Well, it’s high time I shared another men’s shirt refashion, no?:-) Spring is in the air and I’m looking at lighter layers and breezy fabrics.
I last wore this piece on Day 15 in my 30 Days of Outfits Challenge back in November of 2010.
I made this skirt following the instructions from the Japanese book Kakkoii Couture Remake. I’ve written about this book before and made so many projects from it before – it continues to be such a source of inspiration for me when it comes refashioning men’s shirts. (I have changed the measurements and methodology a bit here and there to translate the project for Western sizing.) This particular project uses 3 men’s button-down shirts…which may seem like a huge waste, but if you do have a bunch of old shirts laying around, or have shirts where the arms/collars are damaged and no one can wear them anymore, or if you are buying items at 80 cents a pound from the Goodwill Outlet…then it may seem like a useful repurposing. (I used the back of a shirt I had leftover from a previous DIY, one shirt Hub was getting rid of since the cuffs were frayed, and one I bought from Goodwill.) And you can obviously use black shirts or differently-patterned shirts so you can create a piece that’s more your own style or works better in your closet than a blue pinstriped piece (which is what I chose to make).
In any case, these shirts can be made into a cute little puff-bottom skirt, whose buttons can be unbuttoned so you can wear it as a puff tube top, OR a midi-length long skirt, OR even a tube-top dress for when the weather gets warmer. Here’s how to do it:
Pillowcases come in a variety of prints that work just as well for pieces clothing. Plus, they have just enough fabric (and are roughly the same shape) as a cute little A-line mini-skirt – and can be transformed easily, with just a couple seams. (You can of course also transform them into dresses and skirts for small children.) And now there’s no need to worry when you have a lone pillowcase and can’t find its mate.
Take Exhibit A, a dot-printed piece that I pulled out of my 48-lb. haul of clothing I sourced at my local Goodwill Outlet. I was drawn to it because of the fabulous print – and I could only find one of them, so I had no intention of using it as a pillowcase…thus I thought it would work great as a skirt! The whole process took me maybe 30 minutes – a quick-sew project to be sure!
How to Make an Elastic-Banded Mini-Skirt from a Pillowcase
*a standard-size (or larger!) pillowcase
*2″ wide piece of black elastic
*thread and machine needle for wovens
*iron & ironing board
1. Turn pillowcase inside out and cut off all the sewn seams, leaving two large rectangles.
2. Turn rectangles sideways and fold in half. Cut edge on a slight A-line angle to the top. (I know in the photo above the fabric isn’t folded in half – but you should probably do that to ensure the right and left sides of each piece are at exactly the same angle.)
3. Unfold your pieces. Measure 1/2″ in from the angled edges of one of the pieces, and cut. This piece will become the back of the skirt.
4. Pin back to front of the skirt at the angled sides, and sew together.
5. Wrap piece of elastic at your natural waist (or where you want to wear the skirt). Make sure it is taut on your waist – not so tight you can’t breathe – but fairly tight. Overlap ends by 1/2″ and cut.
6. Sew piece of elastic in a circle on your machine with a 1/2″ seam allowance. (I used a straight stitch, then flattened each end and zigzagged over it to further secure it.)
7. Place elastic band over pillowcase top, overlapping about 1/2″. Match pillowcase skirt center front to center of elastic band, and skirt center back to the seam you sewed in Step 6). Pin the two sides as well.
8. Sew pillowcase to elastic band using a stretch stitch on your machine, with the elastic on the top and the fabric below being thread through by the machine’s feed dogs. Stretch the elastic between the pins so the pillowcase “gathers” naturally to the elastic.
9. Try on the skirt, mark where you want your hem to fall, and turn the hem (about 1″). Sew a 3/4″ hem on the bottom.
10. Iron to set the hem and remove any creases.
And that’s it! And the great thing is, the waist is elastic, so you can wear it belted higher up with a wide belt…or wear it lower near your hips for a different look. Hope you have as much fun making yours as I did mine!
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(from zippermanufacturers.com)…Buy a metal-coil non-separating black zipper from a sewing supply store…
for a whole lot less.
I’m onto you, Forever21! You thought if you waited a year and a half, no one would notice you’ve knocked off Alexander Wang’s skirt (shown above, from the Lucky Magazine August 2008 issue – taped into my “inspiration files”)
Well – haha! The ruse is up.
I’ve now snapped up the Tiered Skirt from one of your stores, and will be adding a zipper and black waistband shortly – to make my very own Alexander Wang Ruffled Skirt lookalike!
$495 vs. $29.79 (the zipper is $4.99)….who is the wiser now, hmmmmm?
Okay, maybe not the easiest skirt in the history of the world…but pretty darn simple nonetheless!
It took me about an hour and a half to make – tops! And it’s a simple, sweet party skirt that also works great for the everyday.
*1 yd. of medium to heavy-weight satin, sateen, satin peau, or taffeta
*7/8″ width woven no-roll elastic (length of elastic = your waist circumference – 1″)
*iron & ironing board
*sewing needle for wovens
*1 safety pin/bodkin
How To: (sorry no step-by-step photos)
(I think this size will work on Small-Medium-Large…for a Small, the skirt will be fuller and more cinched in at the waist. If you want more width to the skirt, increase the width of the panels. My waist is 27″; hips are 34.5″. Cutting directions, marker, and yield are using a 60″ wide piece of fabric.)
1. Cut two rectangles on-grain for the front and back pieces: both are 21.75″ long; the front piece is 14 3/16″ (that’s fourteen and three-sixteenths, if the way I’ve typed it is confusing). For the width of the back piece rectangle, add 1/2″ (therefore width of back piece = 14 and 11/16″).
2. Cut 2 rectangular side panels on-grain: both 21.75″ long and 11.125″ (eleven and 1/8″) wide.
3. Cut 2 pockets: both are the same width as the side panels (11 and 1/8″) and are 9″ high. (The front, back, and side panels you can all fit side-by-side on a 60″ wide piece of fabric, but the pockets can’t fit and will have to be placed above this row when cutting. So technically, when using a 60″ wide piece of fabric, you only need 30.75″, not really a whole yard. For a 45″ wide piece of fabric, you can only fit the front, back, and one side panel side-by-side; the next row up you could place the other side-panel on-grain and thereby require 43.5″ of fabric (about 1 yd. and a quarter), or, alternatively, you could place one side panel on the crossgrain and only use 11 1/8″ + 21.75″ = just about a yard total. This is what I did because I thought I had bought a piece of 60″ wide fabric but it turned out to be only 45″ wide – so I had to conserve fabric. In satin, I honestly think on-grain vs. crossgrain difference is negligible.)
4. Overlock/zigzag stitch on top and bottom edges of pockets.
FINISH TOPS OF POCKETS
5. Fold 1″ under on tops of pockets. Iron to set the crease. Stitch seam at 3/4″ down from top of crease.
SEW POCKETS TO SIDE PANELS
6. Start by placing pocket on top of side panel, right sides together. Align top of pocket about 4″ above bottom of side panel, and align pocket side edges to side panel side edges. Stitch 3/8″ below top of pocket, through both layers, from side to side.
7. Fold pocket up, taught against the seam you just sewed; iron to set the crease. Pin side edges of pocket to side edges of side panels – then staystitch the pocket to the side panels a scant 1/4″ from side edges.
ASSEMBLE THE SKIRT
8. Overlock or sew each side panel to either side of the front piece; join back piece in the same way.
HEM THE SKIRT
9. Overlock/zigzag bottom edge of skirt all the way around.
10. Turn up 3.25″ from bottom of skirt; iron to set the crease. Stitch hem at 3″ up from crease.
ADD THE WAISTBAND
11. Overlock/zigzig top edge of skirt all the way around.
12. Turn under top of skirt 1.25″ from top edge. Iron to set the crease. Stitch at 1″ from crease – leaving 2″ unsewn, to create the waistband casing.
13. Attach safety pin or bodkin onto end of elastic. Thread elastic through the waistband casing, entering and exiting through the unsewn area.
14. Overlap ends of elastic by 1/2″. Pull elastic ends out of the unsewn gap in the casing, and stitch a square shape on the top of the elastic to secure.
15. Tuck elastic back into casing area – then sew the last 2″ of the casing closed.
This skirt is super-cute and can be worn in a casual ensemble.
