Lately the summer heat has been unforgiving. After wearing out my loungy summer dresses this week, I needed something different to get thru another scorcher. I didn’t have knit fabric to sew up a simple skirt, so I figured I would use the next best thing, one of my husband’s old super soft and comfy t-shirts!
When I’m at home I feel like I’m always doing laundry, and I love the feel of worn in cotton t-shirts as I’m pulling them from the pile to fold. So I hunted one down that I knew my husband wasn’t going to miss. Unfortunately the color wasn’t too exciting and there was a printed image on the front but it made for perfect loungy summer skirt.
Using the basic foundation of a t-shirt makes this project SUPER easy and fast. As long as the shirt is a little wider than your hips, there is no need for side seams. Another time saver is keeping the bottom hem of the shirt as the hem of the new skirt. The only part I needed to sew was the waistband.
This was an XL Men’s 100% cotton t-shirt. The XL was a little wider than I needed but the length is what I was going after. The total length of the skirt is taken from the under arm seams to the hem of the shirt. I wanted my skirt almost to the knee and this shirt had the length.
I drew a straight line with chalk from one under arm seam to the other and cut across. Unfortunately there was no easy way around the logo on the shirt. Going down 2 inches to avoid it would have taken away from the length. So I kept the small portion of it and since it was going on the waistband, it wasn’t going to be too visible.
After cutting the top of the shirt away, I was left with a rectangle. This fabric didn’t fray which allowed me to leave the top edge raw instead of having to finish it with the serger or hem.
For the waistband I chose a “shirring” method which uses elastic thread to gather fabric. What I like about this method is it gives a lot of stretch and is very comfortable to wear.
I started with the first row of shirring about 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric. This picture shows the fabric starting to gather as it is being sewn.
I completed 1 row all the way around and then started the second row about 1/2 inch from the first. I moved my needle position over to the left to allow for that distance. The only trick when doing this is to straighten the fabric as it is running thru the machine. This picture shows the fabric gathered after the first row is complete.
This next picture shows the fabric straightened but NOT stretched. Just a little but of pull as you go.
The more rows, the more the fabric gathers. But now you can see it coming together!
After 7 rows this is what the inside looks like.
The back of the shirred waistband.
As a way to finish the shirring method, I placed my iron very lightly over the rows of elastic and let the steam hit it. This makes the elastic tighten up just a little bit. The picture below shows a little bit of difference after the steaming, compared to the picture above before the steam.
Before shirring, the fabric was about 23 inches across (46 all the way around). Once complete, shirring took away about 2 inches from the total width of the fabric (stretched all the way). Something to keep in mind when choosing a t-shirt large enough to fit around the hips. Once complete, the waist was small enough for a good fit and still very stretchy. This skirt waist measured about 31 inches all the way around once shirred.
You can also see on the waistband whats left of the logo that was on the front of the t-shirt. I don’t mind it. It reminds me of the original shirt. Also reminds me which side to wear as the front!
After 30 minutes, I have myself a new super comfy loungy summer skirt!
I’m thinking about making a stop at a Goodwill for super cheap extra-large t-shirts. That way my husband won’t find half of his shirts missing.