Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Upcycling T-shirts to skirts

Not much new to report on my bunion surgery recovery - gradually putting more weight on my foot until I reach 100% at week 8.  I rest when I feel weary, put my foot up when it starts to let me know it is there, and basically follow Dr. C's instructions.  I have put away my crutches and Nellie.  No more getting pampered.

Instead today I will share my recent endeavor at upcycling. Last fall  I had a stack of t-shirts that didn't meet quality control. I re-ordered and reprinted them.  But I couldn't bear to make them into rags.  Our local school gathers items for shoe box donations each fall.  So I put on my thinking cap to come up with a process to upcycle the discarded T- shirts to skirts for young girls.  I wanted to make a fun donation to the project.

 The first step was to mark a straight line close to the logo printed on the t-shirt that I wanted to exclude from the skirt.  I felt a bar and grill logo just didn't seem appropriate to decorate a young girl's skirt.  After marking it I cut on the line with my sewing shears, cutting both the front and the back at the same time.   If you have a rotary cutter, board and ruler it can be used to save a step.

 Step 3.  Use your sewing shears to cut off the sleeves.

 Continue by opening up the shoulder seams and then cut the ribbing around the neckline off the t-shirt.  Set the items aside for another project.

 I turned the back of the t-shirt with wrong side down and marked two 2" strips the full width of the back.  I again cut the strips with my sewing shears.

  The next step was completed at my sewing machine.  I stitched the two pieces of the waistband to form a circle.  I took the circle to my serger, that I had threaded with a stretch wool decorative thread.  The tension was set loosely so the thread was visible.

 I pinned the right side of the waistband, the unfinished side to the wrong side of the skirt top.  I stitched it using a slight zig zag to give the seam some stretchability.  

I repeated the process  used on the waistband and serged with decorative thread at the bottom of the T-shirt, factory hem left in place.  This is now the skirt's hem.  To make the skirt a bit more fun, I found scraps of lace or eyelet and added to the hem.

The last step was cutting a length of waistband elastic 3 inches shorter than the waist measurement.  I stitched the elastic into a circle, sewing it several times to insure stability.  I placed the elastic on the right side of the skirt and folded the waistband to the right side, encasing the elastic.  I used a slight zig zag stitch as I  stretched the elastic to fit the skirt as I stitched.

Pictured are two of the eleven completed skirts.  I like the ruffles added on the hemline best and will add lace to the skirt with only decorative stitching.

Next up, matching t-shirts using scraps gleaned from the cast offs and parts of a white t-shirt that also failed my quality control inspection.  I enjoyed making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

No comments: