Skirt From Recycled T-Shirts




Introduction: Skirt From Recycled T-Shirts

About: An engineer, seamstress, cook, coder, and overall maker. Spent a summer at Instructables; got a degree in E: Neural Engineering at Olin College; made a microcontroller (; now thinking about climate c…

I like to sew recycled clothing- it's cheap, low-pressure sewing. As far as I can figure, you either make something cool or you get rid of  some clothes you never wore anyway!

This is a recycled-t-shirt skirt I made for a friend. It's a tiered, patchwork skirt. The pattern is adjustable for however much fabric you have (within certain minimums).

Step 1: Harvest Fabric

This skirt used 6-7 women's t-shirts. I only used the parts that were solid colors. Your needs will depend on the size, cut, and style of the shirts, and the skirt you hope to produce.

Cut them all into rectangles. Mine were mostly six inch squares, but you can introduce some variation in width as long as the height of each rectangle is the same.

Step 2: Lay It Out

Figure out how you want your pieces to go together.
The important thing here is that the top piece is about the size of your waist (so if you have a 25" waist, your top row should be 25" across). You will lose some fabric to seams, but that's good because the fabric is stretchy and it will make a secure waistband.
The other important point is that the width of rows should increase as you approach the hem of the skirt.
In the picture, the right side is the top of the skirt and the left will be the hem.

Step 3: Sew It Together

Sew the tiers into long strips, then close the loop for each one. You should have a bunch of fabric circles of different sizes.

Step 4: Gather and Sew

Sew a basting stitch (as long as your sewing machine will let you) around the top of each fabric circle (except the top one, which will be on your waist). Pull on the top thread to gather until the fabric is the same size as the fabric above it. Sew together.

Step 5: Make the Waistband

Double over the waistband to the inside of the skirt (see pictures). The edge of the top row should just cover the first gathered seam. Sew.

Step 6: Just for Fun: Add a Belt!

When you were harvesting the fabric, you ended up with a bunch of leftover pieces, including the hem of the shirts. You can make a belt to match your skirt!
Cut the loop of the hem so that it's one long ribbon of hem.

Step 7: Sew the Ends Together

Step 8: Sew It the Long Way

Cool! It's a belt!

Step 9: Yay Recycling!

You now have new clothes and a fun sewing project, and you don't have to hold on to those old t-shirts anymore!

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    7 Discussions

    New take on a t-shirt skirt:

    this looks great! I miss you and can't wait to get up to some sewing and other shenanigans with you this fall!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    okay you got me across the threshold ,Tomorrow I go into the closet, and grab all the old t 'shirts ,and make a lovely dress! Great idea ! Great instructable!

    So cute! You really went the extra mile with your reuse! And that belt is a really nice touch.