Wednesday, September 12, 2012

T-shirt Ruffle Skirt--Pattern and Tutorial

I love to find fabric--especially if it's free or dirt cheap.   My hoarding strategic collecting is now becoming a problem, as my stash and three sewing machines are taking over two rooms in our house, not to mention a closet (or two).  For really cheap fabric, keep all your family's used and unwanted clothes, blankets, fabric shower curtains, etc. to use in future upcycling projects!

For this skirt, I used two large t-shirts that nobody was ever going to wear.  They probably would have ended up in the garbage if I hadn't saved them.  And I made this fantastically free skirt!

What you need:
  • 2 large or XL t-shirts.  Blank shirts work best (or ones with small writing, like I used)
  • 1/2 inch elastic
  • thread to match your t-shirt color.  I used Coats and Clark All-Purpose.
  • Ball point needle for sewing knit fabrics
What you do:   I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance unless otherwise indicated.

1.   Lay 1st t-shirt out flat.  Cut across at armpits.  Discard neck and sleeves (or save for another project!).  Keep the bottom tube for the skirt.
Cut through both layers at armpits--discard neck and sleeves.

2.  Lay out 2nd t-shirt flat.  Cut across at armpits and discard neck and sleeves.  Cut two tubes for your ruffle.  I want my ruffle to be 5 in, plus 1/2 in seam allowance, so I cut two 5 1/2 inch tubes.  I did not finish the bottom edges of of my ruffle, I just let them roll. 

3.  Cut open the ruffle tubes to create two long rectangles.  Sew the short ends together, right sides together, to create one long tube.  Use a 1/2 inch seam allowance and backstitch at beginning and end of seams.

4.  Now you'll gather the long tube into a ruffle.  Use the longest stitch length on your machine.  Do not backstitch at the beginning or end of your seam, and leave the thread tails long.  Sew two rows, about 3/8  and 1/8 in away from the fabric edge.  Then pull on the top thread tails to gather into a ruffle.

5.  Gather your ruffle so that it is approximately the same size as the cut side of your skirt piece. 

6.  Pin the ruffle to the cut edge of your skirt tube, right sides together.  Sew the ruffle to the skirt with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. 

7.  Measure your hips (or waist--wherever you want the skirt to rest at).  Cut elastic to this measurement.  I didn't have 1/2 in elastic on hand, so I used two pieces of 1/4 in elastic, which worked ok.

8.  Now you'll thread the elastic though the hem of the t-shirt, which you'll use like a pre-made casing.  Cut a 1/4 inch slit in the inside layer of the hem.  Make sure not to cut through both layers!
My scissors pointing at the tiny slit in the t-shirt hem.

9.  Use a safety pin to slide elastic into hem.

10.  Overlap the elastic ends about 1 inch and pin.  Try on your skirt and see how it fits--you may want to make the elastic tighter.  I ended up overlapping the ends about 2 inches and trimming some off.  Once you're happy with the fit, sew the elastic together, backstitching to secure.  Be sure your elastic isn't twisted before you sew it together.  (I have two elastic pieces to sew in the picture, but you should only have one.)

11.  Poke the joined elastic into the slit.

12. Hand-sew the slit closed.

Done!  Go and show off your cute skirt!

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