For $7, I scored a tiny little purse with beautiful black wooden handles, a beautiful white shirt with a black embroidery pattern, and a small gray T-shirt at an area consignment shop. A few hours later, I snipped apart the shirt with intention of turning it into an amazing skirt!
I snipped off the long sleeves and the collar from the shirt and shaped the body of the shirt into a boxy-ish rectangle. I cut the long sleeves apart into long strips to create a tube for the waistband. This has been my go-to method and so-far favorite method when creating skirts.
After attaching the tube to the skirt, a piece of elastic was inserted and sewn together. Now, I have a beautiful white patterned skirt! Because of the color, I hope the skirt will look good all year long with either strappy sandals or knee high boots.
The elastic waistband bothered me — it was really bunchy and not very pretty. So, I took off the waistband and added a new one refashioned from a pair of black stretchy pants from a thrift store. One of the legs was turned into a tube to accommodate a 3-inch piece of elastic.
I really love using wide elastic for waistbands, and this is the first time I’ve used 3-inch elastic (I usually work with 2-inch elastic). In my opinion, the black waistband definitely makes more of a statement and I just love the wider width.
A few nights ago while looking through Pinterest, I found a “quick” guide on how to refashion a shirt into a skirt with POCKETS! I couldn’t find the full tutorial anywhere, so I just depended on the four-step graphic. Yup. Four-step graphic. The graphic also boasted the refashion could be completed in 30 seconds. SECONDS?!? SECONDS?!?
If I know what I’m doing and I’m having a good day, I could probably complete a simple elastic waistband skirt in less than an hour — maybe 30 minutes. A skirt in 30 seconds. Nope. No way. Cannot happen. Because I’m for all things easy, lazy, and quick, I decided to try this four-step method of turning a shirt into a skirt.
After picking out a shirt to refashion and 30 seconds later, I was nowhere near to twirling around in a skirt. However, in the graphic’s defense, I might have picked the wrong shirt to use — one of my husband’s old polos. After snipping off the collar, I cut open the shoulder seams from the neckline to the sleeve seams and sewed the sleeves shut.
The fourth and final step per the graphic is adding a snap or some sort of tie to the skirt. However, the waist area was HUGE and the “pockets” distorted the side seams. In short, my skirt was nowhere near to being completed and looking like an actual skirt. After spending 30 minutes or more trying to fix the skirt, I scratched all four steps.
I laid the skirt flat and simply snipped out a new skirt outline, keeping the shirt’s original hem intact because this girl isn’t fond of hemming. I created a casing for an elastic waistband and simply sewed the side seams. Once the elastic waistband was completed, the skirt was completed! I might try the four-step method again, but I highly doubt I can finish it in 30 seconds.
P.S. How long has this sewing hack been around?!? Thanks to amazing holiday sales, I collected a ton of thread cones (cone threads?) but they’re a little too big to spin around on my sewing machine. Until I discovered the sewing hack, I just let the cone shuffle around behind the machine. I had no idea a coffee mug was the simple solution to contain a thread cone. How awesome is that? Pretty awesome.
I have a problem — a problem I just can’t skirt. Ha! Get it? Skirt. Oh, never mind. I picked up this colorful summer dress for a few dollars over the summer with intentions to refashion it. Because my wardrobe lacks cute casual shirts, I wanted to turn the dress into a cute top with sleeves. As soon as I cut the dress in half, I saw the potential of the bottom half as a cute spring-summer skirt.
However, I think I might — just might — have too many skirts in my closet. I needed the bottom portion of the dress to make the top a teeny bit bigger and to create sleeves. I really didn’t need another skirt, but upon closer inspection, I realized I had the perfect shirt to match the potential skirt. With a new outfit practically complete, Plan A was thrown out the window.
Easy peasy. I simply created a casing and inserted a piece of elastic. I left the skirt a little longer than normal, but I can still twirl around like a pro. Now, I just need to wait for warmer weather to come around. Although on the bright side, I love prancing around the snow in my new winter boots! Yay!
Jenn for the win! Finally, I am finished with creating or refashioning 26 skirts. Granted, not all creations and refashions were a success and I will revisit those failures at a later time. After accepting a part time job at a local retail store, I needed to add some red shirts and khaki pants or skirts to my wardrobe (care to guess where I work) because oddly enough, I only own one pair of khaki pants.
THE UGLY KHAKI-ISH CAPRIS JUST BEGGING TO BE TURNED INTO A PRETTY SKIRT.
I found a couple of khaki pants that weren’t my size at all, but I was more interested in the clearance price not the numbers on the size label. With the khaki capris, I knew I could easily refashion it into a new skirt for work. I took out the inside seams of the capris — easy enough — and then I turned the project into a complicated mess because that’s what I do. I take something simple and then throw in some obstacles.
THE SLIT IN THE BACK OF THE SKIRT.
From talking with other refashioners and reviewing other pants-to-skirt tutorials, I thought I needed a triangle piece to insert in the front panel of the skirt. I didn’t worry about the back panel because I simply sewed a small slit. Maybe I should try the work-in-progress skirt before attaching a bigger-than-needed triangle piece. Maybe I shouldn’t guess or cross my fingers, hoping for the best.
ONE OF THE MANY ADJUSTMENTS TO THE WAISTBAND SINCE THE ORIGINAL WAIST WAS TOO BIG FOR ME.
Anyway, I added a bigger-than-needed triangle piece in the front panel, making the skirt look ridiculous. Sometimes I really should look both ways before jumping in with both feet. I took out the triangle piece and made it considerably smaller. I reattached the triangle piece, and the skirt looked much much better. Now, I needed to fiddle with the waistband that was too big for me.
Again, I kind of knew what to do after reviewing other tutorials. I pinched together the waistband in two different places, sewing the pinched area in place. The waistband was still big after sewing two small pinches so I pinched together a bigger area, making the skirt fit a teeny bit better. When I have more time, I’ll probably add one more big pinch to the waistband, but for now, the skirt is ready for work!
NICKNAME: YEARWOOD SEPTEMBER
I love this skirt. I wore it several times before I became way too fat for it and lost it somewhere between my two wardrobes before the big move. If I had found the skirt a few years ago, I would have donated it to charity without thinking twice about the decision. But after discovering the refashion community over the past year I knew I could make alterations to wear it again.
The alterations were simple: remove the zipper, add elastic waistband, and sew new ribbon around the skirt. I’m really happy I’m able to wear the skirt again although I’ll have to tuck it away until next spring. Right now, I’m bringing out my tights and scarves for the cooler weather! Woot!
NICKNAME: XENIA SEPTEMBER
This beautiful blue skirt caught my eye years ago, but I can’t remember if I had time to try it on before buying it. I have a strong suspicion I nabbed the skirt on my way to the register, saw it was in my size, and obviously agreed with the clearance price tag. I think I wore the skirt once or twice before I became too fat for it.
I discovered the skirt during the great move and knew I could easily alter it. The color and the simple pattern made me fall in love with the skirt again. I simply removed the zipper, shortened the length a bit, and created an elastic waistband. In the near future, I might add a little bit of lace at the hem, but for now, I can wear the pretty blue skirt again!
TWO PAIRS OF KHAKI PANTS WAITING FOR ME TO REFASHION
I have a love-hate relationship with this skirt, Weatherby August. I took two pairs of khaki pants that didn’t fit Charlie anymore. The pants were a little big and a little too long for me, but a few hot washes and a belt could remedy the size issue. So, I turned the two pairs of pants into two pairs of khaki shorts with a hemmed rolled cuff. But what could I do with four pant legs (ONE) with the original hem intact (TWO)? Hello, new skirt!
The process was simple — my favorite method. I cut open all four pant legs (THREE) and removed the heavier side seam. I lined up the four rectanglish pieces side by side (FOUR) and hand stitched three of the panels together, giving me one long rectangle piece. I created a wide casing for an elastic waist and sewed the three panels closed. Before snaking the elastic into the casing, I tried on the skirt to discover it was a teeny bit too short.
ONE OF THE TWO PAIRS OF SHORTS I REFASHIONED.
