a casing.  Before I went and sewed, I unpinned the front area and figured out where the drawstrings were going to come out.  I made marks so I could make button holes.

I used chalk to mark my guidelines

I should mention that on this skirt only, I had to flip it around so the bottom was the top of the skirt.  There was something strange about this shirt bottom that made me do it; I can't remember why though!

Anyway, before you sew the casing, you need to make the buttonholes.  My sewing machine has a buttonhole guide thing so it was a snap to do.  I made two on this skirt, but the other skirts I only made one.  One is really all you need.

Cut the buttonhole open with a seam ripper

Now that the buttonholes are made and cut, I sewed the casing as I had it pinned before.  Once the casing was made I went and sewed the pocket on the front of the skirt.

I'm right-handed, so I like my pocket on the right-side

Now, I have this gadget that threads string and such very easily.  I got this at a very small store in my hometown called Goldstein's (which is like a 5 & 10 store) and I have no clue what it is called.  But, I'm sure Joann's has something similar.  I attach my shoestring (really it was a boot string and I got it in a really long length) to this gadget and threaded it through until I reached the second hole and pulled it all the way out, holding onto the first end of the shoestring so it does not get pulled all the way in.

Shoestring was a-go!

Once the shoestring is in place then I had to hem the bottom (of this skirt only).  The button that I took off earlier I attached it to the bottom button panel where it logically would be on the shirt.  It went in the slit area.  I then made another buttonhole for that new button.  But it is for looks only, I do not intend on buttoning it.

All done! Now it is Aloha Ms. Skirt!

That evening we went to a birthday dinner at the Melting Pot, which is a fondue restaurant.  I got compliments on my outfit, which I said, "Thank you very much, I made the skirt today from a man's button shirt!"  I love the reactions when you say you handmade something.

The Fondue Runway!

I also made a few more shirt skirts that I will model:

Very comfy!

That one will be a gift and so will these others:

Yeah, I'm not modeling these but you get the idea!

On the striped one, I took it in about and inch on each side then made the casing for the drawstring.  I would have done the same on the pink one about, but it had these cool side pleats, that I would have lost if I took it in.

Side Pleat - Cool!

Again, I got these at a thrift store and/or Goodwill.  They each cost under $5, and the shoestring was about $2 for two pairs.  I pick the shirts for their pattern and fabric quality.  For example, if you pick a white button shirt, your undies will be seen through it, unless that is the look you are going for.  I hold my hand under the shirt when shopping.  If I see my hand, then it is a no-go.

Have fun and good luck.  Let me know how you make out.

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