Handkerchief Skirt W/ Roll Down Waistband From Hand-me-down T Shirts




About: Sarah has taken her love of fish and is learning to love other animals too. constantly sewing, cooking, baking and making, I have lots of trouble sitting still. I'm spending my time becoming a vet, and tryi...

This instructable will show you how to make a handkerchief skirt, by cutting panels, and a bit of math. It will also show you how to make a "yoga-style" roll down waistband that could be put on any skirt or bottom.

Step 1: Supplies

-sewing machine
-measuring tape
-sewing pins

-Choosing a Material:
So you're going to need material. You can buy fabric, I'd suggest a cotton/lycra blend, or something that's a bit stretchy. In this, I use hand-me-down t shirts.

-Amount of Material:
For a size 6ish women's, I use 3 mens shirts in this, but I would suggest at least one more so that it flows a bit better.
More panels = more frills

If you were buying fabric, for the same size skirt, I'd say at least 3 yds.

you can use different colors, or patterns, or different patterns, whatever you like.

Step 2: Wash and Iron Everything

Be sure to wash new fabric or dirty shirts.
Then iron, iron, iron.

For that matter, iron things first, and any other time you have a newly cut edge, or before you sew, iron again!

The iron is your friend. The iron is your friend.

Step 3: Cutting Off the Sleeves

If you are using new fabric, pretend you never saw this step...

Cut the shirts just under the armpits to make a large tube of fabric. put the sleeves and shoulders aside.

You can cut the sleeves into headbands, or make rags. Aren't t shirts fun?

Step 4: The Cutting Begins

-Cut one side of the tube so that you make a long piece of fabric
-leave it folded in half
*if you are using t shirts, they may have a seems down the side, feel free to cut the seem off completely
-If you are using new fabric, you can fold, but it may be easier to just cut the panels out separately from flat fabric, try making a paper form using the following measurements (it should look like an oversized necktie)

Step 5: Fold, Measure and Cut

-Before you continue on this step, think about how wide you want each panel to be. You should make your fabric 1/2" wider than you want your panels, if you want to hem the bottom, make your panels 1/2" longer than you want the skirt

-Fold the fabric along the longer axis

-Determine how long you want your frills/cuts to be at the bottom, and measure that distance in from the upper corner (the side with all 4 corners, not the side with the fold)
*note, if you want/need to hem the bottom, measure up 1/4" less than how big you want the frills

*NOTE leaving the fabric in two layers will allow you to cut two panels at once. If you're using new fabric, you don't have to do two at once.

-Now cut at an angle from the bottom of the fold to the pinned distance

Step 6: Measure and Cut, Measure and Cut

Ok, there's going to be a bit of math, but stick with me, I know you can do it!

-measure your circumference (around) 4" BELOW your waist
-divide that number by the number of panels you want your skirt to have
EXAMPLE, my below waist measure was 40", and I want to make 4 panels, thus, I will make 4, 10" panels (40/4=10)
-now remember, your panel is currently folded in half the long way, so you must dived the panel width by 2
EXAMPLE 10/2=5
see, I told you you could do it!

-measure 2" in from the side with the seem cut
-measure your 1/2 panel width up (5" for me), pin this spot
-now mark a diagonal cut from this pin to the top of the corner you made in the last step
-cut PERPENDICULAR from the edge to the pin (not on the diagonal)
-the cut the diagonal from the pin to the bottom

repeat this for all your panels

Step 7: Separate the Point*

*If you are using t-shirts, do this step. If you are not, pretend this never happened
Cut the very end of the point, so that you separate the two panels
-Cut up the side if there is no seem there
-Cut the seem out if there is a seem

Step 8: Sewing Up the Panels

Once you have all your panels cut, it's time to sew them up

-Because you're so well trained, I'm sure you've already ironed, you crazy kids...
-Lay two panels over each other, with the "good side" facing in (the "good side" will be the outside of the skirt)
*note-if you're using different colors/patterns of fabric, be sure to alternate!
-Pin up one side of of the panels
-sew baby sew

-Now repeat that with each panel, keeping the "good side" in
-To complete it, sew the open end of your last panel, to the open end of the first panel, keeping the good side in

Step 9: Fabric for the Waistband

Sorry, one of these is blurry...
-If you're using t-shirts, cut another just under the armpits
-If you are using new fabric, determine the size first, then cut as much as you need
-If your t-shirt has a hem on the bottom, cut it off

Step 10: Making the Waistband

-Measure your waist where the top of your pants fit.
-This will be how wide your waistband tube should be
-If you're using an old t-shirt, the tube should be about 8-12inches tall, if not, use a piece of fabric that is
-If you're using new fabric, your piece should be 8-12 inches tall, by your waist long
*note- if you are using a t-shirt, and it's still a tube (folded in half), dived the number in half when you measure it
-Pin and cut
-Sew up where you just cut

Step 11: Putting It All Together

You should now have
1. a tube as wide as your waist, and 8-10" tall
2. all your panel sewn together, with the top being about as wide as your waist

-Take your time with this, pay attention to what side will end up facing out on the band and the skirt
-Turn the panels so that the "bad side" (side with exposed seems) faces out
-Turn the waistband tube in half along the 8-10" axis, with the "good-side" facing out
-Tuck the waistband (good-side out) INSIDE the top of the panels (bad-side out)
*the side of the tube with all the edges goes up

Step 12: *Oh No, It's Too Big! *I Want My Next Skirt to Be More Frilly!

Ok, so I was sloppy with my measuring. I'm sure you followed the instructions well, and yours is beautiful, but for the slackers out there who were a little liberal in their measuring, no worries, this is the easiest "take in" ever!

-Toss it on and pull the excess fabric to one side
-The amount that you can pull to the side, will look like a "V" the length of the "V" (both sides) is how much you need to take in
*that means if the "V" sticks 2" away from your hip, (thus each side of the "V" is 2", 2+2=4), you'll need to take in 4" inches

-Flip the skirt inside-out
-To take in 4", as an example, fold the skirt on itself in the middle of a panel so that the fold is 1", pin and sew
-Repeat this on 3 other panels, evenly spaced around the skirt (front, back, side, side)

*You could also plan to make the skirt too big, and do this to make it even more frilly



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