Or you can dress it up and pair it into a party outfit – layer over a corset, for instance, or under a sequined vest.
People will feel a strange attraction to it when you wear it.
Everyone will love it unconditionally!
Happy DIY’ing…and Happy New Year!
Tie-dyed denim is ba-a-aaack this season (sure you probably thought you’d never see the day) but it’s a blotchy, abstract dye that’s all over the runways…and all over celebs and fashionistas in the know. (And what I got knocked for in Challenge #1 in America’s Most Stylish Blogger competition. Whatever! If you haven’t noticed this trend – insert your head back in its hole in the sand.) Whether you embrace it or stay far, far away – using the crumple dye technique on your fabric is fun and virtually hassle-free (compared to some other tie-dye techniques that involve rubber-banding, stirring fabric for 15 minutes continuously etc.).
This is an image from Victoria’s Secret most recent catalog…and you can buy the sweater here but the skirt strangely seems to be unavailable. And I want that skirt.
So I used Tulip Permanent Fabric Dye and a denim miniskirt I found at the thrift store to create an abstract, funky dye-pattern.
The first step was bleaching the skirt to remove the color. This was accomplished by soaking in a hot water & bleach solution (ratio like 8:1 or something like that)…for like 8 hours. Had I used full-strength bleach (or a smaller ratio of water to bleach), the process would have been much quicker, but it also would have caused rusting on the metal embellishments on the skirt (zipper, grommets etc.), weakened the fabric fibers and seams, and even perhaps burned holes in the fabric or given the piece an orange tint. So to be safe I diluted.
Most of the color was removed by this method. Ran it through the wash cycle (with detergent) to get rid of any remaining bleach.
Now it’s time for the dye!
Following the instructions, I created a dyebath of Black fabric dye…and dipped the skirt into it. I then pulled it out quickly, crumpled it on top of a spread-out garbage bag, and spooned dye from the bath onto certain areas of the skirt. Hmm…it didn’t work so well. By giving it that initial dip in the bath, I found that the skirt soaked up a base gray color that wouldn’t show any darker black areas like I had intended. Ohwell. Frustrated, I poured some bleach (undiluted this time) back on the skirt in certain areas. After a few minutes as I watched some areas of the skirt lighten to a muddy brown, I washed the whole thing in cold water, then threw it in the wash cycle of the washing machine (sans detergent this time). And this is what I got:
Definitely not what I was going for. I then wet the skirt, crumpled it up again on another garbage bag, and spooned black dye from the dyebath onto certain areas of the skirt, crumpling as I went. I left it for a short time, covered in garbage bag, then pulled it out and ran cold water through it. Back to the washing machine (no detergent) and into the dryer, and I got this…
It’s hard to see, but the skirt is more gray-and-white-tinted than before.
(Kenneth Cole new york sweater, DIY Old Navy denim mini-skirt, Sam Edelman Zoe boots, unknown puffball ring)
Somehow I never look quite the same as the Victoria’s Secret model does. Hmmm.
And EVERYONE needs a puffball ring. It’s just a Fact of Life.
The final product: the tie-dyed skirt. I definitely wanted it to be black & gray…but this stone blue/gray/little bit of brown thing is cool, too. You just never know when you’re dying denim and working with bleach!
In reality Tulip One-Step Fashion Dye would make more sense for this project, especially since you’re applying dye directly to the fabric. But I used what I had! Perhaps I’ll try another application to make it more black at some point in the future, but I’m kind of satisfied with what I have now.
Also, if you’d like some different fabric-dyeing projects to try out (just in the nick of time if you’re still stuck on ideas for a Halloween costume!) download the free Fun with Fabric Dye eBook from FaveCrafts.com…This eBook features 28 free fabric dye craft projects organized by 18 different dye techniques, with step-by-step photo instructions. Not only does the eBook include a great variety of stylish clothing craft projects for all ages, but it also features home decorating projects, accessories and holiday projects too.
Definitely try your hand at the DIY tie-dye denim mini…just don’t dip the whole thing in the dye after you’ve bleached it out…crumple and spoon, my friends!
Happy DIY’ing…and Happy Halloween!