Wednesday, September 9, 2009

skirt to shirt

Hooray for Thursday! Since I've been on something of a fashion kick this week, it seemed fitting that my usual Thursday DIY post to be fashion related as well. Don't worry, I'll be back to more home related posts next week, but if you can't wait for some drool worthy projects, make sure to visit Kimba's DIY Day and Gina's Transformation Thursday. They never disappoint :-)

Confession, I committed the big blogging sin of forgetting to take before photos for this post. But never fear, I drew some truly awful 3rd grade style sketches instead.
This project started when I spotted a beautiful (but several sizes too large) Ann Taylor Loft skirt at Goodwill a few months ago. The price was right and the fabric had me at hello, so I went ahead and bought it anyway. The skirt looked something like this:

Not really, but you get the idea: pleated circle style skirt with front pockets, and a deep hem around the top and bottom. My first plan was to turn this little lovely into an apron. This was a great plan until I realized I already had about 5 aprons in this style. Next, I considered using the fabric to cover a pillow. However, the gorgeous navy, purple, and green print really doesn't work well with my white, red, and beachy blue and green decor.
Momentarily stumped with what to do with my find, I finally hit on the idea of turning the skirt into a shirt. I decided to try for something like this:

The deep hems at the top and bottom of the skirt were the perfect length to create nice tailored bands around the chest and hips, plus - no sewing!

I started by cutting the skirt at the side seams to create two identical pieces. The back of the skirt became the front of the shirt. I wrapped the piece around myself tube top style, and discovered that the bottom hem edges met perfectly in the back, like so:

So, I faced the wrong side of the fabric together and sewed the side edges of the bottom hem together. Next, I cut a large rectangleish piece of fabric out of the front side of the skirt and sewed it to each edge of the top hem, and kept going down each edge of the open triangle. If this sounds confusing, think of it this way: the triangle with the word "back" in the photo above was empty space, I simply sewed fabric behind this empty space to fill it up. This gave me a tube of fabric. All I had to do to finish the top was add straps cut from extra fabric. Here are the results:

Back ( if you want to see the triangle piece I sewed in to fill up the back, click to enlarge the picture)
If you want to try this, a good way to tackle the project is to think of it like all the slipcover tutorials out there in blog land. All you have to do is pin the fabric around you (like you would around a chair or sofa) and sew up all your pinned seams - just make sure you use safety pins not straight pins! It also helps to have a husband or friend around for the hard to pin places. Also, make sure to keep your shirt a little on the loose side so you can take it on and off without a zipper.
If you want to see the top on a person instead of a hanger, check back tomorrow for Fresh Fashion Friday, starring - My new top!



Tim and Tracy said...

Two thumbs up! I love the pattern on this shirt/skirt. I can't wait to see it on you.

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

This goes WAY beyond my sewing ability but it's cute!


p.s. Thanks for visiting me!

Stephanie said...

very very cute!

Michelle, Queen of Everything said...

Whoa...there is no way I could ever figure that out! My sewing skills are pretty rusty. Great job.

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Wow! That's very clever!