How to Make a Belted Skirt from a Men's Dress Shirtcomments (19) April 9th, 2009
I love being green, but I also want to look chic and modern. So when I make garments from thrift-store finds, the last thing I want my new fashion to look like is recycled. Items you see a ton of in thrift stores are men's dress shirts. I've made projects with these in the past, and they have always turned out fantastic. You might remember the little black dress I created on the cover of CraftStylish magazine.
Much like that item, I started with a men's dress shirt. But for this skirt, I thought a straight hem at the bottom would be best, which is most commonly found in men's short-sleeved shirts. My find even had cute 2-inch vents at each side and was made of a very soft linen. So when you're scouring the racks, if you want yours to look like mine, skip those with a shirttail hem and pick up one with a straight bottom. Also, your skirt will be from the armpit of the shirt to the hem, so make sure that's long enough for you.
What you'll need:
- One men's dress shirt with a straight hem, wide enough to be gathered at your waist, long enough from the armpit to the hem for the skirt
- Sewing machine and thread
- 1/2-inch elastic about 30 inches long
- Large safety pin
1. Lay your shirt down, folded in half lengthwise. Following a ruler, cut straight across the shirt, from under the armpit to the buttons. This bottom piece is your skirt.
2. Using other pieces from the shirt, cut two waistband pieces, about 5 inches tall by the width of your hips. Cutting from the rest of the shirt, cut pieces to combine together to make two belt straps. These pieces should be 5 inches tall by as wide as you can get.
3. Combine the belt pieces to form two strips that are roughly 24 inches long by 5 inches tall. Press the seams flat where they were connected. Fold one strip in half with right sides together and sew, forming a long tube. Stitch one end closed and repeat on the other strip. Turn the tubes right side out and press flat.
4. Lay out one waistband piece face up. Lay the two belt pieces on top of the waistband piece, on each of the two short ends, about an inch from the bottom. Lay the other waistband piece on top of the first one, matching sides. Pin the two short ends together, including the belt pieces. Stitch each side, capturing the belt in the side seam. Fold the waistband in half, wrong sides together, and press flat.
5. Baste the top of the skirt and gather to fit the width of the waistband. Pin the waistband to the skirt, right sides facing and with the belt pieces toward the front of the skirt, with the raw edge of the waistband lining up with the top raw edge of the skirt. Stitch together, being careful not to sew the belt pieces into the seam. Leave a 1-inch opening in the seam when connecting the waistband to the skirt.
6. Cut a piece of 1/2-inch elastic to a comfortable width for your waist, plus 1 inch for overlapping. Pin a large safety pin to the elastic and feed into the waistband casing. Once you've gone all the way around, pull the pin out the hole and overlap the two ends of elastic about 1/2 inch. Zigzag-stitch them together and release into the waistband. Stitch the hole closed in the skirt.
7. Press all your seams crisp, and slip on the skirt. Tie the belt pieces in front and go!
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