I have no desire to show the world even a hint of my bum. Luckily, I had the fourth pant leg at my disposal. The leg was cut and sewed into a very long rectangle, which I folded and sewed in half lengthwise. Basically, I created a tube and then carefully sewed it to the top part of the skirt, poking myself several times with the needle (still no sewing machine). My finger hurt from a combination of dry skin and one too many needle pricks.
SKIRT NICKNAME: WEATHERBY AUGUST
Now, my skirt fits me perfectly, and I am ecstatic that I turned two pairs of khaki pants into two pairs of shorts and one skirt! Other than little bits and scraps, I wasted very little, which makes me happy. ANNNNND I completed all three refashions without a sewing machine! I sat my bum down in front of the TV for some background noise and went to work with my needle, thread, and scissors. I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
WHILE LOOKING AT PICTURES OF DENIM SKIRTS, I FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS CUTE LAYERED SKIRT. I FELT CONFIDENT I COULD REPLICATE THE SKIRT WITH AN OLD PAIR OF JEANS.
One of my favorite pairs of jeans had seen better days. I could’ve simply patched the holes on the side seams and the crotch area, but I wanted a denim skirt in my closet. I searched the interweb for a simple but cute jeans skirt design. I found a super cute and simple denim skirt featuring three slightly ruffled layers and frayed seams. After studying the photo, I was pretty confident I could replicate the skirt with a thread and needle. I snipped off the legs just below the back pockets, took off one of the legs seams, and cut the legs into about 4-inch strips. I simply matched the side seam of the top piece (the one with the zipper) and the side seam of the leg strip and sewed the two pieces together. I knew the strips weren’t long enough to match the width of the top portion, but I had enough strips to create a brick-layered look. My main concern was matching the side seams. I actually didn’t mind hand sewing the strips together because I felt more in control of the stitches, ruffles, and layers. Other than my fingers and tongue being occasionally pricked, I had no problem sewing the skirt during a few classic “Star Trek” movies with Rifftrax commentary. The whole process was surprisingly simple, and I’m pretty surprised with amount of projects I’ve been able to complete without a sewing machine.
I’M SO SAD THAT SOPHIE WON’T PLAY WITH ME!
I have access to my sister and my mom’s sewing machines, but with a little time and determination, I’m happy to finally add more skirts to my collection. And some days, I really don’t mind working with a needle and thread even though I look forward to having a brand new spanking sewing machine. Charlie and I have an eye on a particular machine that can sew AND embroider, but I’m waiting for the perfect time to buy it.
SKIRT NICKNAME: VAUGHN AUGUST 14
I bought this polo shirt online for Charlie, but I didn’t like the look once I received it in the mail. I had every intention of returning to the local retail store, but my forgetfulness and laziness trumped my good intentions. So, I decided to turn the polo shirt into a simple skirt with an elastic waist.
The process was pretty simple: cut off sleeves and collar and hem the top portion. At first, I wanted to use elastic thread to shir — or shirr — the top portion of the skirt. Unfortunately, my mom’s sewing machine wasn’t too fond of the elastic thread in the bobbin area. I tried to hand sew the elastic thread, but I was frustratingly unsuccessful.
LEFT: MOCK FABRIC FLOWERS DISPLAYED AT ONE CORNER OF THE SKIRT. RIGHT: POTENTIAL FABRIC FLOWERS.
I went to my go-to method — create a casing and insert piece of elastic. Boom! Another skirt completed! Except I wasn’t 100% in love with the new skirt. It needed … something. I found a scrap of dark blue fabric in my stash, cut it into small strips, and braided three strips, with the intention of using it as a belt or sash. But I didn’t like the potential embellishment.
I LIKE THE SKIRT, BUT I DON’T LOOOOOVE IT. IT NEEDS SOMETHING … HMMMMMM.
With a little more thought, I decided cute fabric flowers would be perfect to jazz up the skirt. However, sewing a simple fabric flower onto a skirt took a lot more effort than I thought, but in the end, I love love love the floral embellishments to the skirt. I think Upton July might be my new favorite skirt.