Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Skirting the Issue

I’ve been wanting to make my own skirt for awhile now.  The problem is that I’m quite the amateur seamstress.  I’m amused and a little ashamed that my husband taught me to sew, not the other way around.  Well, I did learn how to sew in the eighth grade, but if you count making a pair of boxer shorts with twisted elastic and uneven legs learning how to sew, then…well, no.  If you think that’s learning how to sew, then I need to sell stuff to you!  😀  Kidding.  Anyhow, my husband taught me to sew originally because I wanted to eventually make a quilt.  Then Pinterest came into my life, and I found many, many other reasons to want to learn how how to sew.  I started with a ruffle shirt (to be featured in the future), and crossed that off my Pinterest list of things to do.  Then, on my own volition, I decided to make a cute wine bag in which to place my mother-in-law’s birthday present.  I wanted to work my way up slowly to a skirt, then perhaps a dress, and then a quilt.  Baby steps and all.

Oh, but then!  Then I ran across this gorgeous fabric at JoAnn Fabrics:

Floral Fabric:  Keepsake Calico #10793065, “Invigorate Oro”.

      It was one of those instances where I saw it and loved it, but I’m so picky about what I spend my money on that I left it there and decided I needed to sleep on it.  The very next day, I decided I NEEDED it and went to the store to buy it, and lo and behold, they didn’t have the fabric.  Of course, that made me want it even more.  So I did research and after finding that many of the stores in the area were sold out of it (FYI, if you want the fabric for yourself, take my wild goose chase as a memo that it’ll probably be hard to find.  They don’t have any in the warehouse either, so that means they probably won’t get in anymore.), there was one store about a half-hour away that only had 6 yards left!   So of course I put it on hold and got it.  Which makes me love this fabric infinitely more than when I originally set eyes on it.  So when I actually make a skirt out of this fabric, I want it to be impeccable.  Therefore, in the traditional Violet way of thinking, I needed to make several test skirts to perfect the skirt-making craft before I moved on to the real thing.
(Short version:  In reference to a Gilmore Girls episode, I need to make a couple of “first pancakes.”)  In other words, an unbelievably awesome skirt made out of that above fabric is to come.  But until then, I bring you this!

I was looking through my “to-donate” pile of clothes to see if there was anything I could cut up and use for “test skirt” fabric, then ran across this shirt:

Shirt:  a.n.a. (gifted).

I’ve never worn it because the style didn’t look good on me as a shirt, but I did love the colors.  So I thought I could turn it into a skirt.  Somehow, as I was looking at it, I folded in the sleeves and realized that it looked like pockets.  And that’s where my idea was born:  upcycle a long-sleeved shirt into a pocketed skirt!  It’s relatively easy, and you don’t have to hem the bottom because it’s already hemmed!  Genius!

How-To:
1) Trim sleeves to be roughly as long as your hand, and cut off collar so the top is straight (you don’t have to be perfect about this because you’re going to hem it later).

2) Turn shirt inside-out, then cut the sleeves, shaping them to resemble pockets (you’ll round the sleeves off).

3) Sew sleeves together around the open edges.  These will become your skirt’s pockets.

4) Keeping your shirt/skirt inside-out, fold down the top part (previously the collar).  Iron this down if you wish, and hem it so that the top of your skirt doesn’t have an unfinished edge.
(Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of this part because it was getting to be about 2 AM at this point.  I’m lucky I even remembered how to sew at that point!)

5) Turn your skirt right-side-out, tuck pockets in, and voila!  You’ve got a skirt!  😀

*Note:  I made this skirt with a stretchy fabric so you don’t have to be so perfect in its execution.  My next move will be to make this with a stiffer/crisper fabric, and I’m pretty sure it’ll work out the same way, but I’ll have to be more precise.  If you are a sewing diva, by all means feel free to try this out with another type of fabric.  Or, you know, just make your own skirt without having to upcycle a shirt because you know how to make clothes already and don’t need to make “practice” articles of clothing.  😉

To Your Own Small Successes Via (not-so) Baby Steps!  🙂

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3 thoughts on “Ta-Da! Tuesday: Skirting the Issue

  1. Thanks guys! I worked hard on it and hoped it would show. 🙂 It really is super-easy, so I would love to see pics if any of you decide to try it yourself. More skirts to come!

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