Introduction: T-shirt Skirt

About: I am a self-taught folk artist working in many mediums, primarily kiln fired clay beads.

This is a skirt that you customize for yourself. You can make the panels out of old t-shirts, old lace or you can buy all the materials if you want. It's fun to be resourceful and recycle. You can get really creative with the panels and do a Harley Davidson T-shirts. It doesn't have to be hemmed and you can make it as long as you want. The waistband is made from an old t-shirt of your own so you know it fits. This would be a great maternity skirt. This is a great sewing project for learning how to sew because there is little cost and it allows you to be really creative.

I am listing one of these skirts in my Etsy store.

Step 1: Choosing a T-shirt for the Waistband.

Take an old T-shirt, preferably one that is fitted and fits you well, but you don't wear anymore.

Step 2: Cutting the T-shirt for the Waistband.

Cut the bottom hem and top of shirt off.

Step 3: Making Sure the Waistband Fits.

Fold it to make a waistband. This is where you can adjust the waistband. We had to take in the waistband because it was loose, but if you choose well you shouldn't have to do that. Sew the raw ends together if you want so the fabric is doubled and secure.

You don't have to fold the waistband, but it makes it more durable. If it's for a maternity skirt or if you prefer bunching it for style you can leave it a single layer. If you leave it a single layer you can use i as a dress or a top.

Step 4: Important Step!! Measure Where You Want Waistband to End!

Measure where you want the waistband to end. This is important for style but is especially important if you are using mixed fabrics like we did. Cotton eyelet has no stretch, so the hips are the biggest circumference requiring little need for stretch. My daughter chose where on her hips she wanted the waistband to end. She measured 35.5". We rounded it up to 36" to compensate for error. Divide by six because you will need six panels to make this skirt.

If you are larger you should divide by a larger number. For instance a friend was 45" so we divided by 9. It looks better even though it's a little more work.

It doesn't matter how many panels there are.

If you are alternating colors for each panel the number you divide by has to be an even number.

Step 5: Measurement for the Top of the Panel Pattern.

This is where we start making our pattern for the panel. We start at the top of the pattern for the panel. We added 0.5" to our measurement of 6" for the seam allowance needed for each panel. Now the top of each panel will measure 6.5". Mark each end of the 6.5" with a line on the top of a large sheet of paper.

Step 6: Matching Your Marks.

Fold paper in half so the marks at the top where you measured match then fold the paper in half. Make sure the marks are equal distance from the fold line. In our case the measurement would be 3.25" from the fold line to the mark on each side of the paper.

Step 7: What Length Do You Want the Skirt?

Measure the length you want the skirt from the bottom of where the waistband sits.

Step 8: Mark the Length on Your Pattern.

Add 2" for error to the length you have chosen, unless you are using a fabric with a finished hem like eyelet, then only add 1" to the length for error.

Step 9: How Wide Do You Want Your Skirt to Flare?

My daughter wanted a wide skirt. From the top(where we measured 6.5"), measure along the fold line the length you want the skirt to be and make a mark. At the bottom of the folded paper where you made the mark for length, measure away from the fold half the width you want the panel to be. In our case it was 7" from the paper fold, making the bottom width of each panel 14". Cut excess paper off the bottom of panel then draw a line at the open side of your paper from the top marks to the bottom marks.

Step 10: Cleaning Up the Panel Pattern.

and cut excess paper off on open side.

Step 11: Wedge Shaped Pattern.

You should end up with a wedge shaped pattern. Here is the finished pattern for our skirt panel. 6.5" at top, 14" at the bottom, and 19" in length.

Step 12: Cutting the Fabric.

Now cut out the amount of panels you need and sew them together, in our case it was six. You can leave the seams out. You can double the fabric like we did. You can use old T-shirts to make the panels. It's customized by you. If you want the bottom to look ragged then sew your panels from the top seam. With the eyelet we sewed from the bottom.

This is a great skirt pattern for recycling fabric...every panel can be different if the fabric weight is the same (don't use corduroy and chiffon together...the seams will tear).

Step 13: Completing the Skirt.

My daughter wanted eyelet with a pink underskirt. If you use eyelet there is a right side to the fabric and it needs to be sewn from the bottom of the skirt on each panel so the eyelet edges align. We did have to take in the waistband. Then pin the skirt body and waistband together and tuck in places so the waistband fits. Fitting the waistband is more of a problem when using two skirt fabrics together. I tack it together then let my daughter try it on. If she likes the way it looks I sew it securely.