It's so so so easy to make. Perfect for beginner level seamstresses, & doesn't need crazy cutting & measuring. As long as you know some basic sewing, my general run through should be enough to guide you.
Step 1: Supplies
- Thrifted tank top, loose fitting. Mine was about $5.
- Jersey knit fabric of your choice. I started with 2 yards & had a ton leftover. *
- Coordinating thread. I used maroon thread + a shiny rayon mustard yellow thread.
- Sewing machine
- Scissors, pins, tailor's chalk
*I used a special kind of jersey knit fabric, called ITY knit (interlocking twist yarn). It stretches like a normal jersey t-shirt but has an amazing, high quality & smooth feel to it. You can even use the fabric from an old oversized shirt - I'm sure you can find some crazy printed jersey t-shirts at the thrift store - and don't forget to look in the mens' and maternity section. As long as it's big enough to give you enough fabric, then go for it.
Step 2: Measuring
The measurements of my huge rectangle of jersey was 60 inches wide & 31 inches long. This will obviously be different depending on your top/preferences, but the next step explains how I determined this.
Step 3: More Measuring
Laying flat, I measured the shirt at its widest, which was at the bottom. I didn't do this where I marked the line, since I wanted extra fabric for that gathering effect. It was 20 inches at its widest point, or 40 inches all around. SO, I measured 40 inches of jersey knit, then added half of that - so 60 inches wide, total. Or x1.5 the 40 inches. I also added 2 extra inches for extra sewing space.
I put on the shirt again & measured from the chalk mark to where I wanted to the skirt to hit - about 26 inches, right above my knees. I tacked on an extra 5 or so inches just to be safe, since it's better to start with too much and trim it down later on. Again, this will be different for you depending on your shirt, preference & obviously height.
Step 4: Start Sewing!
Step 5: Cut the Shirt
Step 6: Sew the Shirt
Step 7: Pin the Two Pieces Together
Step 8: Pleating
How the pleats look from the inside
Step 9: Attach the Two Pieces
Step 10: Pleats
Step 11: More Sewing
I sewed up the side of the skirt portion to close it up, since it had only been sewed along the top so far.
After trying on the dress yet again & figuring out the definite length that I wanted, I trimmed a good 4 or so inches off of the bottom. A dress form would be really useful at this point, but a hanger can work as well. I sewed up the bottom edge with the shiny mustard yellow thread.