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T-shirts to Wrap Skirts: From Scraps to Almost Finished

02/16/2011

I’ve recovered from being sick, fixed a technical problem or two, stopped moping after that job (which I did not get), completed a surprise interview for another job, and nearly finished a wrap skirt.  Let’s get back on this pony, shall we?

Last time we met, I was trying to piece a nice long waistband out of the above pile of t-shirt scraps, which I promptly turned into the below pile of t-shirt scraps.

One commenter suggested I alternate the waistband pieces from blue to purple, like a barber pole, and as awesome as that would look I didn’t actually read the comment until I had a pair of long t-shirt strips, one blue and one purple, sewn together and ready to go.

I didn’t measure anything for the waistband, by the way, except to make sure each strip was three inches wide.  I simply made sure that I stitched enough scraps together to get something longer than the skirt’s body, then stitched each strip to its respective skirt.

“But wait!” you may say, “how did you know they’d be the right length to tie?”  I didn’t, and they weren’t, and that was on purpose.  Instead, I tried on a skirt-and-waistband pair, and figured out how much longer I wanted each tie from there (note: you’re probably going to want one end to be much longer than the other).

So.  Try on, add to strips, try on again, then make the other piece look just like the first.  Easy, right?

This leaves us with two pieces, blue and purple, consisting of a large fat rectangle (the skirt) stitched off-center onto a long, skinny rectangle (the waistband).  Place these two pieces right sides together and pin the edges.

I wanted the sides of my skirt to be curved, for sheer visual interest, so as I was lining everything up and pinning it, I used a big bowl to trace an even curve onto each corner and clipped off the excess.

Stitch the edges then, going all the way around the perimeter and leaving a gap of a few inches between where you started stitching and where you left off.  If you make this gap too small, it’s going to be a pain in the butt to flip the skirt right side out, so err on the side of gaping.

Clip and trim your seam allowances around curves and the like.  Seriously- I forgot to do this step before flipping the whole thing right side out, and had to promptly flip it back so I could clip corners and curves.  Obnoxious much?  Once that’s done, turn the skirt right-side out through the gap, then iron the edges to make sure they’re nice and crisp before we start topstitching.  It’s a fair amount of ironing. Have I ever mentioned I really don’t enjoy ironing?

And then we topstitch. You’ll notice above that I’ve got purple thread in my needle and navy in my bobbin; for added visual interest, I’m stitching it with the blue side up (so that the stitches on the blue side are in purple thread, and vis versa).  I’ll do the same for the planned decorative stitching.

And that’s where I am now: topstitching.  There’s just a little bit of decorative stitching standing between me and my finished skirt!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/18/2011 10:36 AM

    Very cool!
    I am sized large enough that such a skirt would look silly on me (unless I made it sweepingly long.. huh) but one of my best friends has a model’s form and i love knitting for her. Maybe I’ll get the sewing machine out this summer. Speaking of sewing machines, the glimpse in the photo looked like my favorite kind of old workhorse! What kind of sewing machine are you using?